Why are fluoropolymers are used for the construction of industrial heat exchangers?

Right now, we are in the middle of summer, so heat is probably on your mind. Heat exchangers exist in all sorts of applications. Your heating system might use a metal heat exchanger to transfer heat. This could mean it’s made of carbon and stainless steel, copper, aluminum, or another metal. Low temperature plastic may also be used in the construction of the heat exchanger in a heating system. In general, there is not a major concern for corrosion or contamination in these heating systems so metal heat exchangers can be used without much regard to the consequences.

Fluoropolymer-based Heat Exchanger

However, as we explain in our new white paper, heat exchangers used for industrial applications are highly susceptible to corrosion, and they must be constructed with fluoropolymers. The truth is that metal heat exchangers won’t last very long to corrosive acids. In addition to that, because metal heat exchangers can corrode, they are not suitable in applications where purity is of utmost importance.

We argue that fluoropolymer heat exchangers must be used in these and other scenarios for the following reasons:

  • They are corrosion-resistant and will last much longer than metal in corrosive environments.
  • They are able to handle bath temperatures up to 310°F.
  • Regarding heating mediums, fluoropolymers can withstand steam at pressures up to 80 psig.
  • In applications where purity matters, fluoropolymers are used because they are ultra-pure. They have strong chemical inertness, so chemicals won’t be contaminated by the fluoropolymer tubing. They are unreactive to a majority of chemicals.

Fluoropolymer immersion heat exchangers have been around since the 1960s, but they were not used for industrial applications until much later. Today, fluoropolymer immersion heat exchangers are used for chemical processing, mining, metal plating, ore processing, and many other industrial applications.

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