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Fouling Factor
After heat-transfer equipment has been in service
for some time, dirt or scale may form on the heat-
transfer surfaces, causing additional resistance to
the flow of heat. To compensate for this possibility,
the design engineer can include a resistance, called
a dirt, scale, or fouling factor, when determining an
overall coefficient of heat transfer.
When the correct fouling factors are used, the
equipment should be capable of transferring more
than the required amount of heat when the
equipment is clean. At the end of approximately
1 year of service, the capacity will have decreased
to the design value, and a shutdown for cleaning
will be necessary.
Film Coefficients for Fluids in Pipes and
Tubes (No Change in Phase)
The major cause of pressure drop in heat exchangers
Friction resulting from flow of fluids through the
exchanger tubes and shell.
Friction due to sudden expansion, sudden
contraction, causes a pressure drop.
Changes in vertical head and kinetic energy can
influence the pressure drop, but these effects are
ordinarily relatively small and can be neglected in
many design calculations.
Tube-side Pressure Drop
It is convenient to express the pressure drop for
heat exchangers in a form similar to the Fanning
equation. Because the transfer of heat is involved, a
factor must be included for the effect of temperature
change on the friction factor. Under these
conditions, the pressure drop through the tube
passes (i.e., tube side) of a heat exchanger may be
expressed as follows (subscript i refers to inside of
tubes at bulk temperature):
Shell-side Pressure Drop
 The pressure drop due to friction when a fluid is flowing
parallel to and outside of tubes can be calculated in the
normal manner by using a mean diameter equal to four
times the hydraulic radius of the system and by
including all frictional effects due to contraction and
 In heat exchangers, however, the fluid flow on the shell
side is usually across the tubes, and many types and
arrangements of baffles may be used. As a result, no
single explicit equation can be given for evaluating
pressure drop on the shell side of all heat exchangers.
For the case of flow across tubes, the following equation
can be used to approximate the pressure drop due to
friction (subscript o refers to outside of tubes at bulk
When the design engineer selects heat-
transfer equipment, it is necessary to consider
the basic process-design variables and also
many other factors, such as
 temperature strains,
 thickness of tubes and shell,
 types of baffles,
 tube pitch, and
 standard tube lengths.
The following list presents the basic information that should be supplied to a
fabricator in order to obtain a price estimate or firm quotation on a proposal heat
exchanger: Process information Mechanical information
Fluids to be used Size of tubes
(a) Include fluid properties Diameter
if they are not readily Length
available to the fabricator. Wall thickness
Flow rates or amounts of Tube layout and pitch
fluids Horizontal tubes
Vertical tubes
Entrance and exit Maximum and minimum
temperatures temperatures and
Amount of vaporization or Necessary corrosion
condensation. allowance
Operating pressures and Special codes involved
allowable pressure drops.
Fouling factors Recommended materials
of construction.
Rate of heat transfer
 When the design engineer selects heat-transfer
equipment, it is necessary to consider the basic process-
design variables and also many other factors, such as
 temperature strains,
 thickness of tubes and shell,
 types of baffles, tube pitch, and
 standard tube lengths.
 Under ordinary conditions, the mechanical design of
an exchanger should meet the requirements of the ASME or
API-ASME Safety Codes.
 The Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association
(TEMA) publishes standards on general design methods
and fabrication materials for tubular heat exchangers.
Tube Size and Pitch
 The standard length of tubes in a shell-and-tube heat
exchanger is 8, 12, or 16 ft, and these standard-length
tubes are available in a variety of different diameters and
wall thickness.
 Exchangers with small-diameter tubes are less
expensive per square foot of heat-transfer surface than
those with large-diameter tubes, because a given surface
can be fitted into a smaller shell diameter; however, the
small-diameter tubes are more difficult to clean.
 A tube diameter of 3/4 or 1 in. OD is the most common
size, but outside diameters ranging from 5/8 to 13 in. are
found in many industrial installations.
 Tube-wall thickness is usually specified by the
Birmingham wire gauge.
 Pressure, temperature, corrosion, and allowances for
expanding the individual tubes into the tube sheets must
be taken into consideration when the thickness is

Tube pitch
Tube pitch is defined as the shortest center-to-center
distance between adjacent tubes, while the shortest distance
between two tubes is designated as the clearance. In most
shell-and-tube exchangers, the pitch is in the range of 1.25
to 1.50 times the tube diameter. The clearance should not
be less than one-fourth of the tube diameter.
 Tubes are commonly laid out on a square pattern or on a
triangular pattern, as shown in Fig. Although a square
pitch has the advantage of easier external cleaning, the
triangular pitch is sometimes preferred because it
permits the use of more tubes in a given shell diameter.

Shell Size
 For shell diameters up to 24 in., nominal pipe sizes apply
to the shell.
