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Designing

Spiral-Plate
Heat Exchangers
Spiral-plate exchangers offer compactness, a variety of flow arrangements,
efficient heat'transfer, and low maintenance costs . These
and other features are described, along with a shortcut design method .

P. E . MINTON, Union Carbide Corp.


Spirall heat exchangers have a number of advantages over eonventional shell-and-tube exchangers :
centrifugal forces increase heat transfer ; the compactt
configuration results in a shorter undisturbed flow
length ; relatively easy cleaning ; and resistance to fouling: These curved-flow units (spiral plate and spiral
tube' ) are particularly usefuli for handing viscous
or solids-containing fluids .

water . Electrodes may also be wound into the assembly to anodically protect surfaces against~ corrosion .
Spiral-plate exchangers are norrnalNy designed, for,
the full pressure of each passage . Because the turns
of the spirall are of relatiively large diameter, each
turn must contain its design pressure ;, and plate thickness is some.vhat restricted-for these three reasons,
the maximum design pressure is 150' psi :, although
for smaller diameters the pressure may sometimes be
higher. Limitations of materials of construction govern design temperature .

Spiral-Plate-Exchanger Fabrication
Flow Arrangements and' Applications
A spiral-plate exchanger is fabricated from two
relatively long strips of plate, which ~ are spaced apart
and wound' around an openi split center to form a :
pair of concentric spiral! passages . Spacing is maintained uniformly along the length of the spiral by
spacer studs welded to the plates .
For most services, both, fluid-flow channels are
closed by alternate channels welded at both sides of
the spiral plate ( Fig ; 1) . In some applications, one
of the channels is left i:ompletely' open (Fig . 4),,
the other closed at both sides of the plate. These
two types of construction, prevent the fluids from,
mixing. .
Spiral-plate exchangers are fabricated from any
material that ean, be cold worked and welded ; such,
as : carbon steeli , stainless steels, Hastelloy B' and! C ;,
nickel and nickel allbys, aluminum alloys titanium
and copper alloys . Baked phenolic-resin coatings
among others, protect~ against corrosion from cooling
Althouyh the spirol-plate and spirai-tvbe exchangers are simiiar,
their appiicalions and methods of'f fabrication ara quite different
;Thisartcledvowhlytespi'ral-txchnger in
; an article
the May 18S issue of Chemical . Engineering will : takre up the spiralitube
exchan9er : .
For information on shdl-and-tube exchanyers, see Ref . 8, 9 .
The desipn method presented is ased!by Uition Carbide Corp. for the
thermal and hydraulic design of spiral-platee exchangers, and issomewh'at different from that used by the fabricator .

The spiral assembl'y cam be fitted with covers to


provide three flo.u patterns : (1) both fluids in spiral
flows ; (2)1 one fluid in spiral flow and! the other in
axial flow across the spiral;, (3) one fluid! in spiral
flow and the other in a combination of axial and
spirali flow .
For spiral flow in both channels, the spiral assembly includes flat covers at both sides (Fig . 1) . In
this arrangement, the fluids usually flow countercurrently, with the cold fluid entering at the periphery
and flowing towar& the core, and the hot fluid entering at the core and'i flowing toward the periphery.
This type of exchanger can be mounted with the
axis either vertical or horizontal . It finds wide
application, in liquid-to-liquid service, and for gases
or condensing vapors if the volumes are not too large
for the maximum flow area of 72 sq . in .
For spiral fioto in one channel, and axial flow in
the other, the spiral assembly contains conical covers,
di'shed heads, or extensions wi& flat covers (Fig. 2) .
IIl this design, the passage for axial flow is open on,
both sides, and the spiral flow channel is welded om
both sides :

This type of exchanger is suitable for services in

Reprinted from CHEMICAL ENGiNEERING . May 4 1970. Copyright 1970, by McGraw-Hill Inc . 330 West 42nd St! . New York, N .Y . 10036

2030368834
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SPIRAL-PLATE EXCHANGERS . . .

SPIRAL FLOW in both channels is widely used-fig . 1

FLOW, is spiral in one channel, axial in other,-Fifl . 2

which there is a large difference in the volumes


of the two liquids . This includes liquid-liquid service,
.heating or cooling gases, condensing vapors, or as
reboilers. It may be fabricated' with one or more
passes on the axial-flow side . And it can be mounted
with the axis of the spiral either vertical or horizontal (usually vertically for condensing or boiling ) .
For combination flow, a conical cover distributes
the fluid into its passage (Fig . 3) . Part of the spirall
is closed at the top, and the entering fluid' flows
only through the center part' of the assembly : A flat
cover at the bottom~ forces the fluid to flow spirally
before leaving the exchangen

The spiral-plate exchanger offers many advantages


over the shell-and-tube exchanger :

This type is most often used for condensing' vapors


(mounted vertically)s Vapors first flow axially untill
their volume is reduced sufficiently for finali condensing and subcooling in spiral flow.
A modification of' this type : the column-mountedd
condenser (Fig. 4) . A bottom extension is flanged
to mate with the column flange. Vapor flows upward
through a large central tube and'! then axially across
the spiral, where it is condensed . Subcooling may
be by falling-fllm cooling or by controlling a level
of condensate in the channel. In the latter case, the
vent stream leaves in spiral flow . This type is also
designed to allow condensate to drop ~ into an accumul'ator without appreciable subcooling ;

(1)! Single-flbw passage makes it ideal' for cooling


or heating sludges or slurries . Slurries can be processed in the spiral at velocities as low as 2 ft ./sec .
For some sizes and! design pressures, eliminating the
spacer studs enables the exchanger to handle liquids
having a high content of fibers .

