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Shell and Tube Exchangers

Related terms:

Heat Exchanger, Tube, Cooling, Syngas, Temperature, Heat Transfer Coefficient,

Higher Pressure, Shell Side

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Learn more about Shell and Tube Exchangers

Tubular Heat Exchanger Inspection,

Maintenance, and Repair
Maurice Stewart, Oran T. Lewis, in Heat Exchanger Equipment Field Manual, 2013

Shell and tube exchangers have several different configurations with different
types of heads and shells; these parts are inspected and repaired in similar
Figure 3.114 is a large four-pass channel in very good conditionFigure 3.114.
Four-pass channel in good condition.
The pass partitions are near full thickness with no mechanical or corrosion
damage present, gasket surfaces are also in good condition, and bolt holes for
the body flange are round as opposed to showing out of roundness damage
There are several design reasons for using multiple passes in shell and tube
One reason to increase fluid velocity in the tubes is to reduce fouling deposits

> Read full chapter

Mechanical Equipment
Roy A. Parisher, Robert A. Rhea, in Pipe Drafting and Design (Third Edition), 2012

Shell and Tube Exchanger

The shell and tube exchanger performs its task by circulating a hot liquid around
tubes that contain a cooler liquid. The hot liquid circulates in an enclosed area called
the shell. Tubes containing the cooler liquid are looped through the shell. Hot liquid
in the shell warms the cooler liquid in the tubes, whereas the cooler liquid in the
tubes cools the warm liquid in the shell. Figure 6.10 provides a look into the shell
and tube exchanger. Contact between the cool and hot liquids will naturally exchange
heat from the hotter to the colder. Figure 6.11 shows the Plan and Elevation views
of a shell and tube exchanger.

Figure 6.10. Internal view of a shell and tube exchanger.

Figure 6.11. Shell and tube exchanger Plan and Elevation views.

> Read full chapter

Rutger Botermans, Peter Smith, in Advanced Piping Design, 2008

4.2.1 Shell and Tube

Shell and tube exchangers can be vertical or horizontal, with the horizontal ones
single or stacked in multiunits. As the name suggests, they consist of a cylindrical
shell around a nest of tubes. The shell and tube exchangers can be further subdivided
in three categories: floating head, U-tube, and fixed head.

Floating Head Shell and Tube Exchangers

Floating head exchangers are used when the media being handled causes fairly rapid
fouling and the temperature creates expansion problems. Tubes can expand freely,
the channel head and shell cover arrangement are convenient for inspection, and
the tube bundle can be removed easily for cleaning.

U-Tube Shell and Tube Exchangers

U-tube exchangers are used when fouling of the tubes on the inside is unlikely. The
tubes are free to expand and the bundle can be removed from the shell for cleaning
the shell side of the tubes.

Fixed Head Shell and Tube Exchangers

Fixed head exchangers have no provision for the tube expansion and, unless a shell
expansion joint is provided, can be used for only relatively low-temperature service.
The end covers are removable, so that the inside of the tubes can be cleaned by
rodding or using similar tools. This type of cleaning usually is carried out in situ, so
some space should be allowed in the piping layout for this.

> Read full chapter

Regulations and Standards

Ian Sutton, in Offshore Safety Management (Second Edition), 2014

Two-thirds rule
Shell and tube exchangers seldom have pressure-relief valves for fire exposure
because vapors will quickly flow to the next pressure vessel from which they can be
discharged. The “two-thirds rule” from API RP 521 states:

For relatively low-pressure equipment, complete tube failure is not a viable contin-
gency when the design pressure of the low-pressure side is equal to or greater than
two-thirds the design pressure of the high-pressure side. Minor leakage can seldom
result in overpressure of the low-pressure side during operation.

If the above rule is satisfied, then a relief valve on the low-pressure side of the
exchanger is not needed provided the following contingencies are true:

• An engineering study is performed to verify that the low-pressure side of

the exchanger is able to absorb the flow rate through the rupture without
over-pressuring the exchanger.
• There are no block valves, check valves, or automatic-control valves on the
low-pressure inlet or outlet-piping systems that may isolate the exchanger.
• Operating procedures require that the high-pressure side be isolated before
the low-pressure side.
• Operating procedures require that the exchanger be immediately drained after
being removed from service. Also, the exchanger must remain drained while
it is out of service.

