Design development of shell and tube heat exchangers require engineers and manufacturers to follow industry standards laid by regulatory international and national bodies. The process of shell and tube heat exchanger design is performed considering the thermal and mechanical aspects, to ensure that it operates efficiently and safely. Let’s look at both the aspects in detail.

Design for Thermal Requirements

Designing the shell and tube heat exchanger for thermal parameters requires multiple iterations and is normally performed using the proprietary software available within the company or other programs developed by regulatory bodies. The importance however in the thermal design process is to ensure that the engineer is able to acknowledge the design logic employed behind the calculations.

Determining thermal parameters like heat transfer coefficients and pressure drop in the heat exchanger requires first deciding the sides where the hot and cold fluids are allocated, the header types used for front and rear of the exchanger, shell type to be used, baffle types as well as the diameter of tube and its layout. Moreover, design elements like tube length, diameter of the shell, pitch of the baffle and number of passes are also required to be selected. These design parameters are then iterated multiple times to achieve a final design that provides maximum overall heat transfer within allowable pressure drops.

Following are the important steps involved in the calculation of…

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