The purpose shell and tube heat exchangers

Oct 16, 2014

The purpose of the shell and tube heat exchanger has been clearly defined since the dawn of the industrial age. Two fluids flow through a shell. These two variables occupy partitioned pathways, never coming in contact. Fluid one flows through a complex series of highly conductive tubing within the shell while the second liquid occupies the volumetric space between the inner walls of the shell and the surface area of the tubing. It's this contact area that determines energy transferal, and it's the circulation properties of the second fluid matched with the conductive properties of the tubing that controls the efficient transmission of energy

The term fluid is used loosely in heat exchanger applications. Gases and liquids are common input variables in this scenario, and the heat transmission process varies from simple heat transference, known as 1-phase exchange, to advanced condensation and vaporization transactions that employ multiple stages, a 2-phase exchange model. A steam locomotive is a prime example of a heat exchanger transferring raw energy into pressurized steam. The core of the steam locomotive is a boiler, and it's this primal heat exchanger that's responsible for driving archaic but highly functional engines, powering the steam technology that moved a million pistons during the industrial revolution. Still, it's evolution not revolution that demonstrates the multitude of configurations in use today, the heat exchanger models that condense vaporized water and power steam-driven turbines in the bowels of power generation plants. It's also pressure differentials and particular applications that decide the role of each assembly, from industrial boilers to the condenser and evaporator coils used in environmental engineering.

The petrochemical industry adopts the same processing criteria as above, using heat exchangers filled with cooling water to condense gaseous products and manage the flow of 2-phase chemical derivatives throughout the tube bundle and the interior of a vessel. The vessel is designed with a horizontal architecture that promotes a cylindrical outline. Again, these design specifications are engineered to maximize surface area contact between the two fluids. Computer control systems informed by digital feedback sensors monitor the state of both fluids, managing temperature transference characteristics as defined by the TEMA standard (Tubular Exchange Manufacturers Association). These standards handle technical issues and dedicate engineering resources toward improving the current level of heat exchanger efficiency.

A complex mix of fluid dynamics and metallurgical standards go into improving vessel efficiency and tube fabrication. The tubes are held together by a sturdy mix of tie rods, baffles, and heat-resistant tube sheeting within the cylindrical structure. The blueprints of the vessel call upon intake and output components that can act upon the feedback being assessed by the electronic instrumentation in a nearby booth. Petrochemical industry or gas-turbine power generation, this control sequence is familiar across many industries. These critical mechanical assemblies include but aren't limited to pressure-tested flanges, front and rear headers, control valves, and a variety of shell specs rated for different pressures. Consult TEMA guidelines for further data on everything from flow ratio tolerances to plenum construction.

Contact Details

Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619

1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915

Ph: (03) 5909 8218

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