Working principle and design of Packinox+ heat exchangers

There are several key technologies you should know about when it comes to choosing the right Packinox+ for your processes. Our products are available in both plate-and-shell and plate-and-frame models. Both of these configurations are packed with state-of-the-art heat transfer technology, perfect for demanding process applications. Read on to find out how it works.

Plate pack

The core of a Packinox+ is a fully welded pack of heat transfer plates. This is where the heat transfer takes place as the hot and cold streams flow in alternate channels between the plates, and in opposite directions. The counter-current flow maximizes heat transfer and makes it possible to operate with crossing temperatures in a single unit. The plate corrugation causes high turbulence in the media, resulting in maximum heat transfer and low fouling.

Watch this animation to see how Packinox heat exchangers work.

Asymmetric flows

By adjusting the distance between the plates, a Packinox+ can be optimized for asymmetric flows, making it suitable for use in a wide range of applications.

Multi-stream flows

A Packinox+ heat exchanger can also be configured to operate with more than two flows, meaning several media can be heated or cooled simultaneously. Each flow can have an individual number of channels and the channel gap can differ for the different media.

Plate-and-shell configuration

In a Packinox+ plate-and-shell heat exchanger, the plate pack is positioned inside a cylindrical pressure vessel. This design makes it possible to operate at much higher pressures than traditional plate heat exchangers. The only limiting factors are the differential pressure between the two streams, which can be up to 70 bar, and the total design pressure of the pressure vessel.


Learn more about the plate-and-shell configuration

Exploded view of a Packinox heat exchanger

Spray Bar

A Packinox+ plate-and-shell heat exchanger is also the ideal choice for certain gas-gas applications where a liquid is injected into the cold gas stream and is vapourised as it travels through the heat exchanger.

With Alfa Laval’s unique and patented Spray Bar system, the liquid is spread evenly into the gas stream just as it enters the plate pack, resulting in a much more homogenous mixture and vaporisation compared to premixing the liquid and the gas in the feed tube, as is commonly done when using shell-and-tube heat exchangers.

Another benefit is that the required flow of cold gas can be much lower with a Spray Bar system if compared to premixing the liquid in the feed tube. Spray Bar is only available with the plate-and-shell configuration.

Learn more about Spray Bar and other unique features

Packinox plate-and-shell spray bar.png

Plate-and-frame configuration

The plate-and-frame version of Alfa Laval Packinox has no pressure shell. It is suitable for applications where the extra pressure and temperature resistance provided by the shell is not required.

The overlapping welds on two of the sides of the plate pack form solid walls. The other two walls are reinforced with frame panels, held together by tie rods. This design allows an Alfa Laval Packinox plate-and-frame heat exchanger to be operated at pressures up to 70 bar.


Learn more about the plate-and-frame configuration


A Packinox plate-and-frame heat exchanger can be configured to operate with more than two flows, meaning several media can be heated or cooled simultaneously.