(2) Distribution is good because of the single-flow


channel .
(3) The spiral~plate exchanger generally fouls at
much lower rates than the shell-and-tube exchanger
because of the single-flow passage and curved-flowpath . If it fouls, it can be effectively cleaned chemically because of the single-flow path and reduced
bypassing. Because the spiral can also be fabricated!
with identicali passages, it is used for services in
which the switching of fluids allows one fluid to
remove the scale deposited by the other . Also, because the maximum, plate width is 6' ft .,, it is easily
cleaned with high-pressure water or steam .
(4) This exchanger i's well suited for heating or
cooling viscous fluids because its L/D' ratio is lower
than that'of tubular exchangers . Consequenkly,, lam+
inar-flow heat transfer is much higher for spiral plates .
1Nhen, heating or cooling a viscous fluid, the spiral
should be oriented with the axis horizontal . With
MAY

4,~(afiswSRING

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COMBINATION FLOW is used to condense vapors-Fiy .3

the axis vertical, the viscous fluid stratifies and this


reduces heat transfer as much as 50% .
( 5) ~ W ith both fluids flowing spirally, flow can
be countercurrent (although not truly so, because,
throughout the unit, each channel is adjoined by an
ascending and a descending turn of the other channel# and because heat-transfer areas are not equal
for each side of the channel, the diameters being
different) . A correction factor may be applied ;' however, it is so small'it can generally be ignored .
Countercurrent flow and'i long passages make possible clbse temperature approaches and precise temperature control .
(6) The spiral-plate exchanger avoids problems
associated with differential thermal expansion in noncyclic service .
(7) In axial flow, a large .flow area affords a low
pressure drop, which becomes especially important
when condensing under vacuum .
(8) This exchanger is compact : 2 ;000 sq. ft. of'
heat-transfer- surface in a 58-in .-dia. unit with a 72in : wide plate.

Limitations Besides Pressure


In addition to the pressure limitation noted earlier,
the spiral-plate exchanger also has the following
disadvantages :
(11) Repairing it in the field is difHcult . A leak
cannot be plugged as in a sheTl+and-tube exchanger
(however, the possibility of' leakage in a spiral is less
because it is fabricated from, plate generally much
thicker than tube walls) . Should a spiral nee& repairing, removing the covers exposes most of the welding
CHEMICAL ENGINEERfNG/MAY 4, 1970

MODIFIED combination flow serves on column--#'ip . 4

of the spiral assembly : However, repairs on the inner


parts of the plates are complicated .
(2) The spirallplate exchanger is sometimes precluded from service in which thermal cycling is
frequent. When used in cycling services, its mechani- .
cal . design sometimes must be altered to provide for
much higher stresses . Full-faced gaskets of compressed' asbestos are not generally acceptable for
cycling services because the growth of the spiral'
plates cuts the gasket, which results im excessive
bypassing andi in some cases, erosion of the cover .
bdetal-to-metal : seals are generally necessary .
(3) This exchanger usually should not be used
when a hard deposit forms during operation, because the spacer studs prevent su& deposits from
being easily removed by drilling . When, as for some
pressures, such studs can be omitted, this linnitation
is not present.
(4) For spiral-axial' flow,, the temperature difference
must be corrected . The conventional! correction for
cross flow applies . Fluids are not mixedt flows are
generally single pass . Axial flow may be multipass . .

SHORTCUT RATING METHOD


The shortcut rating method for spiral-plate exchangers depends on the same technique as that

20303fiS83S

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SPIRAL-PLATE D(CH'IINGERS . .

Empirical Heat-Transfer and Pressure-Drop Relationship


Eq . .
No, Mechanism or Restriction.

EmpiricallEquation-Heat Transfer

Spiral Flow
('1) No phase change (liquid) , N, > N,, .

h = (li + 3'.54 D,/D) 0'.023 cG (N,,,)'''=(Pr)-'/J

(2) No phase change (gas) ;1!J,, > Nme<..

h=(11 + 3 .54 D"/D ;,) 0 .0144 eG e(D~) ""

0) No phase change (' .liquid )', N;,< < N,,,, .

h = 1 .86 c G (Na,)-'"(Pr) (L/D")-'~'('PYIl~4)-0 ."