The valve isolating the vessel and the exchanger will generally be a horizontal
stem and a manually operated gate that is locked open.
• The hot-side fluid is not hot enough to boil the cold-side fluid at the design

> Read full chapter

Geoff Barker IEng.,MEI., in The Engineer's Guide to Plant Layout and Piping Design
for the Oil and Gas Industries, 2018

Shell-and-tube exchangers—internal shell and tubes can be cleaned in place with
high-pressure steam or water, and by “rodding”. If the exchanger is designed for
tube removal, then the tubes can be removed for repair or cleaning. Tube bundles
and both the head-and-shell covers can be removed by the use of fixed handling
devices such as davits, hitch points, and pulling posts. Fixed structures with trolley
beams, traveling Gantry cranes, and cranes with hydraulic bundle extractors can also
be used.

Plate and frame heat exchangers can be disassembled and cleaned periodically.
Tubular heat exchangers can be cleaned by such methods as acid cleaning, sand-
blasting, high-pressure water jet, bullet cleaning, or drill rods.

In large-scale cooling water systems for heat exchangers, water treatment such as
purification, addition of chemicals, and testing is used to minimize fouling of the
heat exchange equipment. Other water treatment is also used in steam systems for
power plants, etc. to minimize fouling and corrosion of the heat exchange and other

A variety of companies has started using water-borne oscillations technology to

prevent biofouling. Without the use of chemicals, this type of technology has helped
in providing a low-pressure drop in heat exchangers.

By periodically calculating the overall heat transfer coefficient from exchanger flow
rates and temperatures, the owner of the heat exchanger can estimate when cleaning
the heat exchanger is economically attractive.

Integrity inspection of plate and tubular heat exchanger can be tested in situ by the
conductivity or helium gas methods. These methods confirm the integrity of the
plates or tubes to prevent any cross contamination and the condition of the gaskets.
Mechanical integrity monitoring of heat exchanger tubes may be conducted through
nondestructive methods such as eddy current testing.

> Read full chapter

Heat Exchangers
Seán Moran, in Process Plant Layout (Second Edition), 2017

23.12 Nozzles
On shell and tube exchangers, tube-side nozzles may be freely rotated by the layout
designer with respect to shell-side nozzles when there is only one shell-side pass, but
the possible rotation is constrained when there are two or more shell-side passes.

Shell-side nozzles may be relocated longitudinally on the shell if the operation of the
heat exchanger is not affected (see TEMA for discussion of this approach). Elevations
and stacking heights may be reduced by changing straight nozzles to elbowed,
gooseneck or tangential nozzles.
However, pipe configurations must be designed to allow for the correct flow condi-
tions at nozzles and provide a flexible and well-supported system to meet manufac-
turers’ allowable stresses. It should be noted that tweaking nozzle positions to suit
piping can work against the economically desirable standardization of design which
permits interchangeability and a low stock of spares.

The designer needs to be careful to correctly identify the limiting cases with regard to
design parameters for nozzles (e.g., highest velocities may not correspond to highest
mass flows).

> Read full chapter

R.W. Serth, in Process Heat Transfer, 2007

3.3 Shell-and-Tube Equipment

A shell-and-tube exchanger (Figure 3.3) consists of a bundle of tubes contained in
a cylindrical shell. The tubes may be permanently positioned inside the shell (fixed
tube-sheet exchanger) or may be removable for ease of cleaning and replacement
(floating-head or U-tube exchanger). In addition, a number of different head and
shell designs are commercially available as shown in Figure 3.4.

Figure 3.3. Schematic illustration of a shell-and-tube heat exchanger with one shell
pass and two tube passes.
Figure 3.4. TEMA designations for shell-and-tube exchangers

(Source: Ref. [5]).

The Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA) employs a three-letter

code to specify the front-end, shell, and rear-end types. For example, a fixed
tube-sheet type BEM exchanger is shown in Figure 3.5(b). An internal-floating-head
type AES exchanger is shown in Figure 3.5(a). Shells are available with inside di-
ameters in discrete sizes up to 120 in. Shells up to 24 in. in diameter are generally
made from steel pipes, while larger sizes are made from rolled steel plate. Some key
features of shell-and-tube exchangers are summarized in Table 3.1.
Figure 3.5. (a) Type AES floating-head exchanger; (b) type BEM fixed-tubesheet
exchanger with conical rear head. (c) Type AEP floating-head exchanger; (d) type CFU
U-tube exchanger with two-pass shell

(Source: Ref. [5]).

