ITS Product Showcase – Contherm, Scraped Surface Heat Exchanger

Find out more in our ITS Product Showcase, where Nick Willetts (ITS Technical Sales and Specialist Project Manager) talks about the Alfa Laval Contherm Scraped Surface Heat Exchanger in more detail:

Welcome to another ITS product showcase for the Alfa Laval Contherm range of scraped surface heat exchangers.

In most hygienic processes customers will typically use either a Gasketed plate and frame or a Shell and Tube style heat exchanger for their heating and cooling duties. These technologies are great at handling low to medium viscosity products, products which aren’t sticky or burn on or products without particulates.

However, when your product is sticky or has tendencies to burn, has a high viscosity or has particulates which need to be kept intact the Alfa Laval Contherm range is a perfect solution where other technologies wouldn’t suit.

The Contherm brand is a range of scraped surface heat exchangers. These work in a similar way to Shell and tube heat exchanger technology whereby they have an inner tube and an outer shell section where 2 opposing medias flow through to provide the fluid heat transfer. In Shell and tube units the inner tube is often small in diameter and is grouped in multiple bundles of tubes which provides efficient heat transfer but is not suited for high viscosity products or particles. In scraped surface heat exchangers the inner tube, which would typically hold the product, is much larger in diameter to protect particulates against damage and to prevent excessive pressure drops occurring with high viscosity medias.

The larger diameter inner tube does however make heat transfer less efficient due to the small amount of surface area in contact with the product. To improve these efficiency losses scraped surface heat exchangers are designed and fitted with an internal slowly rotating shaft with multiple scrapper blades. These scrapper blades are in contact with the inner tube’s walls and as they rotate, they move and agitate the fluid. This agitation helps generate a more even heat transfer improving the efficiency by mixing the product whilst still maintaining particle integrity and minimising pressure drops.

Additionally, the scraper blades can be used for sticky products or products which have tendencies to burn onto the walls of units as they help remove any residue from the outer tube wall and keeps the product circulating preventing a build up of media and preventing burn on.

There are 5 products available in the Contherm range: Contherm, Contherm HP, Contherm Core, Contherm Max and ConVap. The Standard Contherm is a vertically mounted unit and is the most common solution in the Contherm range. The Contherm HP and Contherm Core are horizontally mounted table solutions similar to the standard Contherm design but with the difference being Contherm HP is suitable for higher viscosity and higher-pressure applications whilst Contherm core is suited for medium viscosity products and less demanding duties. The Contherm Max is a double wall scraped surface solution to maximise the heating surface area and create a more efficient heating solution and is used in processes which typically require 3 or more standard Contherm’s to be fitted to achieve the thermal duty. Finally the ConVap is a scraped surface heat exchanger solution with a built in evaporation system to effectively concentrate products during production.

The typical applications where the Contherm range can be used are soups, sauces, caramels, baby foods, meaty slurry’s, humus’, salsas and many more processes across the hygienic fluid handling industry.

Depending on the product and duty requirements one or more Contherm’s may be fitted side by side to provide full fluid heat transfer for any process. The length or height of each Contherm can also be adjusted during configuration to suit the process needs and to fit to any space limitations customers may have.

The scrapper blades are fully interchangeable, serviceable and customisable for each product and process with options from Stainless steel to PTFE to metal detectable plastic materials.

The Contherm range is fully CIP ’able and options are available to conform to 3A, ASME and PED standards with additional Aseptic options where required. Contherm’s are fully serviceable with an extensive range of spare parts available for all models. To aid with servicing the Contherm units are supplied with a lifting arm to allow for safe and easy removal of the shaft from the housing to access all wearable parts.

Whilst a scraped surface heat exchanger may not be the first solution to think of for difficult duties, they have been proven to be an effective technology for heating and cooling in demanding processes and can help in improving production times by more effectively and efficiently heating or cooling products.

If you have any requirements for Scraped surface heat exchangers please give ITS A call and we will be happy to offer a solution for your process.


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Contherm Scraped Surface Heat Exchangers

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