Why would thermoplastics —rather poor conductors, or good insulators, depending on your perspective — even be considered a feasible material for heat exchangers? The answer becomes apparent when you realize that their design features minimize the insulating effect of the materials of construction. These two advantages make thermoplastic heat exchangers worth considering for many corrosive metal processing applications as well as high purity applications for pharmaceutical and other industries.
Thermoplastic heat exchangers commonly are manufactured from polyethylene, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and several PFA derivatives, all of which offer excellent chemical resistance. Because the internal tubing is smooth compared to most metals, plastic heat exchangers are advantageous in terms of low fouling characteristics during operation. They are suited for plating/metal processing, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, energy and power, and high-purity applications.