Table 3.1. Features of Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers a

Type of de- Fixed tube U-tube Packed Internal Out- Pull-through floating head
sign sheet lantern-ring floating
floatinghead side-packed floating head
head (split
TEMA L, M or N U W S P T
Relative cost B A C E D E
from A (least
through E
Provision for Expansion Individual Floating Floating Floating Floating
differential joint in shell tubes free head head head head
expansion to expand
Removal No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Replace- No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ment bundle
Individual Yes Only those Yes Yes Yes Yes
tubes in
replaceable outside
Tube clean- Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ing by chem-
icals inside
and outside
Interior tube Yes Special tools Yes Yes Yes Yes
Exterior tube
Triangular No Noc Noc Noc Noc Noc
Square pitch No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tube interior Yes Special tools Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tube exterior No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Double tube Yes Yes No No Yes No
sheet feasi-
Number of No practical Any even Limited to No practical No practical No practical
tube passes limitations number one or two limitationsd limitations limitationsd
possible passes
Internal gas- Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
kets elimi-
Note: Relative costs A and B are not significantly different and interchange for long
lengths of tubing.

a Modified from page a-8 of the Patterson-Kelley Co. Manual No. 700A, Heat
b U-tube bundles have been built with tube supports which permit the U-bends
to be spread apart and tubes inside of the bundle replaced.
c Normal triangular pitch does not permit mechanical cleaning. With a wide
triangular pitch, which is equal to 2 (tube diameter plus cleaning lane)/,
mechanical cleaning is possible on removable bundles. This wide spacing is
infrequently used.
d For odd number of tube-side passes floating head requires packed joint or
expansion joint.

Source: Ref. [1].

Heat exchanger and condenser tubing is available in a wide range of metals in sizes
from 1/4 to 2 in. outside diameter. Finned tubing is also available. The dimensions
of plain tubing are listed in Table B.1. Notice that the size designations for tubing
are different from those of pipe (Table B.2). The nominal outside diameter of a
heat-exchanger tube is the actual diameter. Also, the wall thickness is specified by
the Birmingham Wire Gage (BWG) rather than by schedule number.

The tubes are arranged in the bundle according to specific patterns. The most
common are square (90°), rotated square (45°), and equilateral triangle (30°), as
shown in Figure 3.6. The square and rotated square layouts permit mechanical
cleaning of the outsides of the tubes. The center-to-center distance between tubes is
called the tube pitch. The minimum distance between adjacent tubes is the clearance.
From Figure 3.6, it can be seen that the pitch is equal to the clearance plus the outside

Figure 3.6. Commonly used tube layouts. (a) Square pitch (90°); (b) rotated square
pitch (45°); and (c) triangular pitch (30°)

(Source: Ref. [4]).

The tube bundle is usually supported against bending and vibrations by segmental
baffles, as shown in Figure 3.7. The baffle cut is the ratio of the height of the cutout
segment to the inner diameter (ID) of the shell. Thus, a 25% cut segmental baffle
is one for which the height of the cutout segment is one-fourth of the shell ID. The
baffles also serve the function of directing the flow of the shell-side fluid across the
tube bundle, thereby enhancing the rate of heat transfer. Sealing strips are used to
minimize the channeling of fluid between the outer row of tubes and the shell. They
usually consist of metal strips attached to the baffles and running between the shell
and the outer tubes. Other types of baffles, such as disk and doughnut or window-cut
baffles, are also used in some exchangers [1,2].

Figure 3.7. Segmental baffles

(Source: Ref. [4]).

Either the tube-side fluid, the shell-side fluid, or both may make more than one
pass through the heat exchanger. On the tube side, multiple passes are achieved by
means of U-tubes or by partitioning the headers. The number of tube-side passes is
usually one, two, four, or six, but may be as high as 16. Multiple passes on the shell
side are achieved by partitioning the shell with a longitudinal baffle (type F-shell)
or by connecting two or more single-pass shells together. The number of shell-side
passes is usually between one and six.

