In this paper, the numerical simulation of single-phase flow and heat transfer is carried out for the single channel of the shell-plate heat exchanger with the corrugation inclination angle α
of 45°, 60° and 75°, respectively. The velocity distribution, turbulent kinetic energy distribution, pressure distribution and temperature distribution in the circular corrugated channel under different corrugation inclination angles are analyzed. Based on the relationship between fanning friction factor f
, empirical correlations for predicting the flow resistance and heat transfer characteristics in the shell-plate heat exchangers under the different corrugation inclination angles are proposed. The comprehensive performance of the heat exchanger is evaluated by calculating PEC
under different corrugation inclination angles. Results show that the inclination angle of corrugation is one of the factors affecting the flow pattern between the circular plates. With the increase of the inclination angle of the corrugation, the flow line of fluid changes from “cross flow” to “longitudinal flow”. The proposed correlation is capable of accurately predicting the resistance and heat transfer performance of the shell-plate heat exchanger. The characteristic deviation of flow resistance and heat transfer is within the range of ±14% and ±7%, respectively. When α
is 45°, the heat exchanger has a higher value of j
, but the resistance in the flow channel is relatively small. When α
is 60°, the PEC
is large, which indicates the heat transfer performance in the flow channel is much more severe.