Heat Exchangers Dairy

Reliable, trusted heat exchange solutions for dairies

Through innovative design and meticulous manufacturing processes, over many years we have tackled the problem of frequent breakdowns and failures of steam heaters. By providing more durable equipment for our customers in the dairy sector, we help them to achieve greater efficiency and productivity. We also endeavour to improve operational stability and integrity, which leads to less wastage and higher standards of food safety and hygiene.

Tough by design

In the dairy industry, heaters are critical elements in the drying process, but they often fail in extreme conditions, requiring replacement or extensive maintenance. These breakdowns occur because, at elevated temperatures, materials such as steel and aluminium expand at different rates, leading to weld failures and tube leakage. We solved this problem by designing units that allow for thermal expansion. Our high-efficiency Elfin plate fin technology withstands temperatures up to 400oC and high pressure up to 40 bar.

Smarter design for a longer life
Providing the relevant operational procedures are followed, a unit built to our exacting standards can be expected to last for 30 – 40 years in service.

Higher efficiency, lower maintenance
The design reduces system preparation times bringing processes online faster, for improved productivity. An innovative orifice arrangement replaces costly steam traps on flash steam sections to deliver savings on maintenance and operating costs.

Split steam section for the dairy industryFlexible
Modular design allows sections to be bolted together and assembled as complete units. Individual modules can be removed, inspected, maintained and replaced as and when required.

Total Design
We offer ‘custom-built’ heaters, using a variety of materials to meet the applicable design and manufacturing code. We also provide a range of specialised heaters and coolers for secondary drying in fluidised beds applications. A typical arrangement includes a cooler, demister, re-heater and heater.
When designing a steam heater, we take into account the entire system and process to achieve maximum efficiency, using our experience, knowledge, and computer-aided tools to deliver innovative bespoke solutions.


  • Air coolers for fluidised beds
  • Air heaters and re-heater for fluid bed secondary drying.
  • Air preheating (using evaporator condensate)
  • Condensate recovery
  • Drying processes: baby powder and powdered vitamin, supplement drying
  • Hot oil thermal fluid air heating.
  • Hybrid steam and hot oil air heating (for high-temperature applications)
  • Lactose heaters
  • Multi-pressure steam air heating
  • Product heaters – stainless steel contact parts
  • Steam air heater batteries – spray dryers
  • Steam air heaters (condensate and steam /sections)
  • Waste heat recovery

For more information about our customised heat exchangers, visit our products and services page.

Customised heat exchangers

Over 100 years of design & manufacturing knowledge

Your partner for the entire lifecycle of your business

Ease of design is essential for us, and we know the Sterling Thermal Technology steam air heaters can be adapted to meet specific requirements experienced in projects. The Elfin technology in particular sets them apart. Sterling products have a proven record in terms of reliability, durability and working life. This, coupled with improved efficiency, leads to significant cost savings in the quantity of steam required.

Mike Bambury, Director, MDFT

Talk to us..

We customise our heat exchange solutions to meet your needs. Discover today the right equipment for your dairy.

Contact us