The primary flow pattern in the shell is a sinuous motion both transverse and parallel
to the tubes. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that part of the fluid
bypasses the main heat-transfer surface as a result of various leakages. The bypass
streams include the tube-to-baffle leakage stream, the tube bundle-to-shell bypass
stream, and the baffle-to-shell leakage stream. The amounts of these bypass streams
can be substantial as shown in Table 3.2, which gives typical values for well-designed
heat exchangers [6]. As a result, the main stream flowing across the tube bundle may
comprise less than 50% of the total shell-side flow. It is the presence of these bypass
streams that greatly complicates the analysis of shell-side heat transfer and pressure

Table 3.2. Shell-Side Bypass Flows

Stream Percentage in turbulent flow Percentage in laminar flow

Cross flow 30–65 10–50
Bundle bypass 15–35 30–80
Baffle-shell leakage 6–21 6–48
Tube-baffle leakage 9–23 0–10
Source: Ref. [6].

The main advantage of shell-and-tube exchangers is that they provide a relatively

large amount of heat-transfer surface per unit of volume and weight, and require
a minimum number of connections. They are also extremely versatile, and can be
designed to meet almost any heat-transfer service. As a result, they are commonly
used in a wide variety of applications.

> Read full chapter


R.W. Serth, in Process Heat Transfer, 2007

5.9 Computer Software

Commercial software packages for designing shell-and-tube exchangers in-
clude HTFS/Aspen (www.aspentech.com), B-JAC (www.aspentech.com), ProMax (-
www.bre.com), HTRI Xchanger Suite (www.htri-net.com), and HEXTRAN (www.sim-
sci-esscor.com). HEXTRAN is discussed in this section; the HTFS/Aspen and HTRI
packages are considered in Chapter 7.

The shell-and-tube heat-exchanger module (STE) in HEXTRAN is very flexible. It

can handle all of the TEMA shell types with either plain or radial low-fin tubes.
Both single-phase and two-phase flows are accommodated on either side of the
exchanger. Therefore, this module is used for condensers, vaporizers, and reboilers
as well as single-phase exchangers. Both un-baffled and baffled exchangers are
accepted, including the no-tubes-in window configuration.

The STE module can operate in either rating mode (TYPE=Old) or design mode
(TYPE=New). In design mode, certain design parameters are automatically varied
to meet a given performance specification (such as the heat duty or a stream outlet
temperature) and pressure drop constraints. The following parameters can be varied

• Number of tubes

• Number of tube passes

• Tube length

• Shell ID

• Number of shells in series and parallel

• Baffle spacing

• Baffle cut

Baffle spacing and baffle cut cannot be varied independently; they must be varied as
a pair. As previously noted, these two parameters are highly correlated in practice,
and HEXTRAN takes this correlation into account.

For applications in which the shell-side fluid does not undergo a phase change, the
full Delaware method is used to calculate the shell-side heat-transfer coefficient
and pressure drop. There is also an option (DPSMETHOD = Stream) to calculate the
pressure drop using a version of the stream analysis method. These methods will be
discussed in more detail in subsequent chapters.

The STE module is not suitable for rod-baffle exchangers or for units, such as
air-cooled exchangers, that employ radial high-fin tubes. HEXTRAN provides sepa-
rate modules for these types of exchangers.

It is important to understand that the results generated by the STE module in design
mode are not necessarily optimal. Therefore, it is incumbent on the user to scrutinize
the results carefully and to make design modifications as necessary. The software
does not eliminate the necessity of iteration in the design process; it just makes the
process much faster, easier and less error prone.

Use of the STE module in HEXTRAN version 9.1 is illustrated by the following

Example 5.3
Use HEXTRAN to rate the final configuration obtained for the kerosene/crude-oil
exchanger in Example 5.1, and compare the results with those obtained previously
by hand.

