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Compabloc Instruction Manual

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B

1 Description 3
1.1 General description & main components 3
1.2 Function & duty 5
1.3 PED/Risk Analysis 6
2 Installation 6
2.1 General Requirements & precautions 6
2.2 Installation 7
2.3 Lifting 10
3 Operation 11
3.1 Before start up 11
3.2 Start up 11
3.3 Unit in operation 13
3.4 Shutdown 13
3.5 Re-start up 13
4 Maintenance 14
4.1 Chemical cleaning 14
4.2 Mechanical cleaning 15
5 Trouble shooting 24
5.1 Leak detection 24
5.2 Control system 25
6 Duty summary with Compabloc 26
7 Notes 28
8 Trouble shooting questionnaire 29

How to contact Alfa Laval

Contact details for all countries
Except for this instruction manual, at least
are continually updated on our website
a setting plan or complete drawing should
be in possession of the end user.
Please visit www.alfalaval.com and
contact your local representative.

This Instruction Manual IM-001 Rev. B is based on the IM-001 Rev. A with additional information.
It takes into account the CPL range, laser welded units with improved plate profile.
It takes into account the PED requirements, which are applicable only for new equipments.
After installation, be aware of National rules for eventual repair or modifications and periodical

Scope of applications
CP units (TIG welded with highly cleanable plate profile),
CPL units (laser welded with new plate profile)
CPK (laser welded with highly cleanable plate profile) and
HCP units (hygienic design).
• Standard Normal range: CP15, CP20, CPL30, CPK40, CPL50 & CPK50, CPL75 & CPK75
• Standard Hygienic range: HCP15, HCP20, HCPL30 & HCPK40
• On request and old models: CP30, CP40, CP50 & CP75

In this manual is used, unless specified otherwise, the generic name of the family (CP) and not the type or model
name (CPK, CPL).

Please note that there is a complete interchangeability between CP, CPL & CPK
blocks (and only the block, not the platepack) e.g. a CPL block can replace
without any modification a CP block.

2 Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B English

Compabloc Instruction Manual
Description 1
1 Description

1.1 General description & main components

Compabloc is a welded plate heat exchanger without interplate gaskets allowing a large heat transfer area in a
very compact space.
It is designed and manufactured, as a standard, with the following “Pressure Vessel Codes”: ASME VIII Div.1
with design pressure up to 30 barg (440 psig)-depending on models and materials -and design temperature of
-29/+350°C (-20/+660°F).
PED (CE Marking, based on AD 2000 as standard Pressure Vessel code) with standard type approval for design
pressure up to 30 barg-depending on models and materials -and design temperature established for -10/+300°C
and -40 /+200 °C.
CPL50 & CPL75 models, in 316L & assimilated material, can be designed up to 38 barg (with special graphite
gaskets), Design & Manufacture of Compabloc is made as per Quality System Management according to
ISO 9001:2000 (Registration Number 950328).

Note! For each model, design pressures and temperatures are marked on the type plate.
Those must not be exceeded during operations.
Make sure that the PED category matches your operating conditions.

Compabloc is made from stacks of welded plate packs inserted in a rigid rectangular bolted frame for
mechanical strength and the separation of the various circuits. Each circuit can be fitted with a detachable
baffle plate assembly.
Only 4 panel gaskets are installed, as indicated on the bursted view Page 4 Figure 3.

Four carbon-steel panels fitted with nozzles enable the connection of the pipework. Optionally, these
panels can be lined with the same materialas the plates themselves. The plates, baffle plates and panels
linings can be made from stainless steel 316L, titanium, Hastelloy, etc...

Figure 1 Plate pack cross-section Figure 2 Plate pack assembly

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 3

1 Description Compabloc Instruction Manual

• PTFE sheets: starting October 2004, a PTFE is installed between the Carbon Steel heads and the end plates.
As a consequence each unit includes 2 PTFE sheets (top & bottom heads) which have the purpose to avoid
eventual corrosion between the heads and end plates, but also to minimize the friction between the CS and
stainless or alloys parts.

• Baffle system
In case of risk of water hammer or very viscous product, reinforced baffle system must be installed. (see baffle
section 4.2.5)

• Painted panels
In order to avoid rust, the inner face of unlined panels is painted with the same primer paint system as the outside.
Make sure the fluids you use are compatible with the paint system. Otherwise lined panels or unpainted panels
have to be used.

• Vents & drains

CP15, CP20, CP30 and CP40 are provided with nozzles located as low and high as possible acting as vents and
drains, thus allowing a complete draining and venting of the units. They are self-venting and self draining. As this is
not possible for CP50 and CP78, flanged vents and drains are installed on the panels (3/8”NPT or 1” flanged vents
and drains) and should always be piped to the draining and venting circuits with valves, allowing
the possibility of draining and venting when necessary. Regarding venting, we strongly recommand the valve to
be always open, allowing a continuous and permanent self-venting installed on the Compabloc. Our guarantee
may become void if the vents are not connected, especially when streams are generating gases with the fluids
(gas release). This is the case in most feed/bottom heat recovery where the cold stream generally releases a lot
of trapped gas or air.

