December 2015

Heat Exchange

Mitigate vibration issues in shell-and-tube heat exchangers

Heat exchanger tubes tend to vibrate when influenced by crossflow velocities.

Dole, R., Sridhar, S., Vivekanand, S., L&T-Chiyoda Ltd.

Shell-and-tube heat exchangers (STHEs) are the most widely used pieces of equipment for industrial heat transfer. STHEs are designed and fabricated based on the standards of the Tubular Exchangers Manufacturers Association (TEMA). Heat exchanger tubes tend to vibrate under the influence of crossflow velocities. While vibration does not always indicate that damage will occur, it is important to avoid tube vibration when thermal design is being finalized. Vibration could lead to baffle cutting, tube whirling, tube fatigue, tube sheet leakage, tube collision, tube cutting and noise from exchangers. Eventually, vibration will lead to tube failure. This is an expensive affair, leading to lost pr

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