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Comment PDF Heat Transfer

Heat Exchangers: Tube-to-Tubesheet Joint Tightness

By Stanley Yokell, MGT Inc. |

    The use of shell-and-tube heat exchangers is widespread in the chemical process industries (CPI). In applications where contact between shell- and tube-side fluids is not tolerable, it is important for the engineer to understand some of the design details that ensure leak tightness. In his work, the author has found a great deal of literature that addresses the strength and tightness of tube joints [1]. He has not, however, found any that is specific about leak rates of various fluids used in the CPI, nor any that deal with leak rates under startup, shutdown and normal operating conditions. This article outlines the expanding processes and criteria for expanded-joint production. To ensure leak tightness, the author suggests using seal- or strength-welding followed by expanding tube-to-tubesheet joints. For welded-and-expanded joints, the author further recommends welding and expanding criteria and nondestructive examinations.   Standards and codes Worldwide, the vast majority of shell-and-tube heat exchangers used in the CPI are built according to the Standards of the Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA Standards)[2]. These standards specify expanding as the standard method for joining tubes to tubesheets…
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