Spiral'or Axial Flow


(4) Condensing vapor, vertical, N'< < 2 ;100'

h = 0 .925 k (9~~~'/lr] P '

(5) Condensate subcooling, vertical, NR, < 2,100

h = 1 .225 k/B [cB/kL,] 5/1

Axial! Flow
(6) Nophase change (iliquid), N,,, > 10,000,

h = 0 .023 c G (iNx,)`" . :

(7) No phase change (gas), NA, > 10,000

h=0 .0144cG,(D,)

(8) Condensing vapor, horizontall NR, < 2 ;100

h = 0 .76 k (9,Pi ;=/ir] ~ :

(9) Nucleate boilingverticaL

1!'= 4 .02 c G(Nr.r)-" I (Pr)- e(Pjo/P=)i-0 4

Plate
(10) Plate, sensible heat transfer

h = 12 k,"J)p

(11) Plate, latent heat transfer

h = 12 k,"/p

Fouling
(12) Foulingsensible heat transfer

h = assumed

(13) Fouling, latent heat transfer

li = assumed

Eq .
No . Mechanism or Restriction Empirical Equation- I'ressure Drop

Spiral Flow
(14) No phase change, NR, > NR,,,

L W' T " 1' .3 z!/' lHl'~ 16


~P = 0 ;001i s deHJ [(d, + 0 .125) \ W! + 1 .5 + L]

(15)1 No phase change, 100 < NR, < NR .,

AP = 0 . 001 L

(16) No phase change, Ne, < 100

(17) Condensing

W 11 r
_

1 .035 z!- Z" H~~= 16

s d ;HJ L(d, + 0 .125) ( a ) (,l,y


lir (l
GP- 3,385(d,) : : .( \y / `H/

OP = 0

(
:0005 s, L,fifJ 2 1 (d, + 0 .125)

) + 1!. 5 + L

W)t/ + 1.5 + L

AxiallFlow

( .18). No phase change, NR, > 10,000

4P= 4Sd0J L)" 0.0115z=H+1+0 .03H

('19) . Condensing

l
ie
,
;0115~z=a +I+0 .03H
dP= 2sd,o{ \L) [0

Notes :
1 . Nx,, = 20 ;000 ( D.1 D) ,"
2:, G = WaPLJ(AP)
3 . Surface-condition factor (Y') for copper and steel = 1 .0 ;,forstainleqs steel = 1 .7 ; for poliahedsurfaces = 2 :5. .

MAllr;~

EERING

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for Rating Spiral-Plate Heat Exchangers-Table I


Physical
Property Factor

Numerical
Factor

Work
Factor

Zo .aaMo .__o

' T' = 20.6

s .'a'

-TY

r! ,

-~ r

= 19.6

-y

= 3.8

S"/ 'Ze o

.T
.,

Mr/nZr/3
cs,

d,
LH 21 ''

W1/3a

1
L'/'H
1
H' 1sL =/'

ATM ,

Za :44rM0 .222

so. ...

= 158

x.

.a y

r
T

- 16 .1

Z'/'M'/s

cs t

t Y

T'

.619
~Tr = 0

~-

500

x.

~ fM = 278
x
AT, = 6 ,
000,
-~Tr
AT.
= 3,333 ,
~Ty

MO . :Zo :aQO .axs

Pr'o .?

cs, .o,,

pa
:s

c
k
1
k~.

d,

W2/'(TN-T,)
AT,

= 167

(See Note 11)

s 1/3

d.
LH . '

We .r(Trr-Tr.)
GT,, .

Mi/isZ}/ie

= 1 . 18

AT,

X
M=/' ( Z/ 1 ;Y .1,

'f . =32 . 6

W`' (,Ti ,- T a)

Mechanical .
Design Factor

X
x

W'/'(TN-Tc)
ATy
W .:(T,r-T,) :
AT
K!o . :(TN-Tc) .

AT,

x
x

See Note 1)

LH'

d, .
HL - =

d,

W'/'k
AT
Wo. :a
ATY

HL 1
L /sH

?
L;,H,,

W T-TL)
QTY
Wx
QTY

x
x

(See Note 1)

.
413

(See Notes 2 and 3)

pLH
p
LH

c
h

W (Tir-Tc)
AT,

1
LH

1
h

W'k
mTy

1
LH

(See Note 1)
(See Note 1i)

CHEMICAL ENGINEERlNG/MAY 4, 19701

2030368838

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SPIRAL-FL/lTE EXCHANGERS . . .
for shell+andtube heat exchangers (which were discussed by Lord, Minton and Slusser9) .
Primarily, the method' combines into one relationship the classical! empirical equations for filim heattransfer coefficients with~ heat-balance equations and
with correlations that'describe the geometry of the
heat exchanger. 'Dhe resulting overalll equation is
recast into three separate groups that contain factors
relating to the p}iysical' properties of' the fluid, the
performance or : duty of' the exchanger,, and the
mechanical design or arrangement of the heat-transfer
surface. These groups are then multiplied together
with~ a numerical factor to obtain a product that is
equal' to ~ the fraction of the total driving force-orr
log mean temperature difference (eTr or LMTD)that is dissipated across each element of resistance
in the heat-flow path,
When the sum of the products for the individual
resistance equals 1, the trial design may be assumed
to be satisfactory for heat transfer . The physical
significance is that the sum, of the temperature drops
across ea& resistance is equal to the total available :
aTY : The pressure drops for both~ fluid'}flow paths
must be checke& to ensure that both are within
acceptable limits . Usually, several trials are necessary
to get a satisfactory balance between heat transfer
and pressure d:rop . .
Table I summarizes the equations used with the
method' for heat transfer an& pressure drop : The
columns on the left list the conditions to which each
equation applies, and'' the second columns gives the
standard forms of the correlations for film coefficients
that are found in texts . The remaining columns in
Table Ii tabulate the numerical, physical property,,
work and mechanical design factors-all of which
together form, the recast dimensional equation . The
product of' these factors gives the fraction of' total
temperature droplor driving force (nTI/oTY) across
the resistance .
As stated, the sum of oT),/oTy (the hot-fluid
factor), oL/oTy (the cold-fluid factor), oT,/OTY
(the fouling factor)', and oT ./nTy (the plate factor)
determines the adequacy of'heat transfer . Any combinations of OT1/eTm may be used, as long as the
orientation specified! by the equation matches that
of the exchanger's flowpath .
The units in the pressure-drop equations are consistent with those used for heat transfer . Pressure drop
is calculated' directly in psi .

