April 2002

Engineering Case Histories

Case 8: Analyzing a leaking heat exchanger gasket

Thermal upsets can cause this problem

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

A leak developed in a heat exchanger at the head-to-tube sheet joint, after a rapid change in the process temperature (Fig. 1). The following model describes the effect of temperature variations on the gasket sealing ability of the head-side gasket. The model is used to determine the most probable cause of leakage and how to mitigate it. Fig. 1. A leak developed at the head-to-tube sheet joint.

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