What is a Heat Exchanger?

Heat exchangers are devices designed to transfer heat between two or more fluids—i.e., liquids, vapors, or gases—of different temperatures. Depending on the type of heat exchanger employed, the heat transferring process can be gas-to-gas, liquid-to-gas, or liquid-to-liquid and occur through a solid separator, which prevents mixing of the fluids, or direct fluid contact. Other design characteristics, including construction materials and components, heat transfer mechanisms, and flow configurations, also help to classify and categorize the types of heat exchangers available. Finding application across a wide range of industries, a diverse selection of these heat exchanging devices are designed and manufactured for use in both heating and cooling processes.

What Are The Different Types Of Heat Exchanger?


Finned Tube Heat Exchanger Or Air Cooled Heat Exchanger

Suitable for: air/gas to fluid. A finned tube, air cooled heat exchanger (ACHE), cooler or dryer works by flowing a liquid into a series of tubes, whilst pumping gas or air around or over the pipework to cool the fluid down.

Sometimes finned tube heat exchangers, ACHEs, coolers or dryers are enclosed in duct work, and sometimes they are fully exposed with air flowing over them. The efficiency of these units comes from the extended surface – the fins – that protrude into the air/gas flow and improve the heat transfer ability of the structure.

Where Would You Use A Finned Tube Heat Exchanger?

Finned tube heat exchangers are often used for heat recovery in processes that exhaust hot gasses. The heat in the gas is transferred into a liquid, usually water or a thermal oil. The heated liquid can be then used in an application where you would normally use even more energy to heat it up.

ACHEs are ideal for chemical applications, petrochemical cooling, steam cooling, in textiles processing, grain drying, concrete curing, paper manufacture and food processing. As air is the most used process fluid in the world, the application range for ACHEs is extremely varied.

Shell And Tube Heat Exchanger

Suitable for: fluid to fluid / fluid to gas. Shell and tube heat exchangers work by passing a hot or cold fluid or gas through a series of tubes (known as a tube bundle) enclosed in a large metal shell. The counter flowing hot or cold fluid or gas is pumped into the shell – where the heat transfer occurs.

Where Would You Use A Shell And Tube Heat Exchanger?

Typically these designs are used for high pressure applications, but conversely also where a vacuum condition may require a structure that can cope with high stresses.
The containment aspect of a shell and tube is such that it may be more suitable for hot gasses than a finned tube bank, particularly where the gases maybe noxious or dangerous to health, or mandated to be kept away from release into the atmosphere. Common applications of the shell and tube heat exchanger are within oil, gas and chemical industries.


Plate Or Gasket Plate Heat Exchanger

These are suitable for: fluid to fluid / fluid to vapor. Plate heat exchangers or gasket plate heat exchangers work by passing fluids through a series of plates that are compacted together side-by-side.

Where Would You Use A Plate Heat Exchanger?

Plate heat exchangers are most often found in liquid to liquid applications, such as hot process water that contains chemicals/contaminants heating up cold mains water to provide clean hot water.

District heating systems can benefit from plate heat exchangers or gasket plate heat exchangers, allowing individual houses to use the correct amount of hot water from a centralized source. Plate heat exchangers can also be used to cool oils using water, where the two liquids can’t mix.


Contact Inline Sales & Service

Inline Sales & Service Ltd.  specializes in providing commercial products for a variety of industrial and commercial applications. We understand the importance of efficient heat transfer in your systems and equipment, and our team of experts is here to help you find the perfect solution.

We offer a wide range of commercial , including:

  • Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers: ideal for a variety of applications, these heat exchangers are built to provide efficient and reliable heat transfer.
  • Plate and Frame Heat Exchangers: designed for high-performance heat transfer, these heat exchangers are built to provide reliable and efficient performance.
  • Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers: ideal for high-pressure and high-temperature applications, these heat exchangers are built to provide reliable and efficient performance.
  • Tank Heaters: designed for heating tanks and vessels, these heat exchangers are built to provide reliable and efficient performance.
  • We also offer a variety of other products and services, including installation, repair, and maintenance. Our team of experts is always available to answer any questions you may have and help you find the perfect solution for your needs.

Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to your heat exchanger needs. Trust us to provide the solution that will ensure the efficient and reliable heat transfer in your systems and equipment. Contact Inline Sales and Service to purchase a heat exchanger, parts or gaskets for heat exchangers or to have one serviced or installed by one of our techs. We may even be able to repair your heat exchanger in our Surrey shop. Contact us today.