Approximations and Assumptions


For many organic liquids ;, thermal conductivity
data are either not available or difficult to obtain .
Because molecular weights (1Vl) are known, the
Weber equation,, which ; follows, yields thermal conductivities whose accuracies are quite satisfactory
for most design purposes : k - 0.86' (cs"'1Mua)

If,, on the other hand, the thermal conductivity

is known, a pseudomolecular weight may be used :


M = 0 .636 (c/k)Y

In what follows, each of the equations in Table L


is reviewed and the conditions im which each equation applies, as well as its limitations, are given,
Im several' . cases, numerical factors are inserted, or
approximations made, so as to adapt the empirical
relationships to the design of spiral-plate exchangers .
Such modifications have beem made to increase the
accuracy, to simplify, or to broaden the use of the
method . Rather than by any simplifying approximations,, the accuracy of the method is limited by thatt
with which fouling factors, flui& properties and fabrication tolerances can be predicted .

Equations for Heati Transfer-Spiral' Flow


Eq : (1):-No Phase Change (Liquid), N,e, > NR,,is for liquids with Reynolds numbers greater than
the critical Reynolds number . Because the term
(1 + 3 .54 D,/DH) is not constant for any given
heat exchanger, a weighted average of 1 .11 has been
used forthis method . If a design is selected with
a different value, the numerical factor can be adjusted
to reflect the new value.
Eq . (2)-No Phase Change (Gas), NR, > NR,,-is
for gases with Reynolds numbers greater than the
critical Reynolds number . Because the Prandtl number
of common gases is appromately equal to 0!78' and
the viscosity enters only as a,z; the relationship of
physical' properties for gases is essentially a constant .
This constant, when combined with the numerical
coefficient in Eq . (1) to eliminate the physical prop .
erty factors for gases, results in Eq. (2) . As in Eq . ('1),,
the term (1 + 3 .54 D,jDN) has been taken as 1 .1 .

Eq, (3)-No Phase Change (Liquid), NR . < NR,,is for liquids in laminar flow, at moderate oT and
with, large kinematic viscosity (L/p) . The accuracy
of the .correlation~decreases as the operating conditions
or the geometry of' the heat-transfer surface are
changed to increase the effect of natural' convection .
For a spiral plate :"
(D/L)1n - (121is Dl1(DHd,)1i:11 ri = 711 (d .ldw)1n .
The value of ( d,/dH ) ve varies from 0.4 to 0:6 . A value
of 05 for ( d,/dH )" has been used for this method .

Heat Transfer Equations-Spiral or Axial Flow.


Eq . (4)-Coruiensing Vapor, Vertical, NR . < 2,100
-is for film condensation of vapors on a vertical
plate with a terminal Reynolds number (4ir/p) of
less thaw 2,100 . Condensate loading (r) for veftical
plates is P- W/2L, For Reynolds numbers above
2,100 or for high Ptandtl numbers, the equation
should be : adjusted by means of' the Dukler plot,
as discussed by Lord, Iviintom and! Slusser .8 To use
Eq. (4) ~ most conveniently, the : constant in it should
be multiplied by the ratio of the value : obtained by
the Nusselt equation to the Dukler plot .

The preceding only applies to the condensation


MAY 4~US .3Rllffdt
.7l,~~Rt,M(i

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of condensable vapors . Noncondensable gases in the


vapor decrease the film coefficient, the reduction
depending on the relative sizes of the gas-cooling
load' an& the total cooling and condensing duty. .
(A method for analyzing condensing in the presence
of noncondensable gases is diccussedd by Lord, Minton
and Slusser .P)
Eq . (5)-Condensate Subeoolfng,, Vertical,, Ns . <
2,I00-is for laminar films flowing in layer form down
vertical plates . This equation is used when the condensate from~ a vertical condenser is to be cooled
below the bubble point: Im such cases ; it is convenient to treat the condenser-subcooler as two
separate heat exchangers-the first operating only as
a condenser (no subcooling), and'the second as a
liquid cooler only . Fig. 5 shows the assumptions that
must be made to determine the height of each section,,
so as to calculate intermediate temperatures that will
permit im turn the calculation of the LMTD . .
Eq . (4)' is used in combination with appropriate
expressions for other resistances to heat transfer, to
caloulate the height of the subcooling section . In the
case of the subcooling section only (See Fig . 5),, the
arithmetic mean temperature difference [( Tr ;. T.)-}- ( TnL - T,L )]/2, of the two fluids should
be used instead of the log mean temperature difference:

