December 2010

Bonus Report: Heat Transfer Developments

Prevent flow-induced vibration in heat exchangers

New technology can be used in existing tube bundles to enable higher flowrates without risk of tube damage

Wanni, A. S., Ruzek, Z. F., ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co.

Optimization of an existing process plant sometimes referred to as revamp or debottlenecking, can result in increased flowrates and higher velocities through the existing facilities, including shell-and-tube heat exchangers. While a higher velocity results in an elevated pressure drop, research and plant operations data have shown that it often has the advantage of reducing heat exchanger fouling. However, on the negative side, higher velocity on the shell side of the exchanger increases the potential for tube vibration. Problems within. Potentially damaging flow conditions may result in flow-induced vibration (FIV) tube failures due to fluidelastic instability and/or vortex shedding. Tube

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