Technical information - Compabloc heat exchanger

Alfa Laval is the only supplier of bloc-type heat exchangers with more than eight decades of experience developing heat transfer technology. All of that expertise has gone into making Compabloc the unrivalled champion of heat exchange – with unique innovations that set it apart from the rest.

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How does Compabloc work

Sitting at the core of every Compabloc is a stack of corrugated heat-transfer plates made of stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant materials, laser welded alternately to form channels.

The hot and the cold streams flow through alternate channels. Corrugated plates cause high turbulence, resulting in substantially higher heat transfer efficiency with a 50–80% smaller heat transfer area than comparable shell-and-tubes. Flow turbulence also reduces the build-up of fouling. The Compabloc’s unique plate design eliminates dead zones in the heat exchanger.

The two flows in a Compabloc can be configured as single pass, or as multiple pass by using baffles. The number of passes on the hot and cold side can be chosen independently, making it possible to optimize heat transfer even if flow rates on the different sides differ greatly. This unique flexibility means the Compabloc is always optimized for exactly the required duty. The baffles are made to withstand full vacuum, and can be rearranged if design conditions are changed in the future.

Compabloc units have a counter-current flow and can operate with a crossing temperature program (in a single unit), where the temperature approach is as close as 3°C (5.4°F), maximizing energy recovery. The small size and light weight makes it possible to install Compablocs anywhere, for instance at the top of distillation columns or suspended from support structures.

Alfa Laval Compabloc welded plate heat exchanger exploded view

Compabloc - Condenseur à passage unique

Compabloc - Condenseur à 2 passages

Compabloc - Liquide à liquide

Compabloc - Rebouilleur


Compabloc unique features


Alfa Laval Compabloc with C-weld enables superior cleaning and extended performance
Superior cleaning and extended performance 

Alfa Laval manufactures the Compabloc plate pack using advanced laser welding with a butt-to-butt weld joint technique known as C-Weld. This eliminates crevices or “dead zones” common in other bloc-type heat exchangers, where fouling can build up, leading to corrosion and failure.

The use of laser welding and the C-Weld joint design further ensure higher reliability than conventional weld techniques, such as lap weld joints or TIG welding, which are far more susceptible to mechanical stress and failure. The end result is increased reliability and serviceability for maximum uptime.


Alfa Laval Compabloc with SmartClean for fast and efficient flushing of fouling material
Fast and efficient flushing of fouling material 

Alfa Laval’s C-Weld manufacturing method creates open channels around all the edges of plates in the Compabloc plate pack. During mechanical or chemical cleaning, as well as in the course of regular operation, any fouling that occurs will move along the heat transfer surface and flow freely out of these channels at the plate boundary. This SmartClean design makes it possible to fully clean every plate in the unit, returning the Compabloc to like-new performance after maintenance.

The SmartClean channels, impossible on bloc-type heat exchangers manufactured with edge welding, makes regular cleaning of the Compabloc both simple and quick.


Confident, long-term performance under pressure with Alfa Laval Compabloc +Seal
Confident, long-term performance under pressure 

Unlike traditional flat gasket designs, +Seal introduces the first fully confined graphite gasket in a bloc-type heat exchanger. This prevents the risk of media leaks at pressures as high as 60 bar, simplifies maintenance, and protects against overtightening and creeping.

This is part of our revolutionary new Compabloc+ and is the secret to reaching higher design pressures without compromising on safety.



Alfa Laval Compabloc with Xore - advanced design for higher pressures
Advanced design for higher pressures 

Compabloc plates feature a one-of-a-kind pattern with “half-pyramids” equally distributed across the plate in an X-shaped pattern. This adds rigidity that increases mechanical strength for superior resistance to elongation forces common in high-pressure applications. With this cleanable XCore pattern, certain Compabloc models can handle pressures up to 42 barg without compromising thermal performance.


Alfa Laval Compabloc XCore


6 considerations for your selection process

Discover the plate heat exchanger benefits of Alfa Laval Compabloc

Fiabilité éprouvée

Les clients choisissent Compabloc Alfa Laval pour une raison simple. Il fonctionne, et les plus de 30 000 unités livrées en sont la preuve. Nos solutions techniques et de fabrication éprouvées garantissent une grande fiabilité et une longue durée de vie. De nombreux Compabloc qui fonctionnent en continu depuis des décennies livrent encore des performances de pointe.

Une solution pour améliorer la durabilité

L'efficacité thermique élevée de Compabloc conduit à une meilleure récupération de chaleur, à une consommation de combustible plus faible et à une réduction des émissions de CO2 dans le cadre de leur utilisation pour la récupération de chaleur.

Coût amorti en quelques mois

Grâce à sa haute efficacité énergétique et à ses faibles coûts d'installation et d'entretien, Compabloc offre un amortissement beaucoup plus court que d'autres technologies, telles que les échangeurs de chaleur tubulaires ou autres types d'échangeurs de chaleur à plaques soudées. Le coût de l'équipement est souvent amorti en quelques mois.

Augmentation de la production et réduction des coûts d'installation

Les goulots d'étranglement liés au chauffage ou au refroidissement peuvent souvent être résolus avec des échangeurs de chaleur plus efficaces. La taille compacte du Compabloc permet davantage de performances dans le même espace ou de libérer de l'espace pour d'autres types d'équipements. Cela signifie également des coûts d'installation plus faibles.

Ready for any duty

Compabloc is available in a wide range of sizes and is custom made to fit the specific operating and installation conditions. It can be made in virtually any material that can be pressed and welded.

Simplified maintenance for higher performance

Minimized fouling allows Compabloc to operate with cleaning intervals substantially longer than traditional heat exchangers, reducing lifetime maintenance costs. It is also the only welded heat exchanger where all channels, both hot and cold, can be fully cleaned using a hydro jet, bringing performance back to 100% after every cleaning.



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