Plate Heat Exchanger Cleaning
WCRUK's heat exchanger cleaning process can help extend equipment life and reduce maintenance costs by removing harmful contaminants and restoring efficiency to your plate heat exchanger system.
Reduce costs, and improve efficiency with our plate heat exchanger cleaning services
Heat exchangers are critical in many industries, and their efficiency can directly impact your production costs.
Over time, plate heat exchangers can become fouled by contaminants such as loose debris, scale, rust, oil, and other chemicals. This can lead to a loss in efficiency and an increase in maintenance costs.
At WCR UK, we invented the plate heat exchanger cleaning process imitated by other heat exchanger companies.
We built our reputation by utilising select cleansing methods for different applications, using the most advanced equipment on the market to remove all contaminants from your system, and returning the heat exchanger specifications to optimal performance.
You can trust us to clean heat exchangers with care and precision.
We have a team of experts dedicated to providing quality service at competitive rates.
Keep your plate heat exchanger running at peak performance
Cleaning and servicing heat exchangers are our specialities. Our experience, combined with the latest technology and equipment, means we can clean your heat exchanger quickly and effectively with minimal downtime.
Fouling or ageing can result in degraded heat exchanger performance and additional operating and energy costs to compensate for the difference in target temperature. Therefore, the cleaning and maintenance of the heat exchanger are very important to keep the plate heat exchangers running efficiently.
Regular plate heat exchanger maintenance keeps equipment in working order and helps optimize heat transfer.
heat exchanger plate cleaning
We offer a comprehensive range of heat exchanger cleaning services, including:
- Mechanical cleaning – Mechanical cleaning (on-site or off-site) can be done with a soft brush with synthetic bristles, not steel bristles, and running water, with care to not damage the gaskets
- Chemical cleaning – our Chemical cleaning process includes specially developed non-toxic cleaning solutions that safeguard gasket, glue and heat transfer surfaces (never use hydrochloric acid)
- Clean-In-Place (CIP) – CIP cleaning enable quick and easy inline cleaning without dismantling the heat exchanger.
Why do plate heat exchangers need cleaning?
Plate heat exchangers need to be cleaned for a number of reasons, the main one being to prevent fouling.
Fouling is the accumulation of unwanted material on heat transfer surfaces, degrading heat exchanger performance and leading to increased costs or production loss.
To keep the heat exchanger in good condition, regular maintenance is required. In addition to cleaning plates, periodically check the sealing surfaces and gaskets and the plate pack fastening bolts for wear and tear.
Cleaning shell and tube heat exchangers – shell-and-tube heat exchangers have comparatively low internal fluid velocities, so are more susceptible to fouling than plate heat exchangers.
Some of the common causes of fouling are:
- Debris – remove loose debris like small pieces of dirt, grit or other materials that can become lodged in the heat exchanger and block the flow
- Scale – scale can build up on heat exchanger plates and impede heat transfer. Scaling is a common fouling type caused by high carbonate concentrations in the heat exchanger’s cooling water. It is removed either by manual or chemical cleaning, comprising of calcium carbonate.
- Rust – as metal corrodes, it can flake off and cause heat exchanger fouling.
- Particulate fouling, increasing the flow velocity, may completely eliminate fouling.
- Product or chemical deposits on heat-transfer surfaces weaken an exchanger’s temperature transfer and must be cleaned regularly to maintain high performance and prevent processing disruption.
- Biological Fouling describes the growth of slime and organic matter
Selecting the right chemicals for cleaning heat exchangers is important to ensure proper cleaning and to avoid damaging exchanger components.
What is involved in plate heat exchanger cleaning?
WCR UK’s plate heat exchanger cleaning services are carried out by our team of highly trained and experienced engineers.
We use the latest technology and equipment to clean your heat exchangers quickly, effectively and with minimal disruption.
Our methods are safe for all heat exchangers, including those with aluminium plates.
We also offer a clean-in-place (CIP) service for heat exchangers, enabling quick and easy inline cleaning without needing dismantling.
Cleaning gasketed plate heat exchangers typically include the following steps (always follow the manufacturer’s instructions);
How to clean a heat exchanger
- Drain fluids, remove the heat exchanger from service (generally done with isolation valves), and visually inspect it for any damage.
- Remove the end covers, gaskets, heat exchanger tubes, and other removable parts.
- Inspect all parts for wear and tear and clean or replace them as necessary.
- Inspect the plates for damage and clean them if necessary
- Clean the plates with a soft brush and running water, taking care not to damage the gaskets.
- If the plates are dirty, they can be soaked in cleaning agents to loosen the deposits, and a pressure washer can be used to rinse them off and removes build-up.
- Reassemble the heat exchanger, ensuring all gaskets and seals are in good condition.
- Start up and test the heat exchanger to ensure it is working.
Tips to prevent fouling and the need for regular cleaning
There are many ways you can prevent fouling and the need for regular cleaning, including:
- Keeping the heat exchanger clean may seem obvious, but ensuring the heat exchanger is cleaned regularly, using a quality heat exchanger cleaner will help prevent fouling.
- Installing pre-filters before the heat exchanger can help to remove particulates that could cause fouling.
- Using corrosion-resistant materials in the heat exchanger will help to prevent rust and corrosion.
- Monitoring and controlling the temperature and pH level of the fluid going into the heat exchanger can help to prevent scale build-up.
- Adding disinfectants to the fluid going into the heat exchanger can help to prevent biological fouling.
- Regularly checking and cleaning the heat exchanger’s cooling water system can help to prevent fouling.
By following these tips, you can help extend your heat exchanger’s life and prevent the need for regular cleaning.