Managing heat efficiently - The manufacture of plate-fin heat exchangers

The most complex task for manufacturers of plate-fin heat exchangers is the process of brazing. Millions of brazing joints are required to ensure that the huge number of plates and fins function smoothly in the finished assembly.

Linde Engineering

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Article Summary

Only then will the corrugated heat exchanger elements be able to do their job and enable numerous industrial processes by transferring thermal energy from one medium to another. Plate-fin heat exchangers (PFHE) from Linde Engineering cover a temperature range from -269°C to +93°C and can resist a pressure of around 130 bar.

The technology used by Linde to manufacture PFHEs is vacuum brazing – a tried-and-tested approach that does not require a flux. The advantage of this is that no cleaning steps are needed at the end and the parts are free of residues. The company has one of the largest brazing capacities in the world, giving it the flexibility to accept any order – even those with a tight delivery deadline. Linde Engineering started producing plate-fin heat exchangers in 1981 at its Schalchen and Pullach plants in Germany as well as in the Chinese city of Dalian. Since then, it has delivered 12,000 units to its customers worldwide. Linde experts have been continuously fine-tuning the design of these important process components over the years to maximise their performance.
Tailored heat exchangers
8.2 metres long, 1.5 metres wide and over three metres high. These are the maximum dimensions of the plate-fin heat exchangers manufactured by Linde. Special aluminium alloys are used to make the PFHEs as lightweight and compact as possible. They provide optimum heat transfer performance, with the best surface to volume ratio of 2,000 m2 to m3. The choice of materials and design for each plate-fin heat exchanger depends on the customer’s performance requirements. From stand-alone units to ready-to-run coldboxes with one or more plate-fin heat exchangers, Linde’s engineering experts are able to offer tailored and optimised solutions for the most varied and challenging of demands.

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