Equations for Heat Transfer-Axial Flow


Eq . (6)-No Phase Change (Liquid) ; Ns, > 10 ;000
-is for liquids with Reynolds numbers greater than
10,000 : .
Eq. (7)-No Phase Change (Gas), Ns . > 10,000is for . gases with Reynolds numbers greater than
10,000 . Again, because the physical property factor
for common gases is essentially a constant, this constant is combined with the numerical, factor in
Eq . (16) to get Eq; (7)' .

Eq . (8)-Condensing Vapor,, Horizontal, NY< <


2,100-is for film condensation on spiral plates arranged : for horizontal axial flow with a terminal
Reynolds number of less than 2,100 : For a spiral
plate, condensate loading (r) depends on the length
of the plate and spacing between adjacent plates .
For any given plate length and channel spacing, the
heat-transfer area for ea& 380-deg : winding of the
spiral increases with the diameter of'the spiral . The
number of revolutions affects the condensate loading in two ways : (1) the heat-transfer area changes,
resulting im more condensate being formed in the
outer spirals ; and (2) the effective length over which
the condensate is formed is determined by the number
of revolutions and the plate width . The equations
presented' depend' on a value for the effective number
of spirals of'L/7 . Therefore, the condensate loading is given by:
r - W (1,000) 7 (12)/4HL - 21,000 W/HL
This equation can be corrected if' a design is obtained
with a significantly different condensate loading .
It does not include allowances for turbulence due
to vapor-liquid shearing or splashing ofthe condensate . At high condensate loadings, the liquid
condensate on the bottom of the spiral channels may
blanket part of the exchanger's effective heat-transfer
surface.
Eq . (9)-Nucleate Boiling,, Vertical-is for nucleate
boiling on vertical plates . In a rigorous analysis of
a thermosyphon reboiler, the calculation of heat'
transfer is combined with the hydrodynamics of the
system to determine the circulating rate through the
reboilbr. However, for most design purposes, this
calculation is not necessary. For atmospheric pressure : and higher, the assumptiom of nucleate boiling
over the full height of the plate gives satisfactory
results . The assumption of nucleate boiling over the
entire height of' the plate in vacuum service produces
overly optimistic results . (The mechanism of thermo-

SUBCOOUNG-ZONE calculations
depend on arithmetic-mean temperature difference of the two
fluids instead of' tog-mean temperature differences-Fg . 5 U,~~, ;ys. T `~~``' ~;,~ ;
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING/MAY 4, 1970

W30368840

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SPIRAL-PLATE D(CHANGERS . . .
syphon reboilers has bcen already discussed by Lord,
Minton and Slusser.g-s)
A surface condition factor, 1, appears in the empiri
cal correlations for boiling coefficients . This is a
measure of' the number of nucleation sites for bubble
formation on the heated surface. The equations for
aT f/oTY contain X ( the :reciprocaI of %), which, has
values of 1 .0' for copper and steel, 1.7 for stainless
steel or chromenickel alloys, and 2 .5 for polished
surfaces . .

Equations for Heat Transfer-Plate


Eq . (10) and (11)-Heat Transfer Through the
Plate-are for calculating the plate factor . The integrated form of the Fourier equation is Q/B -(k,pA
oT,a)'/X, with X the plate thickness . Expressed in
the form of a heat-transfer coefficient, h .- 12k./p .
Eq. (10)' is used whenever sensible heat transfer
is involved for either fluid . Eq . (11)' is used when
there is latent heat transfer for each fluid'~.

Equations for Heat Transfer-Fouling .


Eq. (12) and (13)-Fouling-is for conduction of
heat through scale or solids deposits . Fouling coefficients are selected by the designer, based upon
his experience . Fouling coefficients of 1,000' to 500
(fouling factors of'0 .001 to 0 .002) normalHy require
exchangers 10 to i 30% larger than for clean service :
The selection of'! a fouling factor is arbitrary because there is usually insufficient data! for accurately
assessing the degree of fouling that should be assumed
for a given design . Generally, fouling for a spiralplate exchanger is considerably less than for shelland-tube exchangers . Because fouling varies with
material, velocities and temperature, the extent to
which this influences design depends on operating
conditions and, to a great degree, the desigm itself .
Eq . (12) is used for sensible heat transfer for
either fluid, and Eq . (13) when latent heat is transferred' on both sides of~ the plate :

