Florida Heat Transfer has almost 30 years of experience in designing and servicing plate heat exchangers ( PHEs ) . Florida Heat Transfer can service your PHEs no matter who is the manufacturer . We service all makes and models of PHEs . Florida Heat Transfer can service your PHEs from simply supplying the highest quality gaskets available to field service or turnkey factory refurbishment of the entire PHE .
Just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link , the reliability of a plate heat exchanger ( PHE ) is only as good as the seals or gaskets between its components . That is why it is important to simulate performance of the gasket under the same conditions as if the gaskets were incorporated in the actual PHE during operation . To ensure optimal performance of the sealing system , Alfa Laval uses the ABAQUS finite element method ( FEM ) stress analysis program to simulate new contruction and to correct all possible design weaknesses . Design parameters , such as thickness , width and profile , are carefully adjusted to ensure optimal and consistent function of different gasket sections . Because rubber is subject to significant thermal expansion , the geometry of the gasket-molding tool must be adjusted accordingly . Making an exact copy of the gasket mold that provides optimal performance simply by measuring the size of an elastic gasket is extremenly difficult .
Although a gasket may look like the original supplied by the plate heat exchanger ( PHE ) manufacturer , it probably does not perform like the original since the composition of its rubber compounds most likely differs from that of the original . To develop new or improved rubber compounds for PHEs , you must find the right combination of between five ( 5 ) to fifteen ( 15 ) different substances from more than 1700 substances , including hundreds of different types and grades of polymers , vulcanization chemicals , processing aids and anti-degradants . PHE gaskets consist of the following components : ( 1 ) Polymers - more than 100 grades of EPDM ( etheylene propyleneterpolymer ) and more than 100 grades of NBR ( nitrile rubber ) . ( 2 ) Curing Agents - more than 100 grades . ( 3 ) Fillers - more than 100 grades . ( 4 ) Processing aids - more than 300 grades . ( 5 ) Anti-degradants - more the 300 grades . The proportions of the raw materials used to manufacture the rubber compound determine the quality of a gasket . It is important to remember that , although gaskets may have the same designation , a gasket from one supplier does not necessarily have the same properties as that from another . Specifying gaskets based solely upon polymer type and hardness , for example , will prove grossly inadequate for sealing technology requirements .
Quality gaskets usually contain approximately fifty ( 50% ) percent polymer . Lower-priced imitations contain less than twenty ( 20% ) percent polymer and more fillers and softeners , such as carbon black or oils . Alfa Laval conducts ongoing R&D for sealing technology to improve the rubber for its plate heat exchanger ( PHE ) gaskets and , thus , to improve overall performance . New or improved compounds require anywhere from eighteen ( 18 ) months to six ( 6 ) years to research , develop and approve .
New gaskets are highly resilient , expanding and filling the grooves to seal in the plate heat exchanger ( PHE ) media and to direct flow . Maintaining this condition helps ensure optimum performance . To maximize gasket lifetime : ( 1 ) invest in the right type of gasket - one capable of compression in order to resist the stresses and forces generated by the flow of media and ( 2 ) select the right gasket materials .