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Metalforms, Ltd.

Price - Delivery - Qualit

7218 Garth St. | Beaumont, Texas 77705 | P: (409) 842-1626 | F: (409) 842-0207

Rod Baffle Technology


Metalforms has been an industry leader in the application, design and fabrication of exchangers utilizing Phillips
Petroleum Rod Baffle Technology, having been licensed by Phillips for fifteen years to provide this product and
service. Please read the following information on Rod Baffle technology and see if it's right for you.

Plate Baffle Example

RodBaffle Example

The Rod Baffle heat exchanger concept was conceived by Phillips engineers as a means of eliminating destructive,
flow-induced tube vibrations which existed in three conventional, double-segmental, plate-baffle heat exchangers
at a Butadiene Plant in Borger, Texas. Although originally designed to solve tube vibration problems, Rod Baffle
exchangers are increasingly being used to enhance thermal-hydraulic performance, improve flow field uniformity,
reduce shell side fouling deposition, and increase critical process reliability. The Rod baffle design provides more
effective shell-side turbulence at a lower pressure drop compared to a conventional segmented baffle design.
Since licensing of Rod Baffle technology was begun in 1978, over 2,000 Rod Baffle heat exchangers with a market
value of over $150,000,000 have been placed in commercial service. Rod Baffle exchangers have been utilized
worldwide by over 50 major petrochemical companies in all phases of upstream and downstream operations.
Commercial Rod Baffle exchangers have been fabricated in a wide range of sizes, with shell diameters ranging
from 12 inches (305 mm) to 180 inches (4572 mm) and tube lengths extending to 80 feet (24.4 m). Rod Baffle
exchangers have been manufactured in a wide variety of shell and tube sheet configurations, using all common
materials of construction, and utilizing both bare and low-finned tubes.

The flow dynamics through the shell side of the Rod Baffle exchanger illustrate that there are no stagnation areas
so the entire heat-transfer area is effective. The alternating rods provide positive 4-point confinement of the tube
to eliminate tube vibration and possible tube failure. The improved flow dynamics also result in lower pressure
drop, low fouling and easier cleaning.
Elimination of Tube Vibration Failure
The Rod Baffle bundle is vibration free, and features two major design innovations:
(1) Positive 4-point containment of the tubes, and
(2) Minimum, Convex Point contact between rods and tubes.
These innovations eliminate tube vibration failures, providing a high integrity bundle for longer on-stream
performance.

1968 - 2014
46 Years in Business

Energy Savings
The uniform, free-flowing turbulence created by tube-support rods absorbs very little energy, minimizing pressure
drop across the shell side of the exchanger. The pressure drop through a Rod Baffle exchanger can be 50% less
than the pressure drop through a typical plate baffle exchanger. When used in compression services, the lower
pressure drop in the Rod Baffle exchanger requires less energy, resulting in major dollar savings.

Improved On-Stream Performance


The Rod Baffle concept eliminates dead or low flow areas in the bundle, making 100% of the heat transfer area
effective. The absence of low flow areas minimizes fouling, resulting in longer on-stream performance, less
maintenance and faster cleaning, with substantial reductions in costly labor and downtime.
Design and Construction Flexibility
In many applications, when compared to a plate baffled bundle, the Rod Baffle bundle will provide the required
duty at a lower pressure drop with a smaller diameter exchanger which reduces weight and cost. When additional
exchanger capacity is required, a Rod Baffle replacement bundle will often yield an increase in throughput of up to
30%. This may eliminate the need for additional exchangers and related design/installation costs.
Proven Performance
There are over 2,000 Rod Baffle heat exchangers of varying sizes and types, on-stream in a multitude of petroleum
and petrochemical processing operations. Twenty years of day-to-day operating experience has provided in-plant
verification of the operating characteristics and benefits of the Rod Baffle design.

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