Equations for Pressure Drop-Spiral Flow

Nomenclature
A Heat-transfer area, sq . ft.
B Filtn thickness (A :00187, Z I%y, s')`o, ft.
C Core dia ., in .
c Specific heat, Btu ./(lb .) ('F.)
D . Equivalent dia., ft.
Da Helix or spiral dia ., ft.
D, Exchanger outside dia :,, in.
d . Channel spacing, in .
f Fanning friction factor, dimensionless
G Mass velocity, lb ./ (hr.) 1 (sq. ft)
p . Gravitationali constant, ft ./ (hr.)' (d .18 x
10')
H Channel plate width, in . .
h Film coefficient of : heat t'ransferr, Bt'u ./
(hr .) (sq. ft.) (F .)~
k Thermal conductivity, Btu./(hr.) (sq . ft.) .
(Faft .) .
L Plate length, ft.
M Molecular weight, dimensionless
P' Pressure, psia .
p Plate thickness, in .
AP Pressure drop, psi .
Q Heat transferred, Btu .
s Specific gravity (referred to water at
20 C.).
mTu Logarithmic mean temperature difference
-(LMTD), C :
U Overalll heat-transfer coefficient, Btu ./
(hr .) (sq . ft.),(F .).
W' Flo.vrat'e, (1'b./hr .)/1,000
r Condensate loading, lb ./ (hr .) (ft.)
Z Viscosity, cp.
8 Time, hr.
X Heat of vaporization, Btu :/lb .
F Viscosity, lb./(hr.) (ft.)
pZ Liquidldensity, lb./cuift.
p . Vapor d'ensity,,lb ./cu.ft .
E, 1' Surface condition factor, dimensionless
o Surface tension, dynes/cm .
Subscripts
b Bulk fluid properties
c Cold stream
f' Film fluid properties
H High temperature
h Eiot stream
L Low temperature
m Median temperature (see Fig . 5)
a Scale or fouling materiai
w Wall, plate material .
Dimensionless Groups

Eq. (14)-No Phase Change Ns . > Nx.,-is based


on equations proposed by Sander .* 12 Term A in
Sander's equation can be closely approximated by
the value of 28/(d. + 0.125) . Term B in Sander's
equation accounts for the spacer studs . The factor
1 .5 assumes 18 stud+s/sq . ft. and a stud dia . of 5/16 in.
Eq . (15)-No Phase Change 100 < Nit, < NR,,again is based upon the equation proposed by Sander .
For this flow regime, the term A can be closely
approximated by the value of 103 .5/(d, + 0.125) .
As in Eq. (14), the factor of 1 .5 accounts for the
spacer studs .
Eq . (18)-No Phase Change NR, < 100-also cis
based on the Sander equations . For this flow regime,,
term A can be closely approximated by the value :of
2,170 d,i76 : For this flow regime, the studs have

I+T, . Reynolds number


N. . . Critical Reynolds number
Nr. Prandtl number

little effect on the pressure drop, and any such effect


is included, in the Sander equation.
Eq : (I7)-Condensing-is for calculating the pressure drop for condensing vapors and is identical to
that for no phase change, except for a factor of
0.5 used with the condensing equation. For total
condensers,, the weight rate of flow used in the
calculation should be the inlet flowrate. Because the
average flow for partial condensers is greater than
MAY 4,,1970/CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

2030368841
Source: http://industrydocuments.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/jqgk0117

for total condensers,, the multiplying factor should


be 0.7 instead of 0:5. Because the estimation of' the
pressure drop for condensing vapors is not clear-cut,
the equation should be used' only to approximate
the . pressure drop, so as to prevent the design of
exchangers with excessive pressure losses .

Equations for Pressure Drop--Axiali Flow


Eq .(1'8)-No Phase Change Ns, > 10,000-is an
expression~ of the Fanning equation for noncompressible fluids, in which the friction factor f in~the Fanning
equation = 0'.046/NA,aT. The equation has been
revised to~ account for pressure losses in the inlet'
and outlet nozzles, and the inlet' and outlet heads .
The equation also includ'es the correcti'on for the
spacer studs in the flow channels. .
Eq. (19)-Condensing-again is identical to that
for no phase change, except for a factor of 0.5 . Again,
for partial condensers, a value of 0 .7 should be used
instead of 0.5 . For condensing pressure drop, only
approximate results shoul& be expected, which themselves should be used only to prevent designs that
would result in excessive pressure losses . .
For overhead condensers, the pressure drop in
the center tube must be added to the pressure drop
calculated from Eq. ('19) .

Col& Side

Flowrate, lb. /hr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6,225

5,925

Inlet temperature, C . . . . . . . . . . . .
Outlet temperature, C. . . . . . . . . . .

200
120 :
3 .35
0 .71
200 .4
0 .843
1
stainless steel

60
150 .4
8
0 .66
200 .4
0 .843
1'
(k = 10) .

Specific heat, Btu ./1b :/F . . . . . . . ., .


Molecular weight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,
Specific gravity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Allo~wable preasure drop, pai . . . . . . .
Material of conetruction . . . . . . . . . .