 Inside diameters are usually indicated, and schedule
number or wall thickness should also be designated.
 In general, a shell thickness of 3/8 in. is used for shell
diameters between 12 and 24 in. unless the fluids are
extremely corrosive or the operating pressure on the
shell side exceeds 300 psig.
Thermal Strains
 Thermal expansion can occur when materials, such as
the metal components of a heat exchanger, are heated.
For example, in a shell-and-tube heat exchanger,
thermal expansion can cause an elongation of both the
tube bundle and the shell as the temperature of the unit
is increased.
 Because the tube bundle and the shell may expand by
different amounts, some arrangement may be necessary
to reduce thermal strains.
 Temperature stresses due to tube elongation can also be
avoided by using U-shaped tubes, and some exchangers
have a U-type bellows loop or ring in the shell to handle
thermal elongation of the shell.
 Use of the fixed-head type of exchanger should be limited
to exchangers with short tubes or to cases in which the
maximum temperature difference between shell and
tubes is less than 50°F.
 In general, floating-head exchangers with removable
bundles are recommended for most services.
Cleaning and Maintenance
 Heat exchangers require periodic cleaning, tube
replacements, or other maintenance work.
 The inside of straight tubes can be cleaned easily by
forcing a wire brush through the tubes, but cleaning of
the outside of the tubes usually requires removal of the
entire tube bundle from the exchanger.
 Consequently, many exchangers are provided with
removable tube bundles, and the pitch and arrangement
of the tubes are often dictated by the amount and type
of cleaning that are required
 Although the presence of baffles in the shell side of a
shell-and-tube exchanger increases the pressure drop
on the shell side, the advantage of better mixing of the
fluid and increased turbulence more than offsets the
pressure-drop disadvantage.
 The distance between baffles is known as the bugle
 In general, baffle spacing is not greater than a distance
equal to the diameter of the shell or less than one-fifth
of the shell diameter.
 The most common type of baffle used in heat exchangers
is the segmental baffle, illustrated in Fig.
 Many segmental baffles have a baffle height that is 75
percent of the inside diameter of the shell. This
arrangement is designated as 25 percent cut segmental
 Other types of baffles include the disk-and doughnut
baffle and the orifice baffle, shown in Figs.
 Segmental and disk-and-doughnut baffles contain tube-
pass holes of size close to that of the diameter of the
Fluid Velocities and Location of Fluids
 The major factors involved in determining the best
location for fluids in a heat exchanger are
 the fouling and corrosion characteristics of the fluids,
 pressure drop across the unit,
 materials costs.
 When one of the fluids is highly corrosive, it should flow
inside the tubes to avoid the expense of corrosion-
resistant materials of construction on the shell side.
 Because cleaning inside tubes is easier than external
cleaning, consideration should always be given to locating
the fluid with the greatest fouling tendencies inside the
 If the other factors are equal and one fluid is under high
pressure, the expense of a high-pressure shell
construction can be avoided by passing the high-pressure
fluid through the tubes.
 The velocities of the fluids passing through the shell side
and the tube side of an exchanger can have a large
influence on the heat-transfer coefficients and the
pressure drop.
 If one of the fluids is much more viscous than the other,
pressure drop on the tube side may be excessive when
the viscous fluid is passed through the tubes at the
velocity necessary for adequate rates of heat transfer.
 The effects of fluid velocities and viscosities, therefore,
must be considered carefully before a final decision is
made concerning the best routing of the fluids
Ineffective Surface
 In the course of heating a fluid, noncondensable gases,
such as absorbed air, may be evolved. If these gases are
not removed, they can collect in the exchanger and form
an effective blanket around some of the heat-transfer
 Adequate provision, therefore, should be made for
venting noncondensables.
 The heat-transfer surface can also become ineffective
because of build-up of condensate when condensing
vapors are involved.
 Consequently, drains, steam traps with bypasses, and
sight glasses to indicate condensate level are often
necessary auxiliaries on heat exchangers.
 When high pressures are used, relief valves or rupture
disks may be essential for protection.
 Inadequate baffling on the shell side of an exchanger can
result in poor distribution of the shell-side fluid, with a
resulting ineffective use of the available surface area.
The major factors that can influence the cost for heat-
transfer equipment are indicated in the following list:
1. Heat-transfer area
2. Tube diameter and gauge
3. Tube length
4. Pressure
5. Materials of construction for tubes and shell
6. Degree and type of baffling
7. Supports, auxiliaries, and installation
8. Special features, such as floating heads; removable
bundles; multipass, finned surfaces; and U bends
Estimation of film coefficient and pressure drop
inside tubes in a shell-and-tube exchanger.
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Estimation of film coefficient and pressure drop on
shell side in a shell-and-tube exchanger