The procedure for problem setup and data entry is similar to that discussed in
Example 4.3. Under Units of Measure, the viscosity unit is changed from cp to lb/ft
· h for convenience, and the flow sheet is then constructed in the usual manner. The
two feed streams are defined as bulk property streams, and the physical properties
are entered on the appropriate forms. Note that fluid density (49.008 lbm/ft3 for
kerosene and 53.066 lbm/ft3 for crude oil), not specific gravity, must be entered.
Since stream pressures were not given in Example 5.1 (they are not needed for the
calculations, but must be specified in HEXTRAN), a value of 50 psia is arbitrarily
assigned for each stream. Flow rates and temperatures of the feed streams are
entered as given in Example 5.1.
The physical parameters of the heat exchanger are entered on the appropriate
forms exactly as obtained from Example 5.1. In addition, on the Baffles form the
baffle thickness is specified as 0.1875 in. (the default value) and the total tubesheet
thickness as 4.0 in. (2.0 in. for each tubesheet), in accordance with the design
guidelines given in Section 5.7. Note that the total thickness of both tubesheets
must be entered, not the individual tubesheet thickness. Only the central baffle
spacing (3.85 in.) is specified; no value is entered for the inlet or outlet spacing.
One pair of sealing strips is also specified on this form. Finally, under Pressure Drop
Options, the Two-Phase Film/DP Method is set to HEXTRAN 5.0x Method, and the
Shell-side DP Method is set to Bell. (These settings are translated to TWOPHASE =
Old and DPSMETHOD = Bell in the input file under UNIT OPERATIONS/STE/CALC.)
With these settings, the program uses the Delaware method for both shell-side heat
transfer and pressure drop calculations.

The input file generated by the HEXTRAN GUI is given below, followed by the
Exchanger Data Sheet and Extended Data Sheet, which were extracted from the
output file. Information obtained from the data sheets was used to prepare the
following comparison between computer and hand calculations.

Item Hand calculation HEXTRAN

Rei 10,189 10,189

Reo 37,158 45,148

hi (Btu/h · ft2 · °F) 156 156.2

ho (Btu/h · ft2 · °F) 122 191.2

UD (Btu/h · ft2 · °F) 46 53.3

ΔPi (psi) 10.2 10.06

ΔPo (psi) 2.2 2.10

The tube-side Reynolds number, heat-transfer coefficient, and pressure drop

computed by HEXTRAN agree almost exactly with the hand calculations. There is
also excellent agreement between the shell-side pressure drops. However, there
are significant differences in the shell-side Reynolds numbers and heat-transfer
coefficients calculated by the two methods. The difference in Reynolds numbers
is due to differences in the way Re is defined in the two methods. As expected, the
Simplified Delaware method gives a smaller value for the heat-transfer coefficient
than does the full Delaware method. However, the difference is somewhat greater
than expected, amounting to about 36% of the HEXTRAN value. This difference
is reflected in the kerosene outlet temperature computed by HEXTRAN, 236°F
versus the target temperature of 250°F. Thus, according to HEXTRAN, the exchanger
is over-sized. Also, notice that HEXTRAN adjusts the number of baffles and the
end spacing to account for the thickness of the tubesheets. The baffle spacing is
interpreted as baffle pitch since the tube length satisfies:

HEXTRAN Input File for Example 5.3

HEXTRAN Output Data for Example 5.3
Example 5.4
Use HEXTRAN to design a shell-and-tube heat exchanger for the kerosene/crude-oil
service of Example 5-1, and compare the resulting unit with the one designed
previously by hand.

The STE module in HEXTRAN is configured in design mode by right clicking on
the unit and selecting Change Configuration from the pop-up menu. Exchanger
parameters are set as in Example 5.3, except for the following items that are left
unspecified to be calculated by the program: number of tubes, tubesheet thickness,
baffle spacing, number of sealing strips, and nozzle sizes. Design constraints are set
as shown below, and the kerosene outlet temperature (250°F) is given as the design
specification on the Specifications form.

The HEXTRAN input file and Exchanger Data Sheets for this run (Run 1) are given
below, and the results are compared with the hand calculations in the following table.
In all cases, the tubes are 1-in. O.D., 14 BWG, on 1.25-in. square pitch. Notice that
the nozzle diameters are rounded to one decimal place in the HEXTRAN output.
The exact nozzle sizes determined by the program are the same as used in the hand
calculations, namely, 4-in. schedule 40 on the tube side and 3-in. schedule 40 on
the shell side.

