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University of Jordan

Department of Chemical Engineering Dr. Ali Al-Shawabkeh Lecture Notes -11-

Heat Exchangers 5
Types of Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers: 1- Fixed Head (Fixed Tubesheet) STHE: The tubesheet is welded to the shell. The fixed tubesheet STHE has two tubesheets. Used for relatively limited temperature range service. A shell expansion joint is Fixed tubesheet STHE provided to allow for the tube expansion. Expansion joints (built-in joints) also allow for shell expansion. The end covers are removable Tc 2 so that the inside of the tubes can be cleaned by rodding or Expansion other similar tools. This type of joint cleaning is usually carried out in situ so some space should be allowed in the piping layout to allow for this. Due to inspection and cleaning difficulties, fixed STHE are used where shell-side fouling is limited. The shell-side must be chemically cleaned since the tube bundle cannot be removed from the shell. 2- U-Tube (U-Bend) STHE: The U-tube STHE has only one tubesheet. U - tube STHE Used when fouling of the Tubesheet tubes on the inside is Channel unlikely (the bend in the Bonnet Channel tubes inhibits the cleaning cover and inspecting the inside of Shell the tubes). A baffled channel is bolted between the tubesheet and the channel cover. Channel By unbolting the channel baffle from the shell, the tubesheet and the bundle can be removed from the shell so that the outside of the tubes can be cleaned.

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Because the tube bundle is fastened to only one tubesheet, the tubes are free to expand. Can be used U - tube STHE where the temperature difference between shell-side and Upper tube-side chamber fluids is quite large. The channel baffle (partition) dividing the channel directs incoming tube-side fluid through only half of Lower the tube chamber openings. 3- Floating Head STHE: Are used when the media being handled causes fairly rapid fouling, and the temperature creates expansion problems (tubes can expand freely). One of its two tubesheets is bolted between the shell and the channel in a fixed position. a) Pull through type: The other (floating) Pull - through floating head STHE tubesheet together with its cover floats inside the shell (free to move horizontally). Because the tube bundle and floating Tubesheet head can Floating head move Cover horizontally, the tubes are free to expand and contract.

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By unbolting the channel flange and the stationary tubesheet, the tube bundle and the floating head can be withdrawn as a unit (this permits cleaning and inspection of the outside of the tubes).

Pull - through floating head STHE

Tube bundle

Floating head Shell cover

Floating head cover


To inspect and clean the tubesheet and tubes inside, the channel cover, shell cover, and floating head cover should be removed. b) Split backing-ring type: The diameter of the shell cover is greater than the diameter of the rest of the shell holding the tubes. The tubes, the tubesheet and the floating head cover cannot be pulled through as one unit. The tube bundle can be pulled, if the floating head cover, shell cover, and the split ring are first removed. The clearance between the tube bundle and shell of the pull-through type is greater than that of the split-ring type. Therefore, the split backing-ring STHE is more efficient than the pull-through one. The split backing-ring STHE, however, has more parts. Thus, it is more expensive than the pull-through one.

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The split backing-ring STHE is also harder to disassemble. First, the shell cover is

Split - backing ring floating head STHE


Split ring


Floating head Shell cover

Floating tubesheet

unbolted from the shell. Then the floating head cover and split backing-ring are unbolted from the floating tubesheet. Then, the channel is unbolted from the other end of the shell. And finally, the tube bundle is pulled from the channel end.
Split backing - ring STHE

Clearance 1 424 3 Clearance 1 424 3

split - backing ring STHE pull - through STHE


Pull - through STHE

Since disassembly is more time-consuming, the split backing-ring STHE is more costly than the pull-through one. Cleaning and Maintenance of Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers: If a fouling problem has been neglected for some time, mechanical cleaning such as cutting or scraping, maybe necessary. The heat exchanger must be dismantled (disassembled) for mechanical cleaning (usually after some time of operation). Many deposits can be removed without shutting down the heat exchanger. Cleaning while the exchanger is operating is called on-line maintenance.
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In a typical method used for online-maintenance, chemicals are added to the fluids flowing through the shell-side or tube-side. It is not necessary to dismantle the exchanger for chemical cleaning. Cleaning of the outside or inside of the tubes maybe done by spraying pressurized water (using a water jet). This cleaning method is called hydroblasting. The force of the water loosens the Hydroblasting deposits and washes them away. (water jet) Steam jets are also used to clean heavy hydrocarbon deposits (the heat generated by the steam softens the deposits and they are then washed away by the steam pressure). For the most difficult deposits which resist chemicals or hydroblasting, mechanical methods are used. Testing for Leaks: If the two fluids in the HEx have different physical properties (like water and oil) it is usually easy to tell them a part. The easiest way to test Water for leaks is to take a under sample from the lower pressure pressure fluid. If the fluids are water and oil, for example, then it is easy to see if there is a leak by just looking at the sample. Observe ends for If the fluids are very leaking tubes similar, a chemical test may be necessary. If visual or chemical tests do not indicate a leak, further testing maybe necessary. These further tests are called hydrostatic tests, because they usually involve using water under high pressure. In the case of tube-side test, the shell-side fluid is drained, and a drain point, such as a disconnected lower nozzle or bleeder valve, is left open. The tube-side fluid is replaced with water under high pressure which fills the tube bundle. If there are leaks in the tubes or at the tube ends, the pressurized water in the tube bundle will be forced

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through the leak points into the shell. Such fluid will accumulate in the bottom of the shell and eventually run out the drain points where it can be observed by the A tube which operator. has come loose The same kind of test can be made on the in the tubesheet shell-side of the exchanger. In that case, the tube-side of the HEx is drained of fluid, and a tube-side drain point is left open. The shell is filled with water under pressure. Fluid running from the tube-side drain point will indicate a leak in the tube Loose bundle. tube In the case of a fixed tubesheet HEx, the end plates or bonnet covers are removed. It is then possible to directly observe the tubesheets and tube ends. The shell is filled with water under pressure. The Water under Floating pressurized fluid enters any pressure head leaking tube at the point where the tube leaks. This fluid accumulates in the tube and runs out of the tube end. By observing the tubesheet, it is possible to tell which tube is leaking. To test a partially dismantled Shell floating head HEx, the shell cover is removed, and the tube bundle is Observe leakes filled with water under pressure. The leak can be observed if it is located in the floating head gasket or in the tube ends at the floating head. If the leak is located in the tube walls farther back in the exchanger or at the tube ends in the Water under stationary head, fluid will be pressure observed in the shell. The operator, however, will not be able to locate Channel cover the source of such leaks because the tube bundle and stationary head are not visible. If the leak is coming from one end of these areas, a different test is Cover or necessary. The channel cover is test ring Floating removed and tube side fluid is head end Observe leakes drained. The shell is filled with water under pressure. Fluid will enter the tubes at the points where they leak, accumulate in the tubes, and run out the tube ends. By observing the tubesheet, the operator can tell which tube is leaking. Normal test pressure is usually 1.5 times the designed operating pressure.

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