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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 6 Issue 1 (2001) pp 15-20

Assembly of a Thin-Falling-Film Exchanger for Laboratory Demonstrations: Calculation of the Individual Heat-Transfer Coefficient

Carmen Moraga, Manuel Carmona, and Antonio Durán*

Department of Chemical Engineering. ETSII. University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. Camilo José Cela 3. 13071. Ciudad Real (Spain)
Received July 17, 2000. Accepted October 17 2000

Published online: 15 December 2000

Abstract. Thin-film exchangers have a large heat-transfer area per unit liquid volume that make them very efficient for industrial use. Unfortunately, they are usually less applied for education purposes. In this work, a simple experimental device with a fluid flowing as a falling film has been assembled. In addition, an experimental guide allows students to determine the individual heat-transfer coefficient in the exchanger.

The experimental setup consists of two pipes bundled as a shell-and-tube heat exchanger. The cold liquid flows in the form of a thin film that runs down inside the inner tube; the hot liquid flows down concurrently in the external one.

In order to test the operation of the device, experimental results are given for a simple test with water. Heat-transfer coefficients are calculated and a theoretical correlation obtained from the literature is compared with the experimental results. In addition, a fit of the data allows for the formulation of a new empirical equation for the transient regime.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; chemical engineering; physical chemistry; thin-film exchangers

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: February 1, 2001

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