(WZ) ..r, : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

,,

Preliminary Calculations
Heat transferred = 6;225 X' (200-120) X 1 .8' x
0 .711 = 636,400 Btu./hr.
ATM (or LMTD) -(60 - 49.4)/In(60/49:4) - 54 .5 C.
For a first trial, the approximate surface can be
calculated'& using an assumed' overall heat-transfer
coefficient, U, of 50 Btu ./(hr.) (sq. ft .) (F.) :
A - 636,400/(50 X' 1 .8 X 54 .5) = 130 sq . ft .
Because this is a small exchanger, a plate width
of 24 in. is assumed. Therefore, L, = 130/(2 x 2) =
32'.5 ft . A channel spacing of % in. for both fluids
is alto assumed . The Reynolds number for spiral, flow
can be calculated from the expression :
NR . = 10,000 (Ti?/HZ) :

Heat-Transfer Calculations
Now, substitute values :
Hot side, Eq. (3) : ~

.6 ' ~3,-~
.m,ATex-32 I X

[ 6 .22514 55 ~]~24=nX32 .5]


- 32 .6 X 3.775 X 4 .967 X 0.001387 - 0.848'
Cold side, Eq . (3) :
AT, 200.4a' 5 .925=n X',90.4' '
.6 0
ATM - 32
.8430' J L 54 .5 X

0 .375
24=n X 32 :5 ]

= 32 .6 X 3 .775 : X 5 .431 X 0 .001387 - 0 .927


Fouling,, Eq . (12) :

ATM - 6,000 [ 1I000 ]~ 5

This example applies the rating method to the


design of a liquid-liquid spiral-plate heat exchanger
under the following conditions :

Viscosity, cp . . ., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Because the fluids will'i be im laminar flow, spiral

flow is selected for the heat exchanger design . From .


Table I, the appropriate expressions for rating are :
Eq. ( 3) ~ for both fluids, Eq . (10) for the plate,
Eq, (12) for fouling and Eq . (15) for Qressure drop ..

.925~ 590.4

SAMPLE CALCULATIONS

Conditions Hot Side

Hot side NR, -(10,000 X 6 .225 /(24 X 3 :35) - 774'


Cold side N ., -(10;000 X' 5 .925)/(24 x 8) - 309

JC

32:5 X 24,
- 6,000 X 0:00066 X 9 .828 X 0.001282 - 0.050

Plate, Eq . (10) :
o .
0 :66 5 .925X 90~4' 0 .125
ATM =~~ 10 J 54.5. ,C32.5X24]
= 500 X 0;066 X 9 .82&X 0 .0001603 :- 0 .052

Some Spiral-Plate Exchanger Standards-Table III


Plate Outside Dia ., Cors
Widths,, Iln . Maximum, In . Dfa ., In.
4
32
8
6
32
8
12'
32
8
12
58
12
18
32
8
18'
58
12
24
32
8
24
58
12
30
58
12
36
58
12
48
58
12'
60
58
12'
72
58
12
l2Mannel spacings, in. : 3/16 (12 in. maximum vwidth),
1/ (48An . maximum width), 5/16, 3/e, 1%i, %, 3/s
and! 1 .
Plate thicknesses : stainless steel ; 14-3 U .S. gage; carbon steel, lyg, 3/16, y4 and 5/16 in .

Therefore :
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING/MAY 4, 1970

zo3o3sW42

Source: http://industrydocuments.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/jqgk0117

SPIRAL-PLATE EXCHANGERS . . .

Sum of Products (SOP) :


SOP = 0.848' + 0 .927 + 0.050 + 0 .052' = 1 .877'
Because SOP is greater than 1, the assumed! heat
xchanger is inadequate . The surface : area must
be enlarged' by increasing the plate width or the
plate length . Because, in all the equations, L applies
directly, the following new Iength is adopte&
1 .877 X 32.5 = 61', ft .

Pressure-Drop Calculations
Hot side, Eq . (15) :',
nP=I 0 0.~361~I 0.375X24JX

The diameter of the outside spiral can now be


calculated with Table II and the following equation :
Ds =]15 :36 x L(d.a + d ;A + 2p)' + C=]1n'
Ds = {15,36 (41L$) f0 :25 + 0 :25 + 2 (0.125)1 + 82]"=
D$ = 23 .4 in .

For a spiral-plate exchanger, the best desigm is


often ~ that in which ~ the outside diameter approximately
equals the plate width .
Design summary :
Plate width . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Plate length . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Channel spacing . . . . . . . . .
Spiral diameter . . . . . . . . . .
Heattransfer area . . . . . . .
Hot-side pressure drop : . .
Cold+side pressure drop . . .
U.. . . .. ... . . .. . . . . . . . . .

. 24in . .
. 41 .8ft.
.. 1/4 in . (both sidee) .
. 23 .4 in .
. 167 sq . ft.
. 0 .607psi .
. 0 .861 psi .
. 38 .8'Btu . /(hr .) (pq .ft .) (F .)

C 1 .035X3 .35'nX 1 X241n 161


(0.375 -}- 0 .125) 6 .2251 n-+ 1 .5' + 6 Jl
aP' = 0.07236 X 0 .6917 X 9 .202 = 01461' psi .

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Acknowledgements

Cold' side, Eq. . (1S) :


AP = C b .DO1~X3 61 I r 0

.925
.3755 X 24 ] X

r1 .035X8'r X 1 X 241r= 161


L(0.375 + 0:125) :5.925"= + 11 5 + 6 J
aP = 0 .07236 X 0 .6583 X 13 .55 = 0 .645 psi .

