What is it about?

Heat exchangers are simple devices extensively used worldwide for the thermal treatment of fluid foods. In this paper we used numerical simulation to reproduce the behaviour of a tube-in-tube heat exchanger. After simulating several operating conditions, we used the results to generate a model of the device using statistical Response Surface methodology. We proved the accuracy of our model, and thus the effectiveness of the proposed method, with experimental tests on the plant. Our aim is to use the method described to develop more digital models of industrial machines and plants, and implement them in Digital Twin frameworks.

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Why is it important?

In industrial settings, digital models of the plants are very useful, as they allow for an instantaneous estimation of the system performances. However, especially in the food industry context where the fluids have complex rheological behaviour, it is not easy to accurately predict the system functioning. Simulation, along with fluid characterizations and statistical methods, allows filling this gap and generating reliable digital models of food plants. Furthermore, validated digital models allow to estimate the operating parameters of the devices at critical locations where sensors could not be physically installed, thus providing even more insights about the system conditions.

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This page is a summary of: Optimization of an indirect heating process for food fluids through the combined use of CFD and Response Surface Methodology, Food and Bioproducts Processing, January 2022, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.fbp.2021.10.010.
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