2023 VAALER Award
CG Thermal is named as a 2023 VAALER Award winner citing their innovation, development, and design of novel material PPS-GR for heat exchangers in harsh and corrosive process streams.
Chemical Processing has been presenting the Vaaler Awards every two years for over half a century! These prestigious awards acknowledge products with the potential to bring substantial enhancements to plant operations and economic performance in the chemical processing industry. The 2023 awards considered entries that had been successfully introduced into the United States market between May 2021 and June 2023.
These accolades are named in honor of John C. Vaaler (1899–1963), who served as the Chairman of Chemical Processing’s Editorial Board from 1961 until his passing. He assumed the role of editor-in-chief for the publication in 1946, following an impressive 24-year career in the chemical and related industries.
“An impartial panel judged the entries. It consisted of the members of Chemical Processing’s Editorial Board — a group of technical professionals with diverse responsibilities and from a variety of industry sectors. The panel scored all entries on three criteria: technical significance; novelty or uniqueness; and breadth of applicability.” – Chemical Processing
Development, design, and purpose.
The novel material PPS-GR is the result of two companies combining their unique perspectives and innovation in materials and heat transfer technologies. CG Thermal was in pursuit of design enhancements for graphite heat exchangers to maximize ease of maintenance while minimizing downtime and related costs. These enhancements also needed to provide the corrosion resistance of graphite with a more forgiving design for the typical chemical processing industry environment. Meanwhile, Technoform, an experienced high-performance polymer extruder, sought to provide their expertise to produce a highly corrosion-resistance heat transfer solution. The partnership resulted in the development of the Impervite PPS-GR shell and tube sheet exchanger.
The PPS-GR tubes received ASME Part UIG certification on January 21, 2022. Additionally, the first Impervite PPS-GR Shell and Tube were put into operation in November of 2022.
Significance to chemical plants
For high-producing chemical plants, unplanned downtime can be detrimental to productivity. In addition to its robust design and resilience to thermal shock, the reduction of potential fouling provided by the PPS-GR tubes reduces the frequency of maintenance shutdowns and unplanned field maintenance. Additionally, when field service is required, the PPS-GR features an innovative tubesheet design that allows for a single tube to be removed for repair or replacement. Most repairs can be quickly completed on-site, within one shift change. Furthermore, with increased demand for graphite in other markets, PPS-GR offers an alternative with potential for both CAPEX and OPEX reduction.
CG Thermal awarded a United States Patent on the revolutionary XD tubesheet
Furthermore, the Impervite® PPS-GR tubes can be used with the US Patented XD Tubesheet. This patented technology allows for pressures up to 150 psig at 400F, and features the self-contained elastomeric sealing system for superior ease of maintenance.
The Impervite PPS-GR heat exchanger is designed for ease of maintenance and reliability.
- The graphite composite tubes have corrosion resistance similar to traditional graphite
- Their smooth extruded surface resists fouling.
- The heat exchanger has very good thermal shock resistance with an individual tube-to-tubesheet seal which allows each tube to expand independently to eliminate stresses.
- This sealing arrangement also allows for the replacement of an individual tube, so the unit can be quickly maintained or repaired on-site.
In total, the PPS-GR heat exchanger extends the thermal and operational efficiency of a graphite heat exchanger.
Potential breadth of application within the chemical industry
Testing with various chemical reagents continues and the results continue to prove PPS-GR possesses the corrosion resistance of traditional graphite with improvements in serviceability, thermal shock, and fouling resistance. Wherever graphite is being utilized, PPS-GR should be considered as a reliable, cost-effective alternative.