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Upgrading of Tubular Heat Exchangers by the Helical Spacer Method and Evaluation

[+] Author Affiliations
F. L. Eisinger, R. E. Sullivan

Foster Wheeler Power Group, Inc., Clinton, NJ

Paper No. IMECE2002-32776, pp. 695-705; 11 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • 5th International Symposium on Fluid Structure Interaction, Aeroelasticity, and Flow Induced Vibration and Noise
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Applied Mechanics Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3659-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


The tubular heat exchangers described exhibited a sensitivity to flow-induced tube vibration at about 50% of their design shell-side flow. Following a detailed theoretical analysis, the heat exchangers were modified by the helical spacer method providing additional tube supports in-between the existing support plates and in the U-bend. This modification aimed at allowing the heat exchangers to operate safely and reliably at full load, including a 25% overload. Post modification sound and vibration testing was performed which confirmed the adequacy of the modification. The test results showed however, that at the overload condition, an unusual acoustic wave inside the shell was developing. It was determined that this wave would not be harmful to the safe operation of the heat exchangers. The paper will discuss the findings in more detail.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Heat exchangers



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