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Anti-Vibration Technologies for Heat Exchangers

Amar S. Wanni Jerard T. Smith Zdenka F. Ruzek
NPRA Maintenance and Reliability Conference May 26, 2011

• Flow-Induced Vibration Problems in Heat Exchangers Including Examples of Failures • Overview of Vibration Analysis • Example Anti-Vibration Solutions for Heat Exchangers • Analysis of Vibration with HTRI Xvib® • Questions / Discussion


The Flow-Induced Vibration Problem In Heat Exchangers: Background
• Tube damage from flow-induced vibrations has increased over the past 5 to 10 years, primarily from two main sources:
– Advances in catalyst and control technologies allow operators to increase plant capacity by simply increasing flow through existing process equipment – New exchanger designs are smaller than in the past, which entails greater shell side velocities

• Tube failures are always very expensive and lead to lost production, contaminated products, additional energy usage, and/or high repair costs


and Failure at Baffles. Tubes Experience Orbital Motion that Could Lead to “Necking” at Baffle Holes ─ HTRI Programs (Xist and Xvib®) Predict Fluidelastic Instability Ratio (FIR = Local Velocity/Critical Velocity) ─ FIR Must be Kept Below 0. Near Tubesheet. and U-Bend Regions – Vortex Shedding Frequency Ratio Preferably Kept Below 0.The Flow-Induced Vibration Problem In Heat Exchangers: Background (continued) • Most Likely Cause for Tube Vibration Damage: Fluidelastic Instability – When Local Velocity Exceeds Critical Velocity.8 ─ Limit Cross-Flow Amplitudes to Less Than 10% of Tube Spacing 4 .8 for high-quality Design ─ Rate of Tube Failure Proportional to FIR4 if FIR > 1 • Vortex Shedding Could Lead to Tube-to-Tube Collisions.

Plant Operations Do Not Facilitate Proper Root Cause Failure Analyses • Leaky Tubes are Plugged and Exchanger Quickly Put Back in Operation to Avoid Throughput Losses • Photographs of Failed Tubes are often Unavailable 5 . Flow-Induced Vibration (FIV) Conditions are “Misdiagnosed” • Often.The Flow-Induced Vibration Problem In Heat Exchangers: Background (continued) • Acoustic Vibration Not Known to Have Caused Tube Failures • Often.

Examples of Tube Failures in Field • Feed/Effluent Exchanger Tube Damage • Shellside : Reactor Effluent • Failure Mode: Vortex Shedding 6 .

Examples of Tube Failures in Field (Continued) • Liquid on Shellside • Failure Mode: Fluidelastic Instability 7 .

Examples of Tube Failures in Field (Continued) • Gas on Shellside – Tube Fretting at Baffle Hole 8 .

Anti-Vibration Solutions for Heat Exchangers 9 .

Needs for Anti-Vibration Technologies • Improve reliability of existing equipment that may have already suffered vibration damage • Provide tube vibration mitigation to an existing bundle predicted to have vibration problems at a future/planned increased throughput • Modify baffle design to decrease shellside pressure drop while also providing vibration mitigation • Design new exchangers with axial shell side flow to substantially decrease pressure drop (e.. compressor circuits) 10 .g.

– Allow use of fewer baffles (e. lower cost. 50% Less) decreasing shellside ∆p by as much as 75% – Allow design of exchangers with axial shellside flow providing smaller footprint. and superior performance than other technologies available in today’s market – Allow design of heat exchangers at their optimum configuration based on heat transfer and pressure drop considerations.. 11 .Anti-Vibration Technologies Open Substantial Opportunities In Existing Bundles… – Allow greater flow rates while minimizing risk of vibration damage – Allow re-use of bundles that failed due to flow-induced vibration damage of tubes In New Bundles...g.

ExxonMobil has Developed a Suite of New Anti-Vibration Technologies: • Dimpled Tube Support (DTS™) • Saddled Tube Support (STS™) • Slotted Baffle Exchangers (SBX™) 12 .

and 90º) • Suitable for vertical tube bundles • Modified DTS strip used as a U-Bend stiffener • Applicable even when some of the tubes are warped 13 . 60º.Dimpled Tube Support (DTS) • Each strip is fabricated from a thin strip of metal • Outer end consists of a dimpled region • Dimples lock into tubes avoiding accidental dislodging • Remainder of strip has corrugations somewhat similar to dimpled region • Both dimpled and corrugated regions deflect tubes slightly thereby stiffening tubes and avoiding tube chatter • Suitable for all tube layouts (30º. 45º.

Installation 14 .Dimpled Tube Supports .

each tube is slightly deflected to stiffen tubes and provide vibration mitigation • Suitable for 45º and 90º tube layouts only • Suitable for low-finned tubes made of softer metals such as carbon steel and brass • Suitable for exchangers with axial shell side flow 15 .Saddled Tube Supports (STS) • Each support is formed by welding of two strips that are fabricated to provide “Saddles” • A locking device prevents accidental dislodging of tube support • Similar to DTS strips.

