New tube sheet design for heat exchangers prevents corrosion and leaks

At a glance:

  • Intermediate plate made of silicon carbide for stabilization of gasket seats
  • Concept for electronic leak detection

SGL Carbon will present a new patent-pending tube sheet design for silicon carbide (SiC) heat exchangers at ACHEMA, the world’s leading trade fair for the chemical industry, process technology and biotechnology from June 11-15, 2018, in Frankfurt am Main. Compared with other designs available on the market, this solution offers an optimized seal, a crucial advantage in applications with load changes, where leaks often occur.

In place of an intermediate plate based on PFA-lined carbon steel (perfluoroalkoxy), the new design relies on a SiC intermediate plate. The use of this temperature- and corrosion-resistant material means that problems with the sealing seats are a thing of the past. In addition, the diffusion of the medium is prevented in the intermediate plate, whereby the risk of corrosion is avoided.

A series of tests performed by the company is proof: Even after 100 cycles, there is no sign of leakage. The tube sheet design in batch operation was subjected to continuous temperature fluctuations between -10 and +150°C. “This is a major improvement. When using the systems currently available at the market, leaks are observed already after a few cycles,” states Ralph Spuller, Head of Product Management Process Technology, Graphite Materials & Systems Business Unit at SGL Carbon.

The company will also present a concept on electronic leak detection that has been validated in initial lab tests. This innovative system helps increase reliability and protect the environment, as leaks on the main flanges can be identified right away electronically, before the medium is able to escape. When it comes to the new SGL Carbon system, visual monitoring, additional tube sheets and seals are no longer necessary, all of which are still required for detection purposes in current solutions.

We look forward to seeing you at our booth in Hall 4.0, Stand F26.

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