[Case study] Heat exchangers made of 310L stainless steel for an adipic acid application
Barriquand designed and manufactured 3 Platular® heat exchangers in a rare material to retrieve calories on an existing installation of adipic processes for a world leader in chemistry.
Adding heat exchangers to recover energy
In this big international chemistry group’s Asian factory, the existing application already used coolers and heaters for adipic acid. This latter is used, among other things, in the manufacturing of synthetic fabrics (polyamides, nylon, polyester …).The project’s objective was to add 3 heat exchangers to recover calories stemming from hot acid to preheat fluids and therefore save some energy.
Very important materials constraints
The processes of obtaining of adipic acid require metallic catalysts and the intervention of concentrated and hot nitric acid. The fluids react in the presence of oxidizing materials and thus create an important inter-granular corrosion on stainless steel, in particular at the level of the welds and retention zones or badly irrigated areas of the units.
To overcome this risk as much as possible, our customer’s specifications imposed the use of refractory austenitic stainless steel or 310L (1.4335, specific for the nitric acid), a material considered as "exotic", unusual and relatively expensive to buy.
Following previous negative experiences of leaks in this kind of installation, the customer wanted a welded plate technology. Besides, the use of a tubular heat exchanger, in theory standard for this type of application, was not possible because of the thermal program and dimension constraints.
The Platular® to ally thermal performance and cleanability
We supplied three vertical Platular® all welded-plate heat exchangers in order to meet both the dimension and accessibility constraints; their functioning in monopass limits the number of retention zones.
As our customer desired, the units were designed in fairly thick stainless steel 310L so as to reduce the impact of the corrosion. They function, to date, very well.
Made in France, Barriquand’s Platular® heat exchanger has the peculiarity of being completely accessible on both sides and therefore easily washable, as demonstrated in this video:
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