Figure 3 Compabloc bursted view





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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Description 1
1.2 Function & duty

Compabloc is a heat exchanger used for heating or cooling, with or without heat recovery, steam heater,
condenser, 2 pass process condenser, reflux condneser, reboiler, gas cooler etc...(see end of the Manual)
Each of those duties requires a specific installation and the installation must be in conformity with the thermal
data sheet and the quote/general assembly drawing of the unit.

Note! Unless specifically designed to do so, exchangers will not operate under
vacuum and will not operate empty. If necessary, a vacuum relief valve should
be installed. In case of Full Vacuum operation or possibility, make sure your
Compabloc has been designed for Full Vacuum (FV design).

• Pressure and temperature limits

Never run the exchanger at higher pressures and/or lower or higher temperatures than those indicated
on the type plate.

• Continuous & cyclical duty

With TIG and laser welds, Compabloc has been designed for continuous and rather constant duty,
ie stable operating conditions. Compabloc should not be used in case of high cyclical duty, especially
when many sudden and brutal temperature changes with high amplitude (above 150 °C).
High cyclical duty (temperature and/or pressure) can create fatigue leading to a reduced lifetime of
the unit. In case of doubt, please consult us (see also Start up section 3.2)

• Operating pressures
Unlike most of heat exchangers, Compabloc must have a minimum differential pressure around 2 bars
between the operating pressures of each circuit. An identical operating pressure on both circuit would
make the plate pack acts like an accordion, and therefore creating fatigue with the risk of a decreased
By and large, the bigger the differential pressure between the 2 circuits the better, in the range of the
design pressures!

• Flowrate
Minimum flow rate is 20 % of the design flow rate indicated on the thermal data sheet. In the case of exchangers
with steam, super heated water or thermal fluid entering the hot circuit, it is necessary to maintain a minimum 20 %
flow rate in the cold circuit (controls and adjustments must be set to take this flow rate into account). A cold circuit
flow rate stop may lead to a partial spraying and a recondensation. When the operation is frequently repeated, the
exchanger could damage itself and its environment.

• Corrosion risk
The material of the parts in contact with the fluids has been specified or choosen based on a given data supplied
by the customer (fluid, composition, temperature). Should the fluids and operating temperatures going through
the unit being different of those specified in the data sheet, it is customer’s responsability to ensure that there is no
corrosion risk. Special attention must be given to the chloride content of the streams, as this is a frequent cause of
corrosion on Stainless Steel materials. If the fluids and working temperature are different of the specified ones in the
data sheet, contact Alfa Laval for material validation.

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2 Installation Compabloc Instruction Manual

1.3 PED/Risk Analysis

All units delivered in EEC are potentially following the PED (Pressure European Directive) with a level of risk
depending on many parameters such as:
• Nature of the fluid (gas, liquid, steam, fluid vapour pressure)
• Danger level of the fluid
• Design Pressure
• Volume of each circuit
• Design temperature
Those parameters will determine a PED Category to which is linked a risk analysis as per the PED.
Make sure that the category of your unit matches what it has been planned for.

2 Installation

2.1 General Requirements & precautions

• To allow maintenance and inspection, we recommend leaving a 50 to 60 cm (19 to 24”) wide space all around the
Compabloc unit to facilitate panel dismantling. At the top of the exchanger, it is necessary to have a 100 cm (40’’) in
free space to allow the possible setting of a panel-handling device.
• Follow good engineering practice both in the design and operation of the plant. Take appropriate precautions to
avoid hydraulic shocks (water hammer), thereby exceeding the design pressure of the equipment (see Start up
section 3.2).
• The connecting pipework should be provided with valves in order to isolate the unit. Valves are essential between
any pump and the Compabloc.
• All valves should have a slow valve action. Flow rates should be increased slowly and gradually during start up and
reduced gradually during shut down.
• Do not use piston-type pumps. For positive displacement pumps a pressure relief by-pass line including a time-
controlled valve with slow action is recommended. Other precautions used include adjustable speed pumps, pump
shut-off by pressure-controlled switches, pressure-relief clocks, ascending pipes and rupture discs.
• When specifying pumps and heat exchangers, allow ample margins for pressure drop increases above stated
design values. These are the results of possible variations in fluid properties, flow rates, scaling or deposits on the
heat transfer surfaces.
• When using live steam as heating medium, provide a steam trap, preferably with automatic venting of non-
• Make a random check of the torques of the panels bolting before insulating the unit (see para 3.1 for more details)
and piping it.

