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Heat Exchanger is a broad term covering equipment designed to transfer heat between two sources. One style is the plate and frame heat exchanger, which are comprised of a combination of flow plates and end plates held together between a frame plate and a pressure plate. There are many manufacturers of this style of heat exchanger, and while their appearance may vary a little, the general design and the maintenance procedures are the same or very similar. The following disassembly and reassembly procedures will apply to most plate and frame heat exchangers, not just the CPE models.

Plate and frame heat exchangers can be cleaned via CIP, but occasionally disassembly is required for manual cleaning, troubleshooting, or regular maintenance. While they are deceptively simple to disassemble, the plates must be reassembled in the correct order and orientation for the heat exchanger to function correctly. When disassembling your heat exchanger, do not remove any plates until after they have been properly marked. Reassembly is more complicated and proper disassembly helps simplify the process. If you need replacement plates or gaskets, it is important to get an exact replacement. There are many different types of end plates and flow plates, and the functionality of the unit relies on each plate being the correct type.

Please note that plates are quite sharp, and it is recommended to wear gloves when handling them.

Disassembly of a Plate Heat Exchanger

What you Need:
  • Gloves
  • Indelible marker or gel pen (if removing any plates)
  • Wrench
  1. Ensure that the heat exchanger is shut down, isolated from the system, drained, and is at a temperature of 40°C (100°F) or cooler.
  2. Disconnect pipes and connections from the pressure plate.
  3. Check the carrying bar and wipe down the sliding surface.
  4. With your marker or pen make a diagonal mark across the plates of the assembly from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. For two section heat exchangers, this must be done separately for each section.

  5. Measure and note the distance between the pressure plate and the frame plate. This measurement is called "Measurement A".

  6. For 60H heat exchangers, remove the outside bolts, A and B (leave 1,2,3,4). Do NOT remove any bolts from a 30H at this stage.

  7. Loosen bolts 1,2,3,4 slowly in diagonal pairs, alternating back and forth.
  8. Slide the pressure plate along the guiding bar to open the unit.

  9. Mark any plate you wish to remove with its position, orientation, and direction.
  10. To remove a plate, lift gently and swing the bottom out.

Reassembly of a Plate Heat Exchanger

What you Need:
  • Gloves
  • Wrench
  • Grease
  • Wire Brush (optional)

Before you reassemble and close your heat exchanger, it is essential to ensure that all plates have been returned to their original position and are in the correct direction. If you have disassembled your heat exchanger completely and have no markings or notes for the order and orientation of the plates, please contact our sales team who will help you figure out the specifications of your unit.

  1. Check the plates and gaskets. It is important to ensure that the gaskets are on correctly and that there is no debris in the unit.
  2. Brush debris off the bolts, the carrying bar, and the guiding bar (we suggest a wire brush). Next, apply a thin layer of grease.
  3. Press the plates together. With the plates together, check that the plates form a honeycomb pattern (see below below).

  4. Begin by tightening bolts 1,2,3,4 in diagonal pairs until you reach the desired Measure A. When tightening the bolts, ensure that the frame plate and the pressure plate are always parallel and are even.

  5. For 60H heat exchangers attach the remaining bolts, A and B.
  6. Measure the unit and check that Measurement A is the same as the measurement you noted in step 5, this measurement should match the one marked on the front of the unit. Check measurement A at the top, bottom, and middle of the unit, and on both sides.

  7. Connect pipes.

When assembled correctly, plate heat exchangers are a highly effective cooling method for liquids. The specifically engineered plate pattern is the key to their functionality. It is important that you follow the original plate pattern; if you are unsure of the order or rotation, contact our sales team. We would be happy to help you figure out how to correctly reassemble it. If all disassembly procedures are followed, reassembly should be straightforward and pain-free (if you wear gloves).



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