Velocity Boundary Layer Analysis of a Flat Plate Heat Exchanger in Laminar Flow: A Case Study

  • M. Mirdrikvand Research Center of Petroleum University of Technology, Iran
  • B. Roozbehani Research Center of Petroleum University of Technology, Iran
  • S. I. Moqadam Research Center of Petroleum University of Technology, Iran
  • A. C. Roshan Research Center of Petroleum University of Technology, Iran
  • Y. Ramezani Petroleum University of Technology, Iran
Keywords: Flat Plate Heat Exchanger, wake, boundary layer, velocity, FLUENT, CFD


In this article, a behavioral analysis of velocity boundary layer in a flat plate heat exchanger in laminar flow condition through CFD simulation using FLUENT software is done. The main objective of this study is to determine the velocity vectors between the flat plates of the heat exchanger. In addition, wake occurrence, differences of velocity at different surfaces between plates, angles of velocity vectors and the effect of wake phenomenon on the shear stresses exerted on the plates are discussed in detail. The study graphically illustrates results based on fluid’s behavior by a 3D and 2D simulation with air and water as cold and hot streams that affect plate’s situation and its hydro dynamical operations. Consequently, some important design features regarding wake point occurrence and pressure loss are investigated. In addition, eddy current and reverse flows in the wake area and the angles of the velocity vectors are described.


Download data is not yet available.


K. Grijspeerdt, B. Hazarika, D. Vucinic, “Application of computational fluid dynamics to model the hydrodynamics of plate heat exchangers for milk processing”, Journal of Food Engineering, Vol. 57, No. 3, pp. 237–242, 2003

I. M. Afonso, L. Hes, J. M. Maia, L. F. Melo, “Heat transfer and rheology of stirred yoghurt during cooling in plate heat exchangers”, J. Food Eng., Vol. 57, pp. 179–187, 2003

W.W. Focke, J. Zachariades, I. Olivier, “The effect of the corrugation inclination angle on the thermohydraulic performance of plate heat exchangers”, Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, Vol. 28, No. 8, pp. 1469-1475, 1985

G. Zhang, M. Tian, S. Zhou, “Simulation and analysis of flow pattern in cross-corrugated plate heat exchangers”, Journal of Hydrodynamics Ser.B, Vol. 18. No. 5, pp. 547-551, 2006

J. A. W. Gut, J. M. Pinto, “Optimal configuration design for plate heat exchangers”, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 47, No. 22, pp. 4833–4848, 2004

B. P. Rao, P. K. Kumar, S. K. Das, “Effect of flow distribution to the channels on the thermal performance of a plate heat exchanger”, Chemical Engineering and Processing, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 49–58, 2002

F. A. Tereda, N. Srihari, S. K. Das, B. Sunden. “Experimental study on port to channel flow distribution of plate heat exchangers”, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Enhanced, Compact and Ultra-Compact Heat Exchangers, pp. 208–214, USA, 2005

M. V. De Bonis, G. Ruocco, “Conjugate fluid flow and kinetics modeling for heat exchanger fouling simulation”, International Journal of Thermal Sciences, Vol. 48, No. 10, pp. 2006–2012, 2009

X. H. Han, L. Q. Cui, S. J. Chen, G. M. Chen, Q. Wang, “A numerical and experimental study of chevron, corrugated-plate heat exchangers”, International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 37. No. 8, pp. 1008–1014, 2010

J. Ding, R. M. Manglik, “Analytical solutions for laminar fully developed flows in double-sine shaped ducts”, Heat Mass Trans., Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 269–277, 1996

J. C. Leuliet, J. F. Maingonnat, M. Lalande, “Thermal behaviour of plate heat exchangers with Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids”, in: Proceedings Congres Eurotherm 5 et 1er Colloque TIFAN, Compiegne, pp. 1–15, 1988

J.C. Leuliet, J .F. Maingonnat, M. Lalande, “Etude de la perte de charge dans des echangeurs de chaleur a plaques traitant des produits non-newtoniens”, Rev. G en. Therm., Vol. 308–309, pp. 445–450, 1987

F. Delplace, J. C. Leuliet, “Generalized Reynolds number for the flow of power law fluids in cylindrical ducts of arbitrary cross-section”, The Chemical Engineering Journal and The Biochemical Engineering Journal, Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 33–37, 1995

M. M. A. Bhutta, N. Hayat, M. H. Bashir, A. R. Khan, K. N. Ahmad, S. Khan, “CFD applications in various heat exchangers design: A review”, Applied Thermal Engineering, Vol. 32, pp. 1-12, 2012

G. Taylor, “Dispersion of soluble matter in solvent flowing slowly through a tube”, Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. A, Vol. 219, No. 1137, pp. 186–203, 1953

B. Xia, D. –W. Sun, “Applications of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in the food industry: a review”, Computers and Eletronics in Agriculture, Vol. 34, pp. 5–24, 2002

S. Jain, A. Joshi, P. K. Bansal, “A new approach to numerical simulation of small sized plate heat exchangers with chevron plates”, Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 129, No. 3, pp. 291-297, 2007

M. A. Mehrabian, R. Poulter, “Hydrodynamics and thermal characteristics of corrugated channels: computational approach”, Appl. Math. Modell., Vol. 24, No. 5-6, pp. 343–364, 2000

M. Ciofalo, J. Stasiek, M. W. Collins, “Investigation of flow and heat transfer in corrugated passages—II. Numerical simulation”, Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 165–192, 1996

POLYFLOW 3.9 User’s Guide, Fluent Inc., Lebanon, USA, 2001


Abstract Views: 260
PDF Downloads: 111

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share