Chementator: These Heat Exchangers Feature Tantalum as an Alternative to Graphite
By Gerald Ondrey |
Carbone Lorraine (CL; Paris, France; edlinks.chemengonline.com/7372-538) is launching a new welded-plate heat exchanger, dubbed Heatex, which features plates made of tantalum CL-Clad. The patented CL-Clad technology involves the brazing of steel onto "reactive" metals, such as tantalum, titanium and zirconium, in order to fabricate columns, reactors and (now) heat exchangers used in corrosive service. Such metals are now being specified in the heat exchangers used by major pharmaceutical companies for API- (active pharmaceutical ingredients) production plants instead of traditional graphite, to prevent contamination. Tantalum, in particular, is especially suitable for handling hot (up to 200°C) corrosive fluids and is resistant to most acids (H2SO4, HCl, CH3COOH and HNO3).
The Heatex, developed and patented in 1992 by Kapp France, is available with surface areas of 0.2 to 500 m2. The Heatex tantalum CL-Clad is 30 – 50% less expensive than shell-and-tube (S&T) exchangers made of tantalum, while providing a better turbulence and a larger wettable perimeter over S&T exchangers, says the firm. The Heatex has the same thermal efficiency as conventional plate heat exchangers, but without the need for gaskets,…