Item Hand Run 1 Run 2 Run 3

Shell ID (in.) 19.25 13.25 17.0 19.0
Number of tubes 124 47 79 99
Tube length (ft) 14 26 20 14
Number of tube 4 2 2 4
Baffle cut (%) 20 24.9 22.9 22.3
(Central) baffle 3.85 6.14 6.00 6.18
spacing (in.)
Tube-side nozzle 4.026 4.0 4.0 4.0
ID (in.)
Shell-side nozzle 3.068 3.1 3.1 3.1
ID (in.)
Rei 10,189 13,441 7997 12,762

ΔPi (psi) 10.2 13.75 4.86 14.66

ΔPo (psi) 2.2 3.55 1.74 1.04

Surface area (ft2) 454 322 419 366

All design criteria are met, but with a length of 26 ft and a diameter of only 13.25 in.,
the configuration is awkward. In an attempt to obtain a more compact design, the
maximum tube length was changed from 30 to 20 ft. The results for this run (Run
2) are given in the above table. As can be seen, the tube-side Reynolds number is in
the transition region, which is undesirable.

A third run was made with the minimum number of tube passes set at four and the
maximum tube length set at 20 ft. The Exchanger Data Sheet for this run is given
below and the results are compared with those from the other runs in the table
above. It can be seen that this run produced a configuration very similar to the one
obtained by hand, albeit with less heat-transfer area due to the higher shell-side
coefficient computed by HEXTRAN. Although the tube-side velocity is on the high
side at 8.36 ft/s, it is acceptable with carbon steel tubes. Checking the appropriate
tube-count table (Table C.5) shows that a 17.25 in. shell should be adequate for a
bundle containing 99 tubes. Since HEXTRAN specifies a 19 in. shell for this bundle,
it is apparent that it uses a different set of tube-count data.

HEXTRAN Input File for Example 5.4, Run 1

HEXTRAN Output Data for Example 5.4, Run 1
HEXTRAN Output Data for Example 5.4, Run 3
> Read full chapter

Heat exchanger network design

Ian C Kemp, in Pinch Analysis and Process Integration (Second Edition), 2007

4.2.2 Shell-and-tube exchangers

There are three main types of shell-and-tube exchanger; fixed tubeplate, floating
head and U-tube (Figure 4.1). The first two types have straight tubes with the tube
side fluid entering at one end and leaving at the other. The fixed tubeplate is cheaper
but the shell side is hard to clean and expansion bellows may be needed to deal with
thermal stresses. The U-tube type only needs a header at one end and the tubes can
easily be withdrawn for external cleaning, but internal cleaning is hard and the flow
reversal reduces effective ΔT.

Figure 4.1. Major types of shell-and-tube heat exchanger

The Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA) has classified

shell-and-tube exchangers by shell type, front end head and rear end head types.
These distinctions are important in choice of a suitable exchanger for a given duty,
but head types do not affect initial network design.

Double-pipe exchangers are not true shell-and-tube exchangers but show many
similarities. In essence, one fluid flows in an annulus around the inner tube, al-
though a convoluted route with multiple flow reversals may be used. Their great
advantage is that almost pure countercurrent flow is achieved. However, surface area
is considerably less than for a multi-tubular exchanger of the same volume. Implications for network design

Temperature crosses will be a problem in “long” matches, especially for U-tube
exchangers and other types with multiple tube passes. For these matches, especially
near the pinch, it may be best to use multiple shells or countercurrent exchangers.
Conversely, if the shell side fluid is boiling or condensing at constant temperature,
the U-tube unit is at no disadvantage.

Which fluid should go on the tube side and which on the shell side in a match? The
following preferences may be applied:

– Put a condensing or boiling stream on the shell side (easier flows and better
temperature differences).
– Put the fluid with the lower temperature change (or higher CP) on the shell
side (tends to give better temperature differences).
– Put corrosive fluids on the tube side; cheaper to make tubes from exotic alloys
than shells, and easier to repair than a shell if corrosion does occur.
– Streams whose pressure drop must be minimised should go on the shell side
(ΔP through the exchanger is much lower).
– In fixed tubeplate units, heavily fouling fluids should go on the tube side; in
U-tube units, they should go on the shell side.
– Putting the hot fluid on the tube side minimises structural heat losses. True temperature driving forces in matches

In Chapter 2 we stated the formula for heat exchange, Q = UA (ΔTLM). However, this
only applies for pure countercurrent heat exchange. In shell-and-tube exchangers,
the shell side fluid is normally in crossflow. Moreover, in U-tube units and other
types with an even number of tube passes, the hottest and coldest tube side fluid is
at the same end of the exchanger. Even double-pipe exchangers do not show perfect
countercurrent exchange; there is some mixing.

