Viscous fluids have lower heat transfer rates and pose a major challenge of fouling during thermal processing, often lead to drop in overall process efficiency. HRS has developed the innovative Unicus Scraped Surface Heat Exchanger designed to overcome the limitations of traditional shell and tube heat exchangers, especially for  processing of particulate and viscous products.

UNICUS series of heat exchangers are ideal for large duties for viscous and fouling fluids in food, environmental and processing industries.

Unicus range of non-fouling scraped surface heat exchangers was developed by extensive R&D trials throughout a range of application in different facilities in Europe over a specific period of time. Designed to handle viscous and heat sensitive products, which have a tendency to foul the heat transfer surfaces, Unicus has a number of advantages over more conventional heat exchanger units and has proven to give the desired efficiencies, capacities and quality of output, thereby proving advantageous to such applications.

Unicus_SSHE

Increase in processing of viscous products from food, pharmaceuticals to environmental require advanced technology with good return on investment. Traditional methods used for evaporation, crystallization and high fouling applications are insufficient to meet industry demands for better quality, capacities and cost efficiency.

UNICUS heat exchanger is formed by a tube bundle inside a shell. Scraping elements attached to rods are placed inside each tube of Unicus. The movement of these rods is programmed from the control panel and powered by a hydraulic power unit.All inner tubes include moving bars that support the scraping and mixing elements, This unique design heat exchanger surface clean of fouling and agitate the flow to boost the overall heat transfer coefficient by action.(unlike conventional scraped surface heat exchangers that move in rotation).

Fouling During Heat Transfer

Fouling occurs when particulate or viscous matter sticks and degrades at the tube walls. Another form of fouling is crystallization where, due to cooling or increasing concentration, components in the fluid change to the solid state and deposit on the heat exchanger surface. These layers work as an insulator for heat transfer, causing performance to drop.
UNICUS enables scraping of the heat transfer where fouling layers need removal to maintain high heat transfer in place. Scraped surface heat exchangers mix the fluid vigorously, which helps to move the fluid to and from the heat exchange surface. This increases heat transfer rates, so the total area required for heat exchange is reduced.

The patented UNICUS series is a scraped surface heat exchanger has been specially designed and developed to offer a solution for those difficult heat transfer applications, like evaporation, crystallization of chemical, food, environmental applications where product viscosity is usually high.

The UNICUS Series heat exchanger consists of three main parts:

  • The design is based on a traditional shell and tube heat exchanger with scraping elements inside each interior tube
  • The separation chamber: This space separates the shell and tube heat exchanger from the drive cylinder that moves the scraper bars
  • The cylinder: This part provides the energy that moves the scraper bars. The cylinder can be pneumatic (smaller models) or hydraulic (bigger models)
  • Units are 6 or 3 meters long and it has very few spare parts (there are no mechanical seals, etc.) The design of the units is patented
  • The reciprocating movement of the scrapers mixes the fluid whilst cleaning the heat exchange surface. The Inner tubes are smooth and seamless with good internal surface finish
  • The heat exchanger can be drained after use
  • Component thicknesses and/or connection ratings may be varied for specific applications where large differential component temperature levels are likely to be experienced
  • A key component of the UNICUS Series is the seal that separates the inner tube volume from the separation chamber. The seal prevents leakage of the product to the exterior. Several types of seals have been developed depending on the application

Material of Construction

UNICUS can be designed and manufactured in various grade of tube and shell material as per process requirements.
Materials: Shell side: AISI 304 stainless steel; Tube side: AISI 316L stainless steel
Connections: Shell side: Flange; Tube side: clamp / flange
External Finish: Satin or Polished: Product side: <0.8 microns
Design conditions: Shell side: 10 bar(g) / 185°C; Tube side: 16 bar(g) / 185°C
Scraping elements are manufactured in different materials like Teflon, polysulphone, peek, etc. in sizes of 1200 and 1800 or 3600. Scraping/mixing blades in PTFE and silicone (both FDA approved). Metallic blades are available for non-hygienic applications.

SCRAPING ELEMENTS & SEALS

Scraping blades are designed to be light, highly chemically resistant and thermally more efficient, thus reducing both weight and energy consumptions with an effective scraping action. They are combined with a silicon spring or peek segments to fit tightly to the tube surface.
The design temperature is 165°C. The design pressure is 16 bar on the product side and 10 bar on the service side. Higher pressure ratings are available subject to a revision of material compatibility, component thickness and connection types.

unicus-model

Connections

DIN11851, ISO clamps, aseptic ISO clamps or sterile flanges on the product side and DIN11851, DIN2576 flanges or ISO clamps on the service side. Other couplings can be made available as required. The mounting is usually done on SS 304 skid frame. The units can be installed horizontally or vertically.

