The spiral heat exchanger’s single flow channel is inherently self-cleaning and fouling-resistant, because flow cannot bypass an obstruction. As a result, the flow distribution within both channels remains even and steady throughout the exchanger. Temperature differences between the fluids of less than 3°C (5°F) can be reached. The shell & tube unit instead develops an uneven temperature profile caused by fouling, tube plugging and poor flow distribution, with both dead spots and eroded surfaces.
With its easy to open, hinged end covers; the spiral provides ready access to both channels for visual inspection and cleaning. The shell & tube unit must be laboriously disassembled to inspect the shell side, and special scopes are necessary to inspect each tube individually.
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