What is needed for a heat exchanger to meet the challenges of ultra-high purity applications?

A lot, actually. Engineers have continually fine-tuned heat exchangers over the past several decades to better serve the bioprocessing industry as specified by BPE codes, CGMP regulations, and other standards. Here are 16 basic elements of sanitary heat exchanger design and manufacture:

  1. Shell-and-tube design – Eliminates drainage impediments found in plate-and-frame designs.
  2. Double tubesheets – Greatly decreases the possibility of cross-contamination between shell and tube media.
  3. HydroSwage® sealing of tubes into tubesheets – Prevents excessive tube-wall thinning and spiral stress created by mechanical tube rolling.
  4. Tube-end seal welds – Prevent accumulation of foreign materials in crevices between the tubes and tubesheet.
  5. 2° overall slope toward outlet; no low points or impediments – Provides enhanced drainability.
  6. Fully radiused pass pockets – Allow pass-pocket drainability despite the two-degree slope of the heat exchanger.
  7. Drain channels between pass pockets – Allow upper pass-pockets to drain to the heat-exchanger drain point.
  8. Leak detection slots – FDA-required visual indicator of a breach in a tube-to-tubesheet seal.
  9. 316L stainless steel or higher alloy (AL6XN, Hastelloy®, etc.) – Provides corrosion resistance.
  10. <20 micro-inch Ra product-contact-surface finish – Reduces potential for biofilm buildup.
  11. Electro-polishing – Provides a deeper passive (corrosion-resistant) layer than simple passivation.
  12. Welds polished flush and blended – Reduces areas of potential contaminant buildup.
  13. Seamless tubing – Eliminates potential for inclusions in welded-tube welds.
  14. Special tube-bending dies – Prevent surface disruption of U-tube interiors.
  15. Material not sourced from China, India, Eastern Europe, etc. – Ensures quality steel.
  16. No processing of carbon steel in the same shop as stainless steel – Prevents risk of embedding carbon steel into stainless steel during manufacturing operations, which can create a nucleus for corrosion.

On Friday, July 31st, Allegheny Bradford Corporation closed the sale of its Top Line division to Steel & O’Brien Manufacturing of Arcade, New York. Dan McCune, President and CEO of Allegheny Bradford states, “This is a win/win opportunity for both businesses, allowing Steel & O’Brien to expand its presence in the flow control technologies industry while Allegheny Bradford focuses all its energy and resources on the opportunities developing in the Bio-Pharmaceutical industry.” He adds, “Allegheny Bradford is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the developing US policy of on-shoring America’s medical supply chain.”

Over the next couple of months, the Top Line operations will be integrated into the Steel & O’Brien operations, which will create much needed manufacturing floor space for Allegheny Bradford. This sale, along with the changing business environment and the Allegheny Bradford’s ongoing process improvement programs, gives the Corporation the ability to excel in coming years.

Allegheny Bradford Corporation is a fabricator of sanitary, code stamped pressure vessels and systems worldwide.