The figure 4 on page 8 illustrates a typical Vertical Compabloc installation.

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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Installation 2
2.2 Installation

• Pipework
No specific precautions need to be taken when connecting the exchangers. However, if the connection pipework
includes long, straight runs, it is essential to insert the correct bends, and expansion members and to position the
pipe supports at a maximum 2 meters (72 in) distance from the unit (see “maximum allowable stresses and strains
in and on the nozzles” in section 3).

• Venting & draining

As specified in section 1.1, it is a must for the CP50 & CP75 range, which have separate welding neck vents and
drains, to have at least a permanent venting of the cold circuit (the one which is heated up) in order to allow a
proper gas release, preventing the gas released to be trapped inside the unit. A typical way to have the unit self
vented in shown on figure 4 bis.

• Section cut-off valves

The four-exchanger unit section cut-off valves should be positioned in such a way as to enable the panels to
be dismantled without having to remove the valves.
Valves must be kept in good working order. We recommend the use of globe or butterfly valves.

• Filters
If the service conditions requires, or if the fluid is particle laden, install a 3 mm (1/8”) maximum filter mesh (2 mm
(1/12”) for CP15), upstream from the exchanger.

• Connections/nozzles
All connections/nozzles are marked and should be piped accordingly. In case of doubt, check with the arrangement

Controls and adjustments

To prevent water hammers and brutal shocks, valves must be opened gradually.
The adjustments and controls, as well as the process used in the circuit must be studied with care to avoid
any thermal or mechanical stresses during the start up and transitory operating phases.

Note! Always use real control valves with a PID system, set up at the maximum
proportionnal range. Avoid operating periods with only one circuit in

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2 Installation Compabloc Instruction Manual

Figure 4 Typical Vertical Compabloc Installation

Figure 4 Typical Vertical Compabloc installation







Figure 4 big


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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Installation 2
• Maximum allowable nozzle loads
Standard allowable loads an moments (valid for set in carbon steel, lined carbon steel and solid stainless steel

ND Model
N N Nm Nm
25 500 500 80 40 All

40 800 800 180 100 All

50 1200 1200 320 160 All

80 2000 2000 600 300 All

100 2800 2800 1500 740 All

150 5400 5400 3200 1600 All

200 8800 8800 9000 4400 CP20 to CP75

250 11600 11600 15200 7600 CP30 to CP75

300 14000 14000 24000 12000 CP40 to CP75

350 16000 16000 32000 16000 CP50 to CP75

400 18200 18200 41000 22500 CP50 to CP75

450 20000 20000 48000 30000 CP50 to CP75

500 21500 21500 55000 36000 CP75

600 24000 24000 63000 43000 CP75

Those standard loads & moments are designed to ensure nozzles and nozzle welds integrity and include a safety
factor for the exchanger stability. For specific case, please consult us.

Figure 5 Reference axis

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2 Installation Compabloc Instruction Manual

2.3 Lifting

The exchangers must only be moved by means of the lifting rings or of the lifting lugs supplied with the unit.

Note! The nozzles must never be used for handling purposes.

Figure 6 Lifting Vertical Compabloc unit

• Vertical Compabloc
Ring and lugs are located on the top.

• Horizontal Compabloc
Lift the exchanger using two soft slings fixed on the lifting lugs as indicated

CP50 and CP75

Use the two lugs located on the bases. For a CP75 unit fitted with more than 400 plates,
we advise the use of af lifting beam.

Figure 7 Lifting Horizontal Compabloc unit

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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Operation 3
3 Operation

3.1 Before start up (& before eventual insulation)

Check of panels bolts torque

Before start up, make sure the unit is correctly installed and make a random check of the tightening torques of
the panels bolts as per the values in the paragraph to be sure that no panels untightening (with loose bolts
as a consequence) took place during transportation or storage. In case where the torque values are below the
recommended ones, it is must to retighten the bolting with an appropriate torque wrench before starting up the

Personal protection
Make sure the unit has a personal protection (a grid is generally enough) or an appropriate insulation so that
nobody can be hurt or burnt by touching by inadvertence the panels surface

3.2 Start up

In order to ensure a long life time, start up must be gradual and smooth. Flow rates adjustment should be slowly in
order to avoid the risk of water hammer.

Note! Water hammer is a short lasting pressure peak that can appear during start up or
shut down of a system, causing liquids to travel along the pipe as a wave at the
speed of sound. This can cause considerable damage to the equipment.

