Heat transfer


The LRF is working intensively on research into polymer heat exchangers. In contrast to conventional metal materials, high-performance plastics such as PEEK are used in the heat exchangers.

Polymer heat exchangers show better resistance to the unwanted adhesion of particles, especially in material systems that have an affinity for deposits. The particles reduce the thermal conductivity of the heat exchanger, meaning that they need to be larger or serviced at shorter intervals. This so-called fouling occurs in many chemical processes, including:

  • Seawater desalination
  • Heating of dairy products
  • Polymerization processes
  • Cooling processes with river water
  • Heating of refinery products

Due to the lower conductivity of plastics compared to metals, polymer heat exchangers must be able to minimize fouling and facilitate surface cleaning in order to bring ecological and economic benefits.



The objective of the research is to identify suitable polymer materials for the respective fouling problems and material systems. In particular, it should be possible to:

  • predict the usability of polymer heat exchangers for unmeasured fouling systems
  • determine fouling parameters in a standardized procedure
  • standardize data evaluation and compression

Supervising researchers (for contact)