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Mixed Gaskets for Plate Heat Exchangers

Your Plate Heat Exchanger (PHE) is experiencing a leak or clog, and you don't have the flexibility in your schedule to slow down production. While you can not continue to use a plate in this condition due to the risk of a differential leak, waiting for new materials to be purchased can be costly and lead to equipment downtime. What if there was a solution that used the materials you have on hand to fix that faulty gasket? Well, there is! This is referred to as a mixed gasket solution. This solution can also be used when working with fluids that are not compatible with your current gaskets.

Plate Design

When mixing gaskets, you must first understand the design of the plates themselves. There are two different corrugations in the plate pattern. These patterns are called H and V or F and G. Additionally, a plate can be rotated 180° to create a right and left hand plate. Here are the examples of the four possibilities of H and V plates:

Plate-Gasket-Types

 

Notice that the "hand" is referenced to the port which allows the fluid to flow on the plate surface. The first gasket is left hand H because the fluid flows from the left ports. Again, gaskets are symmetrical, therefore, they can be flipped 180°  to determine their orientation. The right hand H plate is simply the left hand H plate rotated. 

Gasket-Orientations 

Gasket Sections                      

Gasket-Sections

Gaskets have three sections: the periphery, bridge, and port. The port and bridge ensure that the flows are directed correctly through the unit. Additionally, the gap between the port and bridge is a section which allows exterior leakage prior to cross-contamination should a gasket fail in any of the two sections.

There are some instances in which the fluids are not compatible with the same gasket material, and in those cases, we can offer a mixed gasket solution. This can easily be achieved because of the three sections in the gasket.

Mixed Gasket Solution

Based on the nature of the flow design of a plate and frame heat exchanger, we know that the fluid, as it travels through the length of a plate, will only contact the periphery of material "A" in one plate and port of the same material "A" on the next. To achieve this sequence, we must cut the ports away from the periphery. Once cut, the gaskets can be mixed in order to provide each of the fluids with a compatible material. Depending on the model, gaskets can be either Loc-in or Glue-in.

 

Step 1: Select two gaskets to be mixed and remove them from the plates.

These two gaskets will be different materials that are compatible with different fluids. Keep in mind that left and right hand gaskets are the same gasket, except one has been rotated 180°

                               

Gasket-Material-Type

 

Step 2: Cut Ports Away from the Periphery

Periphery-and-Port-Material

Step 3: Mix the Gasket Sections 

 This provides each of the fluids with a compatible material

Mixing-Periphery-and-Port-Material

Step 4: Re-Attach Gaskets Onto the Plates

 Depending on the model, gaskets can be either loc-in or glue-in
Reattaching-Periphery-and-Port-Material

Reminder:

It is extremely important to know the flow pattern of the unit. As a standard, the hot fluid travels through ports 1 and 4 - the left hand side of the PHE - while the cold fluid travels through the right hand side. In other words, assuming a standard configuration, on a left hand plate, the periphery material must be compatible with hot fluid, while on the right hand plate, the ports must be of the same material as the periphery of the left hand plate.
 
To get more information or receive a same-day quote on plate heat exchanger parts, contact our heat transfer experts.

Topics: Heat Exchangers

About Paul Mueller Company Academy

Teaching and sharing ideas has long been part of the rich heritage at Paul Mueller Company. We have almost a century of quality craftsmanship guiding the way we apply new learnings. Paul Mueller Company Academy is a collection point for those learnings, so we can collaborate and grow more successful together. You will find articles, blogs, guides, infographics and more dedicated to furthering knowledge for all, in the world of stainless steel processing equipment solutions. We hope you enjoy!