Heat exchangers are devices that transfer heat in order to achieve desired heating or cooling. An important design aspect of heat exchanger technology plate heat exchangers design applications and performance pdf the selection of appropriate materials to conduct and transfer heat fast and efficiently. Copper has many desirable properties for thermally efficient and durable heat exchangers.
First and foremost, copper is an excellent conductor of heat. This means that copper’s high thermal conductivity allows heat to pass through it quickly. Other desirable properties of copper in heat exchangers include its corrosion resistance, biofouling resistance, maximum allowable stress and internal pressure, creep rupture strength, fatigue strength, hardness, thermal expansion, specific heat, antimicrobial properties, tensile strength, yield strength, high melting point, alloyability, ease of fabrication, and ease of joining. The combination of these properties enable copper to be specified for heat exchangers in industrial facilities, HVAC systems, vehicular coolers and radiators, and as heat sinks to cool computers, disk drives, televisions, computer monitors, and other electronic equipment.
Copper is also incorporated into the bottoms of high-quality cookware because the metal conducts heat quickly and distributes it evenly. Non-copper heat exchangers are also available.
Some alternative materials include aluminium, carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, and titanium. This article focuses on beneficial properties and common applications of copper in heat exchangers. New copper heat exchanger technologies for specific applications are also introduced. Heat exchangers using copper and its alloys have evolved along with heat transfer technologies over the past several hundred years.
Copper condenser tubes were first used in 1769 for steam engines. Initially, the tubes were made of unalloyed copper. Zn brass alloy, was used for condensers in seawater cooling.