Alfa Laval - PCHE


Trust the results from 15 years of proven performance. Alfa Laval printed circuit heat exchangers (PCHEs) combine superior robustness and integrity with an exceptionally high heat transfer rate, in a unit that’s up to 85 % smaller and lighter than comparable shell-and-tube and shell-and-coil exchangers. The unique design results in excellent performance, lower installation and operational costs, as well as improved safety. Each unit is also fully customizable according to your exact needs.

printed circuit heat exchangers

First-class efficiency with the smallest possible footprint

  • All-stainless-steel construction, fully customizable to match the duty position and application required
  • Robust design handles pressures up to 1250 barg (18,125 psig) and temperatures ranging from -196°C (-320°F) to 800°C (1472°F)
  • Allows 1°C approach temperatures within your process
  • Immune to the mechanical effects of fluid pressure pulsations (continuously from vacuum to design pressure) and fluid flow induced vibration
  • Fully compliant with ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (Section VIII, Division 1 with U Certification Mark) and CE Marking (as per PED 2014/68/EU)

Alfa Laval printed circuit heat exchangers are an ultra-compact solution for improving sustainability in marine, oil & gas, thermal and renewable power applications (such as thermal energy storage systems, supercritical CO2 power cycles, gas turbine fuel gas pre-heating and hydrogen fuelling stations, etc.).

Photo-chemically etched fluid micro-channels provide exceptionally high thermal performance, while state-of-the-art diffusion welding (bonding) produces a solid core packed with heat transfer area.

The combined result is maximum efficiency and minimum footprint, ensuring the lowest total lifecycle cost.

Accelerating sustainable solutions

Imagine a more sustainable world. A world in which less is needed to produce even more. A world in which we efficiently meet our growing energy needs and at the same time reduce CO2 emissions. Imagine a world where we can harness the power of natural resources while preserving them. At Alfa Laval, we don't just imagine this world. We build it together with our customers and our partners.

Accelerate sustainable solutions



Alfa Laval printed circuit heat exchangers are designed specifically to deliver unparalleled compactness and efficiency in clean and high-pressure duties that are beyond the capability of other welded plate type heat exchangers. The robust design can reliably handle pressures ranging from vacuum to 1250 barg (18,125 psig).

Typical marine applications include high-pressure vaporization in fuel gas supply systems (FGSS), LNG regasification on FSRU and SRV™ vessels. In the energy sector, printed circuit exchangers are used in gas processing and cryogenic LNG applications.  Typically, these are gas compression systems offshore, hydrocarbon gas and water dew-pointing. In LNG, where high energy recovery is desired, they are used in End Flash Gas and BOG handling systems. They can also be found in turbine fuel gas preheating and supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) applications for power generation.

In renewable energy applications PCHEs are proving to be the best technology in high-temperature long duration energy storage (LDES) processes, as well as evolving niche positions in carbon capture. Combining the proven advantages of our classic PCHE design with our 3dPlate™ anti-freezing technology also opens up use across the whole hydrogen refuelling station energy chain from liquid to gas.

Technical data

Design pressure

EN/CE/PED Vacuum to 1250 barg (18,125 psig)
ASME Vacuum to 1250 barg (18,125 psig)

Design temperature

316/316L SST –196°C (cryogenic) to 800 °C (–321°F to 1,472 °F)


Customizable from small tube to large pipes (¼ to 30)

Standard materials

304L or 316L SST (other materials available on request)


On request, tailored towards requirements ranging from a few kilograms to tens of tons

Improving sustainability with welded solutions from Alfa Laval

Alfa Laval welded heat exchangers maximize energy efficiency and heat recovery, with innovations that deliver exceptional thermal performance and reliability, for a wide range of duties. But it’s more than technology. It’s also the people: experienced experts with deep process knowledge and a global service presence. Combined, that’s how you improve sustainability.

How it works


Alfa Laval Printed circuit heat exchanger

Working principle

Printed circuit heat exchangers operate with two or more media on opposite sides of a bonded plate. It is possible to have high-pressure flows on both sides, and a 2D or 3D plate pattern can be optimized to provide the required thermal length and pressure drop.


The printed circuit heat exchanger design has a complex flow pattern chemically etched on flat sheets of material. This flow pattern is optimized for each specific customer duty to provide the required thermal and hydraulic characteristics. Each flow circuit plate pattern can be different, giving the possibility of asymmetric flows and optimized 2-phase behaviour.

The individual plates are then stacked into a block and diffusion welded (bonded) in a state-of-the art furnace at high temperature and pressure. Multiple blocks can be welded together to create the required thermal capacity or heat transfer area. Inlet and outlet flow manifolds, customer connections and (if required) connections for drain, ventilation or cleaning are welded onto the completed core to finalize the heat exchanger.

Design pressures of up to 1250 barg (18,125 psig) in 304L/316L SST are achievable with this configuration.
Heat transfer surface areas are tailored based on requirements.


Unique features that make the difference

Alfa Laval has more than 80 years’ experience in heat transfer technology, and we are continuously developing new innovations to improve the performance, reliability and sustainable impact of our equipment. Our printed circuit heat exchangers include a number of unique features you won’t find anywhere else:

Alfa Laval PCHE with OptiBondOptiBond™

A robust and compact solution for high-pressure needs

State-of-the-art diffusion bonding technology provides the highest durability and thermal efficiency within an ultra-compact welded plate heat exchanger.

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Alfa Laval PCHE with 3DPlate3DPlate™

Prevents clogging under freezing conditions

A patented 3D plate pattern maintains high efficiency and maximum uptime when using water-based fluids like glycols in cryogenic applications.

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