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Steam Air Heaters

Steam heat exchangers that thrive under pressure

Steam is a fast and efficient way to heat media, especially air and liquids. Steam air heaters consist of a row of tubes in a casing or duct. The steam is passed through the tubes and any air or gas that moves over the tubes is heated.

Steam heat exchangers have a wide range of uses but are especially valued in industries where reliability and durability are essential. The production of food, pharmaceuticals or expensive industrial products are just some examples.


Key benefits of steam air heaters from Sterling Thermal Technology

    Steam air heater for chemical industry - Sterling Thermal TechnologyA reliable and highly customisable product, our steam air heaters can improve your plant’s efficiency thanks to their rapid start-up. By optimising the use of steam, they can also be run at a lower cost than other options.

    Continue reading to learn more about this product’s key benefits, or contact us today and let us help you with your industrial heating needs.

    Robust and reliable

    Our steam air heat exchangers benefit from Sterling TT’s highly efficient Elfin fin plate technology, which can be used in temperatures up to 400oC and in highly corrosive environments. They are able to cope with shock loading and thermal expansion due to their unique construction.  ‘U’ bend tubes complemented by an innovative fin design accommodates stresses without transmitting them to the tube to tubeplate joint.

    Here is what one customer had to say:

    icon of a quote mark“We manufacture our powdered products in batches; therefore, the exchangers would be subject to significant thermal stress over their lifetime. In addition to the increase in production, we would also be operating the process at higher steam temperatures to enable us to achieve the required drying times. Under such conditions, we needed a robust and proven design of the heat exchangers. Having seen the level of engineering incorporated into Sterling TT’s model, as well as talking to their other clients who operate similar processes, we were convinced Sterling TT steam air heaters were the best available.”

    Stuart Latham, Knolton Farmhouse Cheese Director

    The Elfin fin technology also helps to ensure the cleanliness of the heated gases, alleviate thermal stresses in the heat exchanger and moderate corrosive environments’ impact. Additionally, it reduces the need for exotic materials because special coatings are already incorporated into our product portfolio.

    Modular Design

    photo showing the modularity of Sterling Thermal Technology's steam air heatersSteam air heaters lend themselves to modular designs: their simplicity allows modules to be easily removed, inspected, maintained and replaced.

    Our customisation options include everything from the layout to the materials used in construction. We usually manufacture the units from various grades of stainless steel or aluminium, but we can also use alternative materials on request to meet your specific process requirements.

    Configurations, duct sizes and even the materials used in our manufacture are customised to align with your process, plant layout, and steam pressures constraints.

    Additionally, we can build the heaters to meet a wide range of international standards and codes.

    How our steam air heat exchangers work

    The temperatures and stresses involved in industrial processes can be extreme and need to be managed carefully.

    Large industrial steam air heaters are usually made of two or more sections. These may include ‘steam’, ‘condensate’ and the optional ‘flash’ sections. As the steam heats the air, it cools down, condenses and turns to water. The heater configuration is in counterflow so that cold air entering is warmed by the condensate section, then brought up to temperature in the steam section.

    The heater sections are bolted together directly instead of being installed in a cassette within a housing. We assemble them as complete units with interconnecting manifolds. This straightforward design allows engineers to remove the individual modules, inspect, maintain, and replace them as and when required. It also makes them relatively easy to lag.

    You can find this information as a PDF datashheet here.

    Looking for a steam heat exchanger partner?

    Sterling Thermal Technology has over 100 years of experience in designing and manufacturing bespoke heat exchangers, including steam air heaters. We work with original equipment manufacturers and end-users to deliver top-class results based on our customer’s specific needs.

    We are experts in fin design, as well as extended fin surfaces and their applications. This allows us to deliver customised air heater solutions for specific applications and environments.

    Tell us your requirements and find out what we can do for you.


    Customised heat exchangers

    Over 100 years of design & manufacturing knowledge

    Your partner for the entire lifecycle of your business

    Using Sterling products has led to significant energy savings, both with the new heater which replaced the older identical unit and with the additional recovery condensate section fed from the Lactose Plant. The average steam consumption reduced from 4.5 tph in 2016 to 4.0 tph in Feb 2017, which is far better than forecast during the CapEx funding stage.

    Ruairi O’Brien, Project Engineering, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland


    Talk to us..

    We customise our heat exchange solution to meet your requirements, so contact us today to discover the right equipment for you.

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