• Check that the Compabloc is correctly installed, with the cold circuit flowing upward (in case of gas/air release).
• Generally speaking, unless specific recommendation, the cold circuit must be filled in and started first.
• Fill in the cold circuit, leaving the vent open (CP50 and CP75 only, other models are self venting).
• Start the pump for this circuit with the exchanger inlet valve still closed; open this valve slowly.
• When all the air has been out, close the vent (CP50 and CP75 only).
• Once the cold circuit is running, open progressively the valves of the hot circuit (taking at least 5 minutes), while its
vent is open. Apply the same procedure as for the cold circuit.
• In all cases, start up should be progressive and must not exceed 10°C/h to avoid thermal shocks or unnecessary
stress on the unit.
• In case of thermalcyclic duty or high temperatures, we recommend a slow start up with a temperature gradient of
60°C / h in order to minimize the stress.This value should be applied for each re-start up between 2 batches in case
of severe thermal cycling duty.

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 11

3 Operation Compabloc Instruction Manual

3.3 Unit in operation

Generally speaking, good engineering practice should be observed. During

operation, check, make sure and be aware that:
• There is no leak due to the gaskets. No retightening should be necessary, nevertheless should a leak be observed,
do not hesitate to retighten the panels as per the torque indicated in para Cold retightening is advised
although not always possible, the pressure must be released.
• The operating pressures and temperatures do not exceed the maximum pressure stated on the type plate.
• In case of severe thermalcycling duty, try to keep the temperature of the unit as close as possible to the normal
operating temperatures (natural cooling during shutdown for exemple is better that sudden cooling) in order to
minimize the stress when re-strating up the unit.
• Bolts and nuts are kept clean and greased.
• Avoid sudden changes in fluid flow rates in order to remove hydraulic shock and fatigue effects caused by
thermal expansion and contraction.
• Maintain flow rates at the designed values as much as posible. At lower velocities, pressure losses are reduced
as is the thermal efficiency. Flow rates much lower than design values may also result in accelerated fouling.
• For fluids containing solids, the tendency of setting and clogging increases if the flow rate is reduced.
• In multiple installations, variations in capacity are best handled by varying the number of units in operation
rather than by major variations in flow per unit.

3.4 Shut down

It is the opposite procedure of start up, with generally the hot circuit being closed first and the cold circuit still
• Slowly close the valve controlling the flow rate of the pump you are about to stop.
• When the valve is closed, stop the pump.
• If the Compabloc is shut down for several days, it should be drained. Draining should also be done if the process is
shut down and the ambiant temperature is below freezing temperature of the media.
• Depending on the media processed, it is also recommanded to rinse and dry the unit if the shutdown is supposed
to last.

3.5 Re-start up

Important: After a long shut down (2-3 months) control the tightening torque of all bolts and nuts before start up.
Start up has to be as per section 3.2.

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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Operation 3

Note! After a long shut down (2-3 months), control the tightening torque of all bolts and
nuts, before new start up. (See para for torque values)


Note! If fluids are hot, allow the unit to cool before draining to prevent possible injury to

Draining is easy as the lower nozzles allow a self draining for the CP15 to CP40, while for CP50 and CP75, flanged
drains have to be used. They should be piped to the draining circuit or connected to an evacuation system.

Note! Make sure no toxic, hazardous nor lethal vapors or liquids are released to
the atmosphere or to the ground, which could cause injuries or damage the

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 13

4 Maintenance Compabloc Instruction Manual

4 Maintenance
Be careful You must follow the national rules available for your country about
periodical visits and possible requalification.

Generally speaking, we strongly recommand to monitore the pressure drop through the unit and to carry out chemical
cleaning once a set up maximum pressure drop value has been reached. By and large, the more often cleaning is
carried out, the better the heat transfer performances.

4.1 Chemical cleaning

Chemical cleaning is the most efficient way to clean the unit and CIP (Cleaning In Place) allows efficient cleaning without
opening the unit. Select a chemical cleaning agent which will remove scale deposits and which is compatible with the
materials from which the exchanger is made.

This method allows the cleaning solution to be recycled and eliminates the need to dismantle the exchanger, thus
reducing the downtime of the installation. The circulation of the cleaning solution must be upstream, if possible with a
flow of 50 % of the nominal flow.

Cleaning agents – Incrustation, scaling

Incrustation-Scaling Sediment Cleaning agent: 4% concentration maxi @ 60°C (140°F)

Calcium carbonate Corrosion products Nitric acid

Calcium sulphate Metaloxide Sulfamic acid

Citric acid
Silt Phosphoric acid
Silicates Alumina Complexing agents
Diatonic organisms Sodium polyphosphates

Cleaning agents – Biological growth, slime

Bio growth, slime Cleaning agent: 4% concentration maxi @ 60°C (140°F)

Bacteria, protozoa Sodium hydroxide. Small quantities of hypochlorites increase the efficiency

Nematodes Sodium carbonate

Cleaning agents – Oil residues, asphalt, fats

Deposit Cleaning agent

Oil residues, asphalt, fats Paraffinic naphta-base solvent (e.g. kerosine)

In case of doubt, consult AlfaLaval or any company specialised in cleaning, to check the compatibility and
efficiency between the fouling, the cleaning agent and the materials.
After every chemical cleaning, rinse the exchanger thoroughly and drain it.