Two scraped surface heat exchanger solutions have been developed for different types of applications – UNICUS Reciprocating Scraped Surface Heat Exchanger & UNICUS Rotating Scraped Surface Heat Exchanger.

UNICUS can have series or parallel flow configuration depending on the application. It can work horizontally or vertically because the scraping is alternating. This allows the units to work at all flow rates without any limitation, regardless of the temperatures, program or product nature. Product flow can be in single or multiple pass.

unicus-model

  • UNICUS can have series or parallel flow configuration depending on the application. scraped surface heat exchanger solutions have been developed for different types of applications
  • It can work horizontally or vertically because the scraping is alternating
  • Product flow can be in single or multiple pass
  • Continuous improvements have allowed HRS Heat Exchangers to apply the UNICUS in a wide range of markets and applications. By increasing the stroke speed of the scraper bar we have been able to increase the heat transfer rates considerably. By adding new scraper types we have adapted to the difficulties that new products may present
  • The increased range of models available has made it possible to offer economic solutions for small to big duty applications. From food industry to environmental industry, from biomass to evaporation applications, the UNICUS series is a robust solution where other types of heat exchangers fail to deliver a good result

UNICUS: A SCALABLE SOLUTION

UNICUS Series models are available in versions containing just one tube, up to models with 80 tubes inside. This allows UNICUS Series models to have heat transfer areas between 0.7 and 100 m². A standard range of models up to 10 m² is available for hygienic food applications and other industrial applications, while the larger of models are tailored to final use.

Design advantages

  • UNICUS increases heat transfer coefficients and guarantees continuous heat transfer because there is no fouling of the heat exchanger walls
  • The reciprocating movement of UNICUS increases the mixing level
  • Reduction in the heat transfer surface and therefore a reduction in the cost of the unit with less materials
  • A variety of scraper blades are available so the blade can be matched to the product
  • The design of the heat exchanger allows hygienic or industrial construction
  • UNICUS is simple and economical to maintain
  • With the UNICUS it is possible to put multiple product tubes in the shell making it even more compact

Application advantages

  • UNICUS heat exchanger works close to zero fouling. The Heat Exchanger is always clean
  • Due to the patented self cleaning device the product channels are always clean so the unit works in the optimum condition for heat transfer at all times
  • Drastic reduction in production losses because there is no wasted time cleaning the heat exchanger
  • The heat exchanger is self draining allowing total product recovery
  • Shaft movement in compact length uses relatively less energy the Unicus has low power consumption, making it very cost-effective to run
  • UNICUS minimizes the shear rate and maintains particulate structure. The gentle movement of the scrapers allows the system to be used with delicate products, such as food products with whole fruit or vegetable pieces, without destroying the integrity of the product
  • It allows for gentle product handling since the shaft is moved back and forth once every six seconds and can be slowed down even further if required
  • As the scraper blades support the central shaft it is possible to make the heat exchange length as long as is required, with 6 m long units built regularly as standardvv
  • In continuous cooking applications, UNICUS reduces the cooking time by up to 15 times, maintaining the integrity of the food and achieving a home cooked taste
  • UNICUS scrapes the crystals from the heat exchanger wall
  • UNICUS is a perfect finisher, it will increase product concentration levels
  • UNICUS allows for a continuous evaporation process, reducing volume of industrial waste and recovering volatile components. UNICUS evaporates without CIP for long periods

unicus-advantage

Processes

  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Pasteurisation
  • Aseptic Processing
  • Crystallisation
  • Evaporation & Concentration of Environmental Waste Streams
  • Blanching & freezing

unicus-applications

UNICUS is suitable for heat transfer applications in a very wide range of industries and has multiple uses, including:

  • Fruits: Juice concentrate, fruit preparation, fruit puree, diced fruit, high viscosity, fibrous and particulate products like fruit juices / fibers / dices, fruit pulp, purees, food paste
  • Beverages: Coffee extract, juice freezing, juice concentrate, yeast-malt extracts
  • Vegetables: Processed vegetables, tomato concentrate, diced/ sliced vegetables
  • Ready-to-eat convenience food: Eggs, mashed potatoes, ketchup, soups, mayonnaise, baby food, dressings, spreads, fats, oils and other prepared food
  • Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, creams, desserts, whey concentrate, ice cream, condensed milk, butter, spreads, pudding mixes
  • Protein: Viscera, meat slurry, mechanically deboned meat, meat stuffing, minced meat, pet food
  • Confectionary: Chocolate, pie filling, creams, pastes, jams, marmalade, syrups, gelatine, starch, butter, margarine
  • Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics: Lotion, cream, gel
  • Environmental waste: Waste concentration: brine, manure, food plant effluent, chemical waste, solvent recovery
  • Oil & Fats, biofuels: Oil extraction for biodiesel, biomass pre-treatment, thermal hydrolysis, fermentation, digestate concentration
  • Chemicals: Petrochemicals, Solvents, fine chemicals