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Types  of heat exchangers

All heat exchangers do the same job—passing heat from one fluid to another—but they work in many different ways. The two most common kinds of heat exchanger are the shell-and-tube and plate/fin. In shell and tube heat exchangers, one fluid flows through a set of metal tubes while the second fluid passes through a sealed shell that surrounds them. That's the design shown in our diagram up above. The two fluids can flow in the same direction (known as parallel flow), in opposite directions (counter flow or counter-current), or at right angles (cross flow). Plate/fin heat exchangers have lots of thin metal plates or fins with a large surface area (because those exchanges more heat more quickly). Wikipedia's article on heat  exchangers includes a comprehensive list, comparing these and various other heat-exchanger designs.

shell  and tube heat exchangers:

A shell and tube heat exchanger is a class of heat exchanger designs. It is the most common type of heat exchanger in oil refineries and other large chemical processes, and is suited for higher-pressure applications. As its name implies, this type of heat exchanger consists of a shell (a large pressure  vessel) with a bundle of tubes inside it. One fluid runs through the tubes, and another fluid flows over the tubes (through the shell) to transfer heat between the two fluids. The set of tubes is called a tube bundle, and may be composed of several types of tubes: plain, longitudinally finned, etc.

Plate/fin  heat exchangers 

          A plate-fin heat exchanger is a type of heat  exchanger design that uses plates and finned chambers to transfer heat between fluids. It is often categorized as a compact heat exchanger to emphasise its relatively high heat transfer surface area to volume ratio. 

The plate-fin heat exchanger is widely used in many industries, including the aerospace industry for its compact size and lightweight properties, as well as in cryogenics where its ability to facilitate heat transfer with small temperature differences is utilized. Aluminium alloy plate fin heat exchangers have been used in the aircraft industry for 50 years and in cryogenics and chemical plant for 35 years. They are also used in railway engines and motor cars. Stainless steel plate fins have been used in aircraft for 30 years and are now becoming established in chemical plant


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