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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Maintenance 4

Note! Never use hydrochloric acid for cleaning.

A too late cleaning may lead to plugging or too heavy fouling making the
recovery of initial heat performances very difficult

4.2 Mechanical cleaning

If chemicals cannot be used for cleaning, the panels should be removed to permit access to the exchange
Clean with steam or high pressure water (Hydroblast can be made up to 500 barg). Do not go above 500 barg.
As the corrugation are oriented at 45°, it is possible to have a good access of the heat exchange surface by an
orientation at 45° of the cleaning device (hydroblast gun or cleaning bar).

4.2.1 Before starting

First, drain completely the 2 circuits.

Mark the panels with identification symbols prior to dismantling.
• Check that neither of the two circuits are pressurized (and that drains are open).
• Check that the panel being dismantled is firmly secured (see panel weight section 4.2.4).

Figure 8 Figure 9


4.2.2 Dismantling procedure for one panel

So as to avoid any girder deformation, first it is necessary to release the bolts (mark 4) (screws for CP15,
CP20, CPL30 or nuts for any models) and then progressively loosen any bolts of the panel being dismantled,
starting with the bolts of the girder (mark3) then the bolts of the bottoms (mark 1 & 2).

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 15

4 Maintenance Compabloc Instruction Manual

4.2.3 Dismantling procedure for the 4 panels Figure 10

Progressively loosen the bolts, one girder after
the other. When all the bolts of the girders are
released, loosen the bolts of the bottom, one
panelafter the other.

Note: For models CP15 to CPK40 never

unscrew the studs used for the girder assem-
bling on the bottoms (mark 2 -Figure 20
page 22).

On models CPL50 and CPL75, diameter 20

threaded holes are designed to make easier the
panel detachment when gasket adheres on both
faces. When the panels are removed, remove all
the bolts marked 1 to 4.

4.2.4 Panels weight (kg)

30 50 70 90

Thickness 30 mm 10 15 20 25

Thickness 40 mm 15 20 25 30

Thickness 50 mm 20 25 35 40

25 40 60 80 100

Thickness 40 mm 25 30 40 50 60

Thickness 60 mm 35 50 65 80 95

60 80 100 130 160 200 240

Thickness 40 mm 50 65 75 95 110 135 160

Thickness 60 mm 80 100 120 150 180 220 260

Thickness 80 mm 110 140 160 200 240 300 350

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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Maintenance 4

120 160 200

Thickness 60 mm 180 220 270

Thickness 80 mm 240 310 370

Thickness 100 mm 300 390 470

100 150 200 250 300

Thickness 60 mm 200 280 360 430 510

Thickness 80 mm 280 390 490 590 690

Thickness 100 mm 350 480 610 740 880

Thickness 120 mm 420 580 740 900 1060

150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500

Thickness 60 mm 500 600 700 880 1000 1100 1200 1350

Thickness 80 mm 600 800 1000 1100 1300 1500 1600 1800

Thickness 100 mm 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200

Thickness 120 mm 900 1200 1400 1700 1900 2200 2400 2700

Thickness 140 mm 1100 1400 1700 2000 2300 2600 2900 3200

Thickness 160 mm 1200 1600 1900 2200 2600 2900 3300 3600

Thickness 180 mm 1400 1800 2200 2500 2900 3300 3700 4100

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 17

4 Maintenance Compabloc Instruction Manual

4.2.5 Baffle dismantling and reassembly procedure

There are two different types of baffle: bolted baffles or stamped baffles.
Prior to dismantle the baffles, locate their position in the exchange block, in order to reassemble them correctly.
It is almost impossible to put back the baffle cage (baffles + their support) as one piece, the best is to put back the
baffle one by one, as the platepack may have bent a little after use. Bolted baffles (before 1990)

a) Dismantling
• Loosen all the baffle plate attachment nuts.
• Remove the half-baffles from the V-shaped slot in the column liners.
• Remove the baffle plate assembly by unscrewing the nuts at the ends of the threaded rod.

b) Reassembly
• Without tightening, fit the two half-baffle plates head to tail onto the threaded rods, in such away as to grip a
sealing strip so that its raised edge is on the fluid inlet side (see sketch).
• Insert the baffle plate assembly by unscrewing the nuts at the ends of the threaded rods.
• Position the baffle plates vertically and check that the sealing strip is effectively in contact with a plate.
• Once the baffle plate assembly is in place, tighten the nuts.
• Fit the panels as shown in section 4.2.6

Attention: It is important to position the baffle correctly in the fluid flow.