Because the pressure drop is less than the allowable ;


the spacing can, be decreased . For the second trial,
1/4 in . spacing for both channels is adopted!
Because the heat-transfer equation for every factor
except the plate varies directly with d, ;, a new SOP'
can be calculated!
aT,/aT,v = 0.848 (0.25/0 .375)
aT,/aTm = 0 .927 (025/0 .375)
aT,/aTx = 0 .052'(0:25/0 .375)
aT/ATu = 0 .050
SOP = 0:565 + 0 .618' + 0.050 + 0.052
L=1 .285X32'.5=41 .8ft.
A=41 .8X2X2! =167sq .ft .

= 0 .565
= 0 .618
= 0 .035
= 1 .285

The new pressure drop becomes :


Hot side :
aP=I 0000

.8
.84341

r0 . 52X24]X

1 .035X3 .35"'X I X24 1 r= 16


.5
0.375 X 6.225~rx -+ 1 + 41 .8 J

aP = 0.04958 X 1 .037 X' 11 .80 = 0 .607 psi .

The author thanks American Heat Reclaiming Corp .


for providing figures and for permission to use certain
design standards . He is also grateful to the Union Carbide Corp, for permission to publish this article .

References
1l Baird, M. H. 1., MoCrae, W:, Rumford, F., and Slbssec,
C . G. M .,, Some ConsideraRiona on Heat Teanefer In .
Spi,ral Plate Heat Exchangers, Chem . Eng . Setence .,, 7,
1 and 2, 1957, p . 112 .
2 . Blasius, H :, Da whnlichkeitsgesets bel Rlebungavorgangzen in Flussigkeiten, ForschuupsheJt ; 131, 1913 .,
3 . Colburn ;,A. P . . A Method of Correlating Foraed'Convectlon Heat Transfer Data and a Comparison With Fluid
Fhiction ; AICAF. Trans .,,l9, 1933, p. 174 .
4 : HarRis; A . M.,, Beckmann, A. T. and Lotauona, J! J .,
Applications of Spiral! Plate Heat: Exchangers, Chefn .
Eng. Proyr ., July 1967 ; p . 62 .
5 . "Helifiow Coolers and Heaters," Bull . 58G} ; Gra.ham,
Mfg. Co: . Great Neck, N.Y.
6 . Ito, H . . Friution Factoa+s for Turbulent Flow'1n Curved
Pipes, Trana. ASME, 81, 2 ;, 1959, p. 123.
7 . Lamb, B. R., The Roaenblad Spiral Heat ExchangeT,
Trans. Inst, Chem . Engra . (London), June 1962, p . A10E .
8 : Lord, R . C ., Minton, P. E. and' Slusser, R . P.,, Design
Parameters for Condensers and Reboilers, Chem . Eng.,
Mar. 2:3, 1970, p . 127 .
9 . Lord, R . C :, Minton, P. E. and Slusser, R . P., Design
of Heat Exchangers, Chem . Eng., Jan, 26, 1970, p . 98 .
10 ., Noble, M . A . ., Kamlani, J . S . and McKetta, J: J., Hea.t
Transfer in Spiral Colls Petr . Eny ., Apr . 1962, p . 723 .
11 . Perry, J! H ., Ed ., "Chemical Engineers' Handbook ; ." 4th
ed .,, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1963, 10, p . 24:
12 . Sand'er, J ., (unpubHshed),, A . B: Rosenbbadm, Patenter,
Stockholm Sweden, 1955 .
13. "Sptral,Heat Exchangers," Bu11 : S .A . 1410 3-69 HR5M,
American Heat' Reclaiming Corp ., New York.
14 . Tangad, N. N . and Jayaraman, R., Heat TransfeT on a
Spiral P1ate Hea4 Exchanger Trans . Inst. Chem . Engrs .
(London), 40, 3, 1962, p, 161L
15 . Thermal Handbook," Alfa-Laval/DeLaval Group,
Sweden, 1969 .
16 . Whlte, C. M ., Streamline Flow Through Curved Pipes,
Proceedings Royal Soc . (London) . Series A, 123 . 1929,
p: 645 .

Cold side :

Meet the Author

aP =[0 000 843 L EI ' II 0


.5 X 4 ] X
r/1 .035 X 8"' X 1! X 24112 16 : J
L 0 .375 X 5.9251r~ + 1 .5 + 41 .8
aP = 0.04958 X 0.987&X 17 .59 = 0,8611

The pressure drops are less than the maximum


allowable . The plate spacing cannot be less than
1/4 in. for a : 24~in . plate width ; decreasing the width
would result in a higher than allowable pressure drop .
Therefore, the design is acceptable .

Paul E Mlnton is a projectt


engineer in, the engineering
department at : Union Carbide
Corp .'s Technical Center (P 0 .
Box 8361, So. Charleston,
W. Va . 25303), where he is a
part: of : the heat :transfer tech
nologX group. A graduate In
chemical engineering with a
B.S: degree from the Missouri
School of Mines and Metal
lurgy; he is a member of
AIChE.

MAY 4, 1970/CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

2030368843 .
Source: http://industrydocuments.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/jqgk0117