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Processing & Handling :: Thermal & Energy Management :: Heat Exchangers, Condensers & Coolers

March 1, 2007

Heat Exchangers: Tube-to-Tubesheet Joint Tightness

While various criteria are used to define the strength and tightness of tube joints, leak rates are not easily specified. For applications where this is critical, it is important to understand how these joints are made

Stanley Yokell, MGT Inc.

The use of shell-and-tube heat exchangers is widespread in the chemical process industries (CPI). In applications where contact between shell- and tube-side fluids is not tolerable, it is important for the engineer to understand some of the design details that ensure leak tightness.

This article outlines the expanding processes and criteria for expanded-joint production. To ensure leak tightness, the author suggests using seal- or strength-welding followed by expanding tube-to-tubesheet joints. For welded-and-expanded joints, the author further recommends welding and expanding criteria and nondestructive examinations.

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