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Research on the Tightness of the Hydraulically Expanded Tube-to-Tubesheet Joint

[+] Author Affiliations
Xiang Li, Guodong Jia, Hui Wang

Chinese Special Equipment Inspection and Research Institute, Beijing, China

Xin Ma

Jiangsu Province Special Equipment Safety Supervision Inspection Institute, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Paper No. PVP2011-57475, pp. 329-338; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3: Design and Analysis
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 17–21, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4453-3
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Many investigations and practical experience show that the leakage failure of the tube-to-tubesheet joints is a common failure mechanism for the shell and tube heat exchangers. To systematically research the tightness of the hydraulically expanded tube-to-tubesheet joints, a three-dimensional finite element model was developed to consider the influence of such factors as the hydraulic expansion pressure, operating temperature and multi-tubes expansion. on the residual contact pressure between the tube and tubesheet-hole of the joints. The analytical results show that the hydraulic expansion can improve the tightness of the joints significantly. The leakage pressure of the joint first increases and then decreases with the increase of the expansion pressure, thus, an optimal expansion pressure exists. The leakage pressure improves at the beginning and lowers gradually with an increase in the temperature. The tightness of the joint is reduced very little after the temperature cycle. The optimized expansion pressures are quite different between the single-tube expansion model and multi-tube expansion model. Thus, the influence of expanded tubes on the expanding tube should be taken into consideration in the research of the tightness of the joints.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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