Figure 12


• Once the baffle plate assembly is in place, tighten the nuts.

• Fit the panels as shown in section 4.2.6

Nota: The panel must press on the raised end of the sealing strip to ensure effective sealing. When
reassembling, ensure that the end of the strip protudes by approximately 3 mm (i.e. 2 mm for the seal
thickness + 1 mm for the stip fold back).

Figure 13



(Voir NOTA)




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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Maintenance 4 Stamped baffles (since 1990)

a) Dismantling
• Pull the ladder made by the two uprights (beams) and the baffle plates.
• Take the triangular PTFE Cord gaskets off the triangular part of the longitudinal girder lining.

b) Reassembly
• Take the grease off the triangular groove of the longitudinalgirder lining.
• Put the self-adhesive triangular PTFE Cord gasket in this groove and make it take its form, as shown in
Figures 14 and 15.

Figure 14 Figure 15



• Bring the baffle plate progressively in the exchange block. Ensure it is reassembled in accordance with the
position noted down before disassembling (figure 16).
• Ensure the gasket is correctly mounted and fit the baffle plates on the plates (figure 16).
• Check the distance between the frame and the sealing strips (figure 17).

Figure 16
DETAIL: Stamped Baffles
(Half-baffles + Frame)

Figure 17




Note! The maximum differential pressure a baffle can stand is 2-3 bar. In case of
very viscous mediums or risk of sudden high flowrate surges (water hammer),
reinforced baffles must absolutely be used. In this case vertical tubes are going
through the baffle, creating a baffle cage making the whole baffle construction
more rigid & stiffer.

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4 Maintenance Compabloc Instruction Manual

4.2.6 Panel re-assembly procedure

(See figure 20 and figure 21, for marks) Gaskets assembly

After reassembling the baffle plates using the procedure described in Section 4.2.5 above, clean the gasket thoroughly,
taking care not to scratch them with a metalobject.

a) Rubber compressed Asbestos free or pure PTFE gaskets

• The uncompressed thickness is minimum 2 mm.
• Put self adhesive double face strips 100 mm long each 200 mm on the panel to maintain the gasket in place.

b) Vitex (now obsolete) or Goretex BG gaskets (which replaces Vitex as much less swelling)
• Vitex gaskets are presented as PTFE self-adhesive ropes.
• Use the Vitex 10x3 for CP15, CP20, CP30, CP40 and the Vitex 14x5 for the CP50 and CP75.
Or (much better!)
Goretex BG 30-10 for CP15 to CP40 New Series = S3-3-10-20
BG 30-15 for CP50 New Series = S3-3-15-20 Spring 2002
BG 30-20 for CP75 New Series = S3-3-20-20
• Glue the gasket in the middle of the gasket face of the exchange block.
• Round the gasket in the angles with a radius as small as possible without creating a pleat.
• Make the junction facing a stud bolt of a panel according to the following method:

Figure 18






c) Reinforced graphite gaskets or similar

• They are reinforced with stainless steel embossed sheet between two layers or more of graphite.
The large graphite gaskets may be supplied in 4 pieces or more.

Note! Compabloc sealing can be assured only with gaskets supplied by AlfaLaval.

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Compabloc Instruction Manual
Maintenance 4 Panels re-assembly

• For the CP40, CP50 and CP75, set the panelon 6 studs;

Figure 19


• Insert the studs progressively as the panelis positioned and fit the nuts without tightening them.
• Proceed in the same way for the opposite paneland then the two panels of the other circuit.
• Tighten allfour panels simultaneously, using only the heads studs mark 1 & 2 for panels of less than 100 plates. For
panels of more than 100 plates, studs mark 3 can be used also, to fit the panels in the frame rail fitting. Ensure the
gasket does not move, and that the panelstay parallel to the frame. Ensure the panel fitting on the frame railand the
heads has been performed correctly. Panels re-tightening

The bolted frame of the different models shows some specifications. See Figures 20 & 21.
• For CP50 and CP75, ensure the bolts mark 5 (connection girder/head) are overtighten.
• When the four panels are correctly fitted, bring all the girder bolts into contact with the panels.
• Tighten bolts mark 1 & 1’ in staggered rows with a spanner or with bolting machine. When panels are into contact,
tighten bolts mark 2 and then 3.
• Tighten to half the tightening torque, turning around (so as not to forget any bolt).
• Finish tightening respecting the torques given in the table of section for standard gaskets, or specific
tightening torque given on the GA drawing.

Note ! • If the four panels have been dismantled, proceed progressively on each panel.
• If only one panel has been dismantled, do not forget to tighten at the same time
bolts on the girder of the adjacent panels (mark 4 Figure 20 page 22).

