WCR technicians are trained professionals, they visually examine each plate for pitting, misalignment, deformation, defects of corrugation, and gasket failures. Not only is our mission to return plates to original effectiveness, but to determine any matters causing premature malfunction of your heat exchanger.
Here are example plate defects WCR technicians are taught to discover in order to help customers avoid unnecessary costs and shutdowns.
A very common problem due inexperienced individuals handling heat exchanger plates. Incorrectly removing the plates from the heat exchanger can cause irreversible damage, requiring new plate replacement. WCR will attempt to return plates back to original form, however, continuous mishandling will result in irrepairable plates.
In order to achieve maximum performance, plate heat exchangers are compressed to a specific width measurement depending on plate thickness, number of plates, and the unit model. Over-tightening causes deformation of the plates by stressing the medal beyond it’s normal elasticity. The unit efficiency also decreases due to blocked channels in-between the plates.
A defect caused by over-tightening, rolled grooves won’t allow the unit to seal properly. An obvious sign is a leaking unit, however, they can still be difficult to discover. At WCR, our technicians are trained to locate these failures, and we’re usually able to re-press the plates saving the customer at least 60% of new plate replacement.
Another defect caused by mishandling or over-tightening, cracks usually spell the end for a plate. Cross-contamination will undoubtedly occur with the potential for excessive leaking from the unit. Will require replacement new or refurbished plates.
Corrosion / Pitting
Pitting corrosion is when an extremely localized attack resulting in the formation of holes in the metal surface that eventually perforate the plate. Pitting occurs usually in slightly acidic to alkaline environments. Most frequently by high chloride content. Corrosion is not acceptable for plate heat exchangers due to the thin plates. WCR uses corrosion-resistant metals for their plates and designs solutions to avoid creating environments where corrosion can occur.
Erosion is the wearing away of a plate surface by a fluid flow containing particles. High velocity is usually the main cause, and it’s typically found at the inlet and distribution areas of the plate. Utilizing a stronger metal or removing abrasive solids from the fluid stream are ways to reduce erosion. WCR will determine the cause and recommend a solution prior to complete plate failure.