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• Classification of Heat Exchangers-in general

• Classification of Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers- details

• Heat Exchangers- Materials of Construction

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In general, TEMA classifies heat exchangers in three classes:-

• TEMA, R Class - Heat exchangers used in severe conditions as in
Petroleum and Petrochemical Industry
– for example, heat exchangers used in methanol plants in a synthesis loop and
heat recovery system
• TEMA, C Class - Heat exchangers for moderately severe conditions
• TEMA, B Class - Heat exchangers used for general purpose for
example, those used in food and pharmaceutical industry
There are certain limitations to the application of TEMA standards.
These are: (1) Shell diameter not to exceed 1500 mm, (2) Design
pressure of less than 200 bar
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Fluid Flow Arrangement

One of the methods of classification of heat exchangers is on the
basis of the configuration of the fluid flow paths through the heat
The four most common type of flow paths are:
– Co-current or parallel flow units, where the two fluid streams enter
together at one end, flow through in the same direction and leave
together at the other end
– Counter-current or counter flow units in which the two fluid streams
move in opposite directions
– Single path cross-flow units in which one fluid moves through the heat
exchanger at right angles to the flow path of the other fluid
– Multipass cross-flow units, in which one fluid stream shuffles back and
forth across the flow path of the other fluid stream.

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These types of heat exchangers are built of a shell in which a number

of round tubes are mounted by means of tube plates.
According to the mechanical configuration these exchangers can be
classified as:-
(a) Fixed tube sheet
(b) Outside packed floating head
(c) Internal floating head
(d) U-tube type
(e) Reboiler (with internal floating head or V-tube type)

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– These types of exchangers are more often used than others.

– The essential part is a shell, welded to two tube sheets, one each at
either end which also serve as flanges for the attachment of the channels
or bonnets.
– It is often necessary to provide expansion bellows on the shell to
eliminate excessive stresses in the shell and tubes due to differential
thermal expansion.

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– This type of exchanger is used only where the shell side fluid is clean and
non-fouling and where the temperature difference is below 95°C
– In these exchangers, the shell is always welded to tube sheets, resulting in
no gasketed or packed joints on the shell side.
– There is no possibility of intermixing between the hot and cold side fluids
through internal gasket failures
– The tubes are straight and easily cleanable on the inside.
– However, mechanical cleaning and usual inspection of the outside of the
tubes is not possible with nonremovable tube bundle.

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– The shell of this heat exchanger is made up of two parts.

– The main shell has a flange welded at one end, and provision is made at
the other end for the attachment of a short length shell piece, with a
stuffing box and gland type joint.
– The short length of the shell is provided with a flange to which the tube sheet
is held by a snap ring. The channel flange is fixed to the tube sheet by a
gasketed flanged joint.
– The second tube sheet is clamped between the main shell flange and the
bonnet flange by the use of gaskets on either side of the tube sheet.

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– As the tubes expand, the short length shell piece along with the channel are
free to move.
– This exchanger is fairly common. It is used as a vertical condenser with
vapour inside the tubes, and is of a single pass type.
– The tube bundle is removable for inspection and mechanical cleaning of the
outside surface of the tubes.
– Only the shell side fluid is in contact with the gland. In general the
construction is rather elaborate and there are limitations as to the use of
high temperatures and pressures for the shell packing gland.

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– This exchanger has straight tubes fixed at both ends in the floating and
stationary tube sheets
– The stationary tube sheet is clamped between the channel and shell
– The floating head is fitted to the sheet at the other end and the floating
head cover is held in position by a split backing ring to permit dismantling
– The floating tube sheet is kept slightly smaller in diameter than the bore of
the shell, so as to withdraw the entire tube bundle from the channel end
– The shell is closed by a bonnet on the floating head side.
– The tube sheet along with the floating head is free to move and take the
differential thermal expansion between the shell and the tube bundle.

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– This exchanger is widely used in Chemical Industries.

– It is quite suitable for rigorous duties associated with high temperatures
and pressures and also with dirty fluids.
– The tube bundle of the exchangers is removable for inspection and the
mechanical cleaning of the outside of the tubes.
– The tubes are replaceable and can be cleaned easily from the inside.
– The exchanger is costly because of its construction having several gasketed

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– The tube bundle in this type of exchanger consists of Ushaped tubes, both
ends of which are fixed to a single stationary tube sheet.
– The differential thermal expansion between the shell and the tubes is
absorbed by the U-bends which can expand and contract freely.
– The number of joints in this type of exchanger are reduced.
– The exchanger requires only one tube sheet.
– The tube bundle can be removed for cleaning of the outside surface of the
– The inside of tubes can be cleaned only by chemical means.
– Bending and replacement of tubes is rather difficult.
– However, the overall cost is reduced.
– The exchangers are usually employed for high pressure and temperature
applications, where a single tube sheet results in considerable reduction in
cost .

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– This exchanger is either provided with an internal floating head

arrangement or a U-tube arrangement.
– The shell is made up of a larger diameter to provide for vapor space, above
the tube bundle.
– This exchanger is located at the bottom of a distillation column for
converting the liquid at the bottom of the column into vapor.

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Materials of Construction

• Exchangers are generally constructed of carbon and low alloy steels.

• Carbon steels are recommended up to 540°C, while low alloy steels up
to 590°C. In such exchangers the tubes may be of, non-ferrous metal
such as brass, copper, nickel, etc.
• For handling corrosive fluids, non-ferrous alloys or high alloy steels are
used. Such metals are copper, cupro-nickel, nickel, monel, inconel,
aluminium, stainless steel, etc.
• In special cases, heat exchangers are made of graphite, teflon and

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Materials of Construction

• For low temperature service, austenitic stainless steel or non-ferrous

alloys are used.
• For high temperature service, stabilized grade of low carbon steel or
alloys steel are used.

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V. Mahajani & S. Umarji, “Joshi's Process Equipment Design”,

Macmillan Publishers India Ltd., 4th Ed., 2009

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