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 21

4 Maintenance Compabloc Instruction Manual

Figure 20

CP15 A CP40

Figur 21

CP50 - CP75

22 Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B English

Compabloc Instruction Manual
Maintenance 4 Values of torque to respect

P = Design Nominal tightening torque Nm

Number of
Type Pressure Studs Spanner
plates maxi PTFE with
(barg) Graphite PTFE IT gaskets
glass filler

CP15 P<12 90 M16 24 180 100 180 130

CP15 12<P<30 90 M16 24 180 NA 180 130

CP20 P<12 100 M20 30 335 200 335 235

CP20 12<P<30 100 M20 30 335 NA 335 235

CP30 P<12 240 M20 30 335 200 335 235

CP30 12<P<30 240 M20 30 335 NA 335 235

CP40 P<12 200 M24 36 470 300 470 330

CP40 12<P<30 200 M24 36 470 NA 470 330

CP50 P<12 300 M30 46 780 600 780 550

CP50 12<P<27 300 M30 46 780 NA 780 550

CP50 27<P<35* 300 M33 50 2000 NA NA NA

CP75 P<12 500 M33 50 1180 1100 1180 810

CP75 12<P<17 500 M33 50 1180 NA 1180 820

CP75 12<P<25 500 M39 50 2900 NA 1180 820

CP75 P<35* 500 M42 50 3600 NA NA NA

* = special graphite gasket with 5 stainless steel layers inside.

Tolerances on tightening torques

It is necessary to stay within the tolerances for the tightening torques.

Undertightening may cause leaks, and overtightening may cause mechanical strains in the gasket region and
dammage the gaskets.
A ± 20 % tolerance can be obtained by the use of a single trigger torque wrench (HFE 74-325).
A ± 10 % tolerance can be obtained using a torque wrench fitted with dial readout.

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 23

5 Trouble Shooting Compabloc Instruction Manual

4.2.7 Hydraulic test

After reassembly, a hydraulic test at the pressure indicated on the type plate is mandatory.
• Hydraulic test should be carried out with one circuit empty, the other circuit being full & pressurized at the test
• The pressure of the circuit in test may decrease due to the trapped gas compression or a slight plate adjustement.
In that case, it does not mean that the heat exchanger is leaking, read just the test pressure, it should be stabilized
after half an hour.

A heat exchanger is leaking when a leak is effectively observed between 2 circuits or when it leaks externally.
(See Section 5)

Note! Always perform the hydraulic with the 4 panels fully tightened in place.

5 Trouble shooting
(see Trouble shooting questionnaire at the end of this Manual)

5.1 Leak detection

5.1.1 External leak

External leak is generally caused by a gasket, panel liner failure or core failure.
a) Gasket leak
The leak due to gaskets can be detected by fluid dripping and accumualtion on the ground. Check that the gasket
is correctly positioned, tighten the panel if possible or replace the gasket.
b) Panel liner leak
This leak is generally detected by liquid coming out through the Argon hole located near by the butt weld on the
flange tube. It means that there is a crack or a spot weld failure on the panel liner. The unit must be shut down.
A dye penetrant examination of the liner can confirm that this is well the cause. Full vacuum and/or sudden and
brutal partial vacuum is often the cause. Check if the unit is designed for it.
c) Core leak
If the gasket and panel liners are sealed, the external leak may come from the core itself.
Contact Alfa Lava lafter Sales service to do the diagnosis.

5.1.2 Internal leak

This leak is generally detected when one stream is mixed with the other stream and means that a cross
contamination between the 2 circuits has happened. The best is to call an After Sales Service. The only thing to do
in this case, is to isolate the unit, drain it, remove the panels and make a dye pen examination on the welds to know
where is the leak. For repair, consult our Alfa Laval After Sales Service. A Compabloc expertise report can be sent
upon request, allowing to fine tune the possible cause of the problem.

24 Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B English

Compabloc Instruction Manual
Trouble Shooting 5
5.2 Control system

5.2.1 Control system on liquid/liquid applications

A classical system where the outlet process temperature drives the control valve at the service inlet is perfect as long
it is a PID system and the control valve is correctly sized. An oversized control valve creates the risk of
ON/OFF operation which is not good for any equipment as it turns a control valve into a ON/OFF valve, thus creating
fatigue and stress.

5.2.2 -Control system on steam heaters

It is generally a continuous process with the purpose to heat a fluid by condensing live or secondary steam
(while with process condensers the purpose is to condense the vapours, not to heat the cooling medium).

