The purpose of this paper is to develop a procedure for deciding on the limits of initial clearance to which tubesheet holes can be enlarged before replacement in heat exchanger maintenance.
An empirical model that relates the hardness of roller expanded tubes and ligaments to initial clearance is developed from experimental data to predict the extent of tolerable levels of over‐enlargement of tubesheet holes before the joint loses its structural integrity. The developed model serves as an additional criterion to decide whether to keep or discard a tubesheet having over‐enlarged holes during heat exchanger maintenance.
The current industrial criterion does not directly include the effect of material degradation for over‐enlarged holes. The empirical models indicate that both tubes and ligaments suffer strain hardenings. A new procedure is proposed to supplement the current industrial criterion.
The procedure will assist maintenance managers/engineers in deciding on the replacement of heat exchanger tubesheets. The combined criteria will have an impact on the cost of heat exchanger maintenance and plant downtime.
The procedure proposed in this paper adds to the industrial criterion another one that caters for the degradation in properties that the tube, tubesheet, and surrounding ligaments will be subjected to during roller expansion. In other words, it considers the strain hardening of the tube and tubesheet materials in setting the initial clearance between the tube and tubesheet that ensures adequate joint integrity.
Shuaib, A. (2006), "Setting initial clearance limits for sound roller expanded tube‐tubesheet joints in shell and tube heat exchanger maintenance", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 89-99. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552510610654565Download as .RIS
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