To allow for this, the log mean temperature difference is multiplied by a correction
factor FT (< 1). FT itself is expressed in terms of two other parameters P and R. R is the
ratio of the temperature change for the hot stream to that for the cold stream (and
therefore also equal to CPC/CPH if heat losses are discounted). P is the temperature
change on the cold stream divided by the temperature difference between hot and
cold streams at inlet. Graphs and formulae are available to give FT for a wide range
of exchanger types; two especially useful ones are U-tube exchangers (Figure 4.2)
and crossflow shells (Figure 4.3).
Figure 4.2. FT correction factors for U-tube exchangers

Figure 4.3. FT correction factors for one-pass exchangers with pure crossflow on shell



Typical film heat transfer coefficients for shell-and-tube exchangers are shown in
Table 4.1.

Table 4.1. Typical film heat transfer coefficients for shell-and-tube heat exchangers

Cold side Hot side

Film coeffic Fouling fac- Overall film Film coeffic Fouling fac- Overall film
ient tor Km2/W coefficient ient tor Km2/W coefficient
W/m2K W/m2K W/m2K W/m2K
(clean) (clean)
Low pressure 112 0.0002 110 112 0.0002 110
gas 1 bar
High pres- 682 0.0002 600 682 0.0002 600
sure gas 20
Process wa- - - - 6,000 0.0005 1,500
Treated cool- 5,000 0.0002 2,500 - - -
ing water
Low viscosity 1,667 0.0004 1,000 1,667 0.0004 1,000
organic liq-
High viscos- 210 0.0008 180 170 0.0008 150
ity liquid
Condensing - - - 8,182 0.0001 4,500
Condensing - - - 1,410 0.0002 1,100
Condensing - - - 435 0.0002 400
bon/1 bar
Boiling 5,676 0.0003 2,100 - - -
treated water
Boiling or- 1,667 0.0004 1,000 - - -
ganic liquid

> Read full chapter

Industrial Compact Exchangers

John E. Hesselgreaves, ... David A. Reay, in Compact Heat Exchangers (Second
Edition), 2017

2.9 Compact Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers

Manufacturers include: Bowman, Krones, Kelvion
As shown in Chapter 1, shell-and-tube exchangers can be both compact and small.
Some polymer types have area densities of up to 500 m2/m3, while the aluminium
fuel heater/oil coolers used in most aircraft engines can exceed this figure by several
times. This is achieved by the use of large numbers of small diameter (typically 3 mm
o.d.) tubes, which are often augmented, for example, by dimples. An example is
shown in Fig. 2.53. Several other manufacturers of so-called compact shell-and-tube
units use larger diameter tubes. The aerospace sector tends to use the most compact
units—typically for fuel-to-oil heat transfer in engines. The growing interest in poly-
mer heat exchangers, including polymeric hollow fibre units (see the next section)
has allowed polymer tubes of significantly smaller diameter to be manufactured.

Fig. 2.53. A compact shell-and-tube exchanger for fuel heating/oil cooling, and a
typical two-pass tube bundle.

(Courtesy Serck Aviation Ltd).

There are also various developments affecting shell-side behaviour, such as novel
baffle types and twisted tapes. Disc-and-ring baffle systems are often used instead
of segmental systems as they have been shown to offer superior performance.

As illustrated later, the use of additive manufacturing (3D printing) is increasingly

being used for developing new concepts and this is particularly true in areas such
as aerospace components and heat transfer. Illustrated in Fig. 2.54 is the section
of a shell-and-tube heat exchanger concept (using the term loosely), in which, with
suitable manifolding, true counterflow can be achieved between the inner hexagonal
‘tubes’ and the six rectangular channels surrounding each ‘tube’.

Fig. 2.54. A 3D-printed section of a heat exchanger concept made possible using
additive manufacturing technology.
(Courtesy HiETA Ltd).

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