2 cases
• Steady flowrate on the media to be heated
It is mandatory that a controlsystem as indicated on the Figure 22 below is installed:
The control system must be based on a condensate level control and not on steam control.
The TIC drives the condensate control valve located after the steam trap.
The steam trap is essential as it will allow only the condensate to pass.
The condensate control valve must not be oversized! It should operate within 80-110 % of its range
to avoid ON/OFF behavior.
The system will act as a liquid level control allowing a smooth control as long as PID system is installed with it.
Check the design so that the condensate connection has a much smaller diameter than the steam inlet;
a ratio of 1:3 is generally the best when there are no or very small amount of inert in the steam.

• Unsteady flowrate on the media to be heated

If liquid flow rate is expected to vary a lot, it is important that a by-pass system is installed as per Figure 23 below.
In this case the TIC controls the recirculation flow rate in order to reach the right outlet temperature irrespective of
the steam flow rate.

The 2 sketches below illustrates those 2 possibilities.

Figure 22 Figure 23
Steam heater – liquid level control Steam heater – by-pass control

www.alfalaval.com www.alfalaval.com
H235 H234

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 25

6 Duty Summary Compabloc Instruction Manual

5.2.3 -Control system on Process condensers

For pharmaceuticals/fine chemical applications, the system is a batch system, starting with low flow rates and heat
load, reaching a peak after a while and decreasing afterward.
For other applications, it can also be a continuous process.
As explained above the control system is different, as the purpose is to condense as much as possible of the
process vapours which most of the time include non condensable such as N2.
Generally no control is installed as the system is usually operating with a constant cooling medium flow rate where
the return temperature will vary depending the heat load.
It is the condensation heat load which will control everything as long as there is enough heat transfer area.

Note! For all condensation duty, make sure the Compablocs have been designed for
Full Vacuum. If not consult Alfa Laval asap. Also make sure a vacuum relief
valve is installed in order to avoid sudden and brutal vacuum when shutting
down the unit.

6 Duty summary on Compabloc

Compabloc Vertical position duties

Liquid/liquid duty Condensation with subcooling


26 Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B English

Compabloc Instruction Manual
Duty Summary 6

Compabloc Horizontal position duties

Horizontal one pass condenser Horizontal two pass condenser

Horizontal one pass reflux condenser Horizontal one pass reboiler


Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 27

7 Notes Compabloc Instruction Manual

7 Notes

28 Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B English

Compabloc Instruction Manual
Questionnaire 8
8 Compabloc trouble shooting questionnaire

1 General data

Customer name Start up date

Through Failure date


Work Order Nr CP Guarantee Yes No

Serial Nr CP First time there is a problem Yes No

GA drwg Nr Claim Yes No

Service Industry General services HVAC

Unit delivered on

2 Design and operating data

Model CP Plate material

Position Vertical (liquid/liquid) Horizontal (Condenser)

Side 1 Side 2

Design pressure Barg/FV Barg/FV

Design temperature °C °C

Gasket material



Operating pressure Barg/FV Barg/FV

Operating temperature °C °C

Duty Continuous Cyclical On/off PID %

Conditions Steady Unsteady Risk of full Yes No

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 29

8 Questionnaire Compabloc Instruction Manual

3 Type of problem and observations

Hydro-Thermal Pressure drop Yes No Duty Yes No

(temperature, flows)
Mechanical External leak Yes No Internal leak Yes No

In case of external leak - Examination prior to dismantling

Location Top Bottom Nozzle Other:

Importance Stopped by itself Stopped by Droplets Continuous flow
of the leakage retightening
of the panel

4 Consequence of the problem

Units can still be in operation Yes No

Unit to be repaired during planned shut down Yes No

Unit stopped but plant still operating Yes No

Unit stopped and plant stopped (may have to stop) Yes No

5 To check eventually

Thermal problem Was the unit vented Yes No

Mechanical problem/fatigue Quality of control system Yes No

Quality of the cooling water (if any): ppm

Yes No
Internal leak/corrosion Chlorides
Process stream composition (exact, please)

30 Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B English

Compabloc Instruction Manual
Questionnaire 8
6 Results of examinations/control/ndt (visual, dye pen, air test, hydrotest, etc…) and location of the leak

Sketch Comments

Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B 31

8 Questionnaire Compabloc Instruction Manual

Sketch Comments

7 Possible causes of troubles (guidelines)

Process conditions (start up)

Brutal and sudden Full Vacuum

On/off controlsystem I/O proportional

8 Actions, Conclusions & Recommandations

32 Compabloc IM-001 Rev. B English

Alfa Laval in brief

Alfa Laval is a leading global provider

of specialized products and engineered
Our equipment, systems and services
are dedicated to helping customers to
optimize the performance of their
processes. Time and time again.
We help our customers to heat,
cool, separate and transport products
such as oil, water, chemicals, beverages,
foodstuff, starch and pharmaceuticals.
Our worldwide organization works
closely with customers in almost
100 countries to help them stay ahead.

How to contact Alfa Laval

Up-to-date Alfa Laval contact

details for all countries are always
available on our website at