WideGap

Alfa Laval WideGap gasketed plate-and-frame heat exchangers are suitable for fibrous fluids and for fluids containing coarse particles. Typical applications for Alfa Laval WideGap heat exchangers are sugar, bioethanol and pulp and paper processes. Depending on the duty, WideGap heat exchangers can be configured either with wide-wide or wide-narrow channels. This makes the units suitable for heating, cooling and interchanging duties.

Tailor-made

Alfa Laval WideGap is tailor-made for handling fibrous fluids and for fluids containing coarse particles. The smooth port design ensures that fibres don’t get stuck at the entrance.

Equipped with well-designed features, Alfa Laval WideGap heat exchangers are easy to maintain and have a long service life. Some of the features available include:

  • ClipGrip™ gasket – a glue free gasket with superior alignment that ensures a perfect seal and trouble-free maintenance.
  • Glued gasket – a two-component, oven-cured epoxy glue keeps the gasket in place during any possible cleaning condition.

Additionally, the pressure plate roller, the bearing boxes on tightening bolts, and the 5 point alignment system with reinforced hangers make opening and closing the heat exchanger quick and easy without the need for heavy tools or the risk of damaging the plates.

Alfa Laval WideGap is quick and easy to modify if process parameters change. Our team’s expertise and the availability of parts bring you peace of mind.

Peace of mind

Alfa Laval global service network is never far away. 

Features and benefits

  • Maximum uptime for fouling applications
  • High energy efficiency
  • Flexible configuration
  • High serviceability 
  • Access to Alfa Laval’s global service network

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How it works

The heat transfer area of a gasketed plate-and-frame heat exchanger consists of a series of corrugated plates, assembled between the frame and pressure plates, which retain the design pressure. The sealing between the plates is made of gaskets. For the highest thermal performance and to enable a very close temperature approach, fluids normally run counter-currently through the heat exchanger. The WideGap heat exchanger is tailor-made to handle fibrous fluids, highly viscous fluids, and fluids containing coarse particles. Because of the plate pattern and pressing depth design, these fluids flow easily through the heat exchanger.

High flow turbulence between plates results in higher heat transfer; however, the consequence is pressure drop. Our thermal design engineers will help you design and select the model and configuration that is suitable for your application needs while delivering maximum thermal performance and minimizing pressure drop.

The WideGap heat exchanger can be configured in many ways. The channels can have either a wide/wide gap or a wide/narrow gap with different channel gaps. WideGap heat exchangers are usually configured as multi-pass in order to ensure enough turbulence.

Liquid/Liquid GPHE

Steam Heater GPHE

2-pass GPHE

Configurations

The WideGap heat exchanger can be configured in many ways. The channels can have either a wide/wide gap or a wide/narrow gap with different channel gaps. WideGap heat exchangers are usually configured as multi-pass in order to ensure enough turbulence. The pictures below show cross section views of the two different plate pack configurations.

Single sided WideGap

One extra wide channel for fibrous/dirty flued (A) and one channel for non-fibrous fluid (B).

Double sided WideGap

Two wide channels for fibrous/dirty fluids (C).

 

Features that matter

It's important to understand that all gasketed plate heat exchangers are not the same. The features highlighted below are important components to look for in a GPHE, and when combined, these features offer extensive benefits, such as reduced total cost of ownership, higher efficiency and increased staff safety.

ClipGrip gasket

What is it?

A glue free gasket with superior alignment that ensures a perfect seal and trouble-free maintenance. Fastening to the plate is improved by having five fastening points.

Risks with other designs

Other gasket designs, such as snap-in gaskets, only have one fastening point to the plate. If this one point is lost, there is no gasket fastening function.

Gasket glue

What is it?

Glue between the gasket and the metal plate safeguards high quality bonding for the toughest operating and service conditions. A two-component oven-cured epoxy glue, that can only be removed from the plates by special treatment, will keep the gasket on the plate during cleaning.

Risks with other designs

Gaskets attached to a plate with rubber glue, oven-cured or not, does not achieve a strong enough bond, which can result in gaskets falling off during cleaning, when the temperature gets critical or when aggressive fluids make the gaskets swell.

Pressure plate roller

What is it?

The pressure plate must be easy to move and slide along the carrying bar in order to gain access to the plate pack. The most common solution is a roller on top of the carrying bar, making it easy and less time consuming to conduct service. The roller should be made out of metal to be able to carry the weight of the pressure plate.

Risks with other designs

The mechanical solution of the roller can be more or less robust. The risk is a pressure plate that is jammed and impossible to move when it is time to conduct service. 

Bearing box

What is it?

A device between the tightening bolt head and the frame that reduces friction forces and makes service easier.

Risks with other designs

Opening and closing the PHE without bearing boxes is time consuming and increases the risk of paint damage, which can lead to corrosion damage.

Five point alignment

What is it?

Keeps the plates aligned during closing of the plate heat exchanger that facilitates service.

Risks with other designs

Many alignment systems do not close the vertical gap between the carrying bar and the plate, leading to wavy plate packs with leaking problems.

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