Conference Dates

July 1-6, 2007

First Page



This paper presents a solution to a chronic problem causing repeated tube failure at shell-and-tube heat exchangers. The problem is related to fouling process on tubes surface which accumulates downstream the impingement plate at exchanger inlet nozzle within the first tube rows due to low velocity and vortices production. In fouling services, the suspended deposits, fouling, accumulates on tubes surface downstream the impingement plate causing under-deposit corrosion and raising tubes surface temperature due to lack of cooling accelerating fouling process. Under fouling corrosion attacks tubes and causes repeated tube failure costing a lot of money in terms of material, maintenance and production losses. Normal practice of extending tubes life and delaying their failure is to upgrade the tubes metallurgy. So this paper objective is to present an economical solution option through modifying the impingement plate in shell-and-tube heat exchangers where impingement plate is recommended by Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association, TEMA. The impingement modification is to replace the solid conventional impingement plate with double spaced plates having offset holes, called Double Perforated Impingement Plate (DPIP). The objective of this work can be met through simulate and compare shell side inlet flow distribution around the conventional and modified impingement plate, DPIP, and insuring of enhancing the flow pattern distribution at the area behind impingement plate. Since experimental work in flow investigation can be time consuming and costly, computational fluid dynamics, CFD, fluent software was implemented as a cost effective helpful tool to conduct the simulation and comparison purpose. The modified impingement plate, DPIP, will destroy vortices created behind the conventional plate retarding fouling accumulation principal. DPIP will enhance shell side flow distribution downstream the impingement plate and stop fouling accumulation on the tubes to prevent under-deposit corrosion.