Heat Exchanger


Alfa Laval is today a world leader within the key technology areas of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling. Our company was founded on a single brilliant invention and innovation remains at the heart of everything we do.

Energy, Environment and Food

With the vision of creating better everyday conditions for people, Alfa Laval has developed products since 1883. The world is increasingly focused on saving energy and protecting the environment. Alfa Laval is committed to those goals. Our products are involved in treating water, reducing carbon emissions and minimizing water and energy consumption, as well as heating, cooling, separating and transporting food. These areas represent the core of Alfa Laval’s expertise.

Heat exchanger downtime getting you down?

We have the solution

Already installed in industrial plants, worldwide for liquid-to-liquid and twophase duties, Alfa Laval spiral heat exchangers (SHEs), are real tough problem solvers that do not suffer from fouling and clogging – in fact, they almost never break down. As a result, maintenance costs are impressively low.

Can you rely on an SHE?

Yes, you can! Once you have experienced the reliability of an SHE, you will never look back. Alfa Laval SHEs are well-proven, robust, welded heat exchangers with surprisingly low maintenance requirements – they will give you complete peace of mind. Invest in an Alfa Laval SHE and you invest in world-class quality. We have produced more than 30,000 units for a wide variety of industries and customers all over the world. Many plants in your industry are already enjoying the financial benefits.

Savings beyond belief

With an SHE, intervals between cleaning are long due to a powerful self-cleaning effect. Depending on the application, an SHE can run for several years without opening, while in the same application an shell-and-tube would experience severe fouling. When it’s finally time for maintenance SHEs are considerably easier than shell-and-tubes to open and clean. The bottom line is substantial savings in terms of reducing downtime.

Energy savings due to waste heat recovery

Since Alfa Laval SHEs recover waste heat from your process, they offer substantially higher energy savings with lower capital expenditure than shelland-tube heat exchangers. The thermal efficiency of an SHE is two to three times higher than that of a comparable shell-and-tube unit. Valuable energy can be recycled for a wide range of uses, which benefits your bottom line. Another energy saving feature…an SHE will only use a portion of the pumping energy required by an shell-and-tube.


Spiral Heat Exchanger Type 1

Maximum heat recovery with counter-current flow

The Type 1 is a good choice when one, or both, fluids are fouling, due to its self-cleaning effect. Since the fluid flows continuously in one single channel the force of the fluid acts against any deposits, “pushing” them through the channel and out the other end. In a few cases Type 1 can be used as a condenser, for example when the cooling media is heavily fouling, or very close temperature approach is required (since the countercurrent configuration is thermally the most efficient).

The compact nature of the Type 1 spiral often allows several large shell-and-tubes units to be replaced by one single SHE, giving considerable infrastructure benefits in addition to the reduction in maintenance and cleaning activities. If, or when, the SHE needs cleaning, the covers can easily be removed and the SHE cleaned in-situ using a hydrojet.


Virtually no fouling and clogging

Reliable operation, maximum uptime

Easy to open and clean, low maintenance costs

Energy savings due to high heat recovery




Fouling liquids: containing solids, fibres, liquors, slurries and sludges.

Liquid/liquid: Preheating, heating, cooling, interchanging, heat recovery.

Spiral Heat Exchanger Type 2

Cross-flow condensing with lowest possible pressure drop

The Type 2 SHE is used for 2-phase duties, both condensing and evaporation (re-boiling). In this configuration the spiral is always in the vertical position. The compactness of the SHE and the fact that it is mounted vertically allows it to be installed with a very small footprint compared to the equivalent shell-and-tube unit and reduces supporting structures and piping complexity.

The Type 2 SHE has cross-flow rather than counter-current flow. Because of the good channel gap on the condensing side there is generally a very low pressure drop on the condensing circuit, therefore it is ideally suited to vacuum condensation duties. There are many different configurations of Type 2,


Low pressure drop is ideal for vacuum condensation

Reliable operation, maximum uptime

Low maintenance costs

Compact and easy to install.



Gases: pure vapour and mixtures with inert gases.

Vapour/liquid: Top condensers, reflux condensers, vacuum condensers, vent condensers, reboilers with fouling fluids, gas coolers.

Spiral Heat Exchanger Type 3


Two in one – cross-flow and counter-current paths in the same unit

The Type 3 SHE is often called a “steam heater” and has a mixture of Type 1 and Type 2 features. The main feature is that the liquid being heated by the steam is generally fouling, therefore the circuit is designed to be accessible for cleaning, which is not the case with the normal Type 2. In addition the counter-current nature of the Type 3 allows tighter temperature approaches than are achievable with the cross-flow nature of the Type 2.


Virtually no fouling and clogging

Reliable operation, maximum uptime

Easy to open and clean, low maintenance costs

Energy savings due to high heat recovery.



Fouling liquids: containing solids, fibres, liquors, slurries

and sludges requiring heating by steam.

Spiral Heat Exchanger Type 4

Column solutions

The Type 4 is an SHE integrated into a column, often as part of a distillation process. In most cases the spiral operates similarly to the Type 2 version, where the operation is in cross-flow and the open channel allows extremely low pressure drop in vacuum situations. Another extremely important feature and benefit is that the two fluids are never in physical contact so there is no cross-contamination, which often happens in traditional columns.

The SHE is always mounted vertically and the diameter of the spiral is the same as the diameter of the column in cases where several spirals are stacked in series. The efficiency of the SHE allows the column to be both shorter in height and smaller in diameter than traditional solutions, thus offering major savings in infrastructure and installation costs.


No contact between fluids means no contamination

Reliable operation, maximum uptime

Energy savings due to high heat recovery

Significant height and weight savings.



Vapour/liquid: Top condensers, reflux condensers, vacuum condensers, vent condensers.

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