Saddled Tube Supports .Installation 16 .

DTS and STS Strip Concept • DTS and STS strips are used to mitigate vibrations perpendicular to the tube axis Inserting strips into every other tube lane diminishes tube chatter as the tubes are slightly deformed and pushed against the baffle holes .Natural frequency of the tubes is substantially increased with a negligible rise in shellside pressure drop The tube bundle as a whole “tightens up” and will act as one rigid entity. significantly lessening relative motion of components 17 • • .Tube-to-baffle impacts reduced .

Anti-Vibration Technologies for Heat Exchangers EXAMPLES – DTD / STS 18 .

2 NO 19 Vibration Problems . no further vibration failures reported ∆P (psi) Fluidelastic Instability Ratio (FIR) Kettle Reboiler Duty (MBtu/hr) Original Conditions Conditions with DTS 244 244 0.1 YES 0.29 0.Repair of Failed Heat Exchangers (Example 1) • An LNG Plant experienced tube failures in a number of kettle reboilers • Vibration analyses showed a very high probability for tube damage due to fluidelastic instability as well as excessive cross-flow amplitudes due to vortex shedding • A field inspection showed heavy fretting at tube support locations in top 10 tube rows • Unsupported tube span was around 4.75 in and a wall thickness of 0.065 in • DTS strips inserted at 1/3 and 2/3 locations within each unsupported span • Free movement of tubes non-existent following DTS installation.29 4.5 ft for tubes having a diameter of 0.

2 10.180 ft2 Segmented baffles Feed / Effluent Heat Exchanger Existing Design Conditions 30% Capacity Creep without DTS 30% Capacity Creep with DTS Duty (MBtu/hr) 49.0 YES 64.Application of DTS Retrofit into Treat Gas Heater (Example 2) • Current Case has no vibration problems • Future operating case with 30% increase in capacity predicted to have vibration problems • Use of DTS allowed reuse of existing equipment while eliminating vibration potential • A new design would have required replacement of both shell and bundle and potentially piping modifications • • • • TEMA BEU 33” x 126”. 1” tubes 1.4 8.4 NO 64.2 10.2 NO 20 Δp (psi) Vibration Problems .

7 1.7 1.4 21 Δp (psi) .8 psi Condensing Service Exchanger Conventional Design Optimum Design (with no with DTS vibration) 44” x 192” 36” x 192” Plain Tubes Double seg 2p / 1s TEMA: AES Plain Tubes NTIW/Seg 2p / 1s Duty (MBtu/hr) 17. 1.4 psi vs.8 17.An Optimum Design (Example 3) • Optimum conventional design even with double-segmental baffles has vibration problems • Alternate conventional design to avoid vibration requires a larger shell diameter (44 in vs. 36 in) • Alternate exchanger also requires No-Tube-In-Window (NTIW) design • Optimum Design with DTS: – No vibration problem – Smaller shell diameter – Lower shell side pressure drop • 1.

Application of SBX to Debottleneck Gas Loop (Example 4) • Original Bundle with Conventional Baffles Experienced a Shellside Pressure Drop of 110 kPa • SBX Bundle Designed for 24 kPa • Axial Shellside Flow Decreases Shellside Heat-Transfer Coefficient • To Maintain Heat Duty.5 No 22 22 . 2011 103 3. LowFinned Tubes Were Used Exchanger: TEMA AEU Feed Preheat w/ Steam Original bundle (at debottleneck conditions) SBX Bundle 25"x126" Shell 1200 ft2 0.6 16 Yes October 20.75” plain tubes Segmental baffles 2140 ft2 0.75” finned tubes No baffles (axial flow) Duty (MBtu/hr) Δp(psi) Vibration Problem? 97.

Example of DTS Installation 23 .

Example of DTS Installation in U-Bend 24 .

Example of DTS Installation 25 .

HTRI Xvib DTS/STS Modeling Options • Capability to simulate shell and tube heat exchanger with specific locations of DTS or STS and their effect on flow induced vibration probability • Capability to model DTS and STS as tube supports to reduce unsupported tube span to affect flow induced vibration however without impacting pressure drop or flow velocity 26 .

Anti-Vibration Technologies for Heat Exchangers HTRI Xvib® 27 .

Anti-Vibration Technologies for Heat Exchangers SAMPLE CASE DETAILS 28 .

Anti-Vibration Technologies for Heat Exchangers QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION 29 .

In Conclusion • AVT’s technology will eliminate tube chatter • Suitable for U-bend and vertical bundles • Applicable even when some of the tubes are warped • HTRI software (Xvib®) now includes DTS and STS modeling options • Licensed to a select number of qualified heat exchanger manufacturers for applications worldwide • Successfully used at ExxonMobil and third party sites • ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company proprietary technology 30 .