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Heat Exchanger Tubes

Heat exchange tubes are intended for heating or cooling process fluids, they are for example suitable for closed circuit cooling of electrical equipment using demineralised water and for cooling water soluble oil solutions in quenching tanks.

Heat exchanger Tubes are used in all types of process industries. Characteristic requirements are: bead worked weld, fixed lengths and extensive testing. In order to meet the demand for rapid delivery, we have a strip stock with both standard and special grades of steel in the most common thicknesses.

We supply both seamless and welded tubes which meet the requirements for shell and tube heat exchangers:

  • ASTM A213/A213M Seamless tube
  • ASTM A556M-88/ASME SA556 heater tubes 1
  • ASTM A249/A249M Welded tube

Size range 6.35mm – 76.2mm OD x 0.91mm – 3.25mm wall thickness

Heat exchanger tubes are supplied in Standard Wire Gauge (SWG) or Birmingham Wire Gauge (BWG)

Popular grades: 1.4306 (304L), 1.4404 (316L)

Special testing

Whether your application requires seamless or welded stainless steel tubing, you can always count on consistent, high quality tubing manufactured by our specialists at Sunny Steel. Many of the world’s leading heat exchanger manufacturer’s turn to us for their tubing needs. Applications include:

Delivery Conditions:

  1. Annealed, Normalized, Normalized and Tempered
  2. Main Testing Terms Accoring to ASTM A213-09 and ASTM A1016
  3. High pressure hydraulic Test: Minimum 10 Maps.
  4. Eddy current test, Ultrasonic Test

Mechanical Test

  • OD and WT tolerance Test.

Surface treatment:

  • Oil-dip, Varnish, Passivation, Phosphating, Shot Blasting.
U bending
U bending

Understanding TEMA Types for Shell-and-Tube Exchangers

Shell-and-tube designs incorporate fixed or floating tubesheets, fixed or removable tube bundles and expansion joints as needed to create an effective heat transfer vessel. Gain a better understanding of the TEMA types to improve your selection process.
Among the most common types of heat transfer equipment used in industrial applications are the various configurations of shell-and-tube heat exchangers. Suitable for a range of pressure and temperature conditions, shell-and-tube heat exchangers can be robust enough to handle corrosive or even lethal fluids.

The shell-and-tube heat exchanger design allows heat transfer between two independent, pressurized chambers through the walls of the tubes. The design consists of an array of tubes, which is connected on each side to a flat plate called a tubesheet. The tubesheet also separates the shell and tube sides of the exchanger. Baffles on the outside of the tubes direct the flow of the shell-side fluid back and forth across the tubes to promote heat transfer. The process fluid can flow through either the shell or tube side, with the opposite side typically acting as the service side (usually a heating or cooling medium). The exchanger also can have a process fluid on both sides.

For most shell-and-tube heat exchanger types, the first step in designing an exchanger for a specific process is thermal design. Given the process conditions and heat transfer requirements, the thermal design determines the exchanger’s size, shape, number and size of tubes, number of baffles and baffle pitch, etc. Other factors considered at this stage include allowable pressure drop through the exchanger, any space constraints on the unit, the potential fouling of the unit and any resulting flow-induced vibration from the proposed design.

After the exchanger size is determined by the thermal design, a mechanical design is performed. This step determines the thickness of all parts as well as welding details required for the temperature and pressure conditions.

Many different configurations of shell-and-tube heat exchangers are available. There are advantages and disadvantages to each design, depending on factors such as process and thermal requirements, available space, financial budget and cleaning requirements. This article provides information on several of the most widely used configurations and briefly discusses some of the issues to consider when planning for and selecting a heat exchanger configuration.

The Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association, or TEMA, publishes a standard that establishes design, fabrication, tolerances, installation and maintenance of shell-and-tube type exchangers. This standard and the ASME code are the main standards used to design and fabricate exchangers along with any applicable customer specifications. The TEMA standard also defines the classes and main configuration styles of exchangers.

Heat Transfer by Heat Exchangers TEMA Design

Because of the number of variations in mechanical designs for front and rear heads and shells, and for commercial reasons, TEMA has designated a system of notations that correspond to each major type of front head, shell type and rear head. The first letter identifies the front head, the second letter identifies the shell type and the third letter identifies the rear head type.

Removable bundle exchangers

Removable bundle exchangers give the customer the ability to replace the tube bundle without replacing the shell or Bonnets. They are generally less cost effective than non removable designs.

BEU/AEU– U Bundle Exchangers are generally the most cost effective design style of removable bundle exchanger. Tubes may be water blasted, steam or chemically cleaned. These units must have an even number of tube passes, sometimes limiting their applicability to a service(e.g. they generally can not be used when a temperature cross occurs).

CEU– This design has the tubesheet welded to the Bonnet. You can remove the bundle from the shell, however to replace the bundle, the inlet Bonnet is included or you must cut off the tubesheet. Tubes may be chemically cleaned, water blasted or steam cleaned.

BEW/AEW– These are straight tube units with one floating head and one stationary head. The floating head is generally sealed with an O-Ring. These units are most often used as oil coolers or air coolers. Cleaning can be performed by either a chemical, mechanical method, water blast or steam cleaning.

AEP/BEP– These are straight tube units with one inside packed floating head and one stationary head. The floating head is generally sealed with packing. These units are most often used as intercoolers and aftercoolers with the gas on the tube side. They are also the most common style for oxygen service exchangers. These units have been used in services with tube side design pressures in excess of 2000 PSIG.

TEMA, Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association
AES/AET- These units are the most expensive of the removable bundle designed units. The floating head is internal to the shell. Tubes can be cleaned mechanically , chemically, water blasted or steam cleaned. The design of these units forces an even number of tube side passes therefore they suffer the same service restrictions as U bundles. Although in theory one pass unit can be designed, this is rarely done. These units are generally used in services where U bundles are not desired and the service may be too corrosive/damaging to the packing used in AEP/BEP units.

Heat Exchanger TEMA type AES with Floating Head

Non removable bundle exchangers
  1. Stationary Head-Channel
  2. Stationary Head-Bonnet
  3. Stationary Head Flange Channel or Bonnet
  4. Channel Cover
  5. Stationary Head Nozzle
  6. Stationary Tubesheet
  7. Tubes
  8. Shell
  9. Shell Flange, Stationary Head End
  10. Shell Flange, Rear Head End
  11. Shell Nozzle
  12. Shell Cover Flange
  13. Floating Tubesheet
  1. Floating Head Cover
  2. Floating Head Cover Flange
  3. Floating Head Backing Device
  4. Tierods and Spacers
  5. Transverse Baffles or Support Plates
  6. Impingement Plate
  7. Vent Connection
  8. Drain Connection
  9. Instrument Connection
  10. Support Saddle
  11. Lifting Lug
  12. Pass Partition

These types of units are often used in high pressure services and services where you wish to avoid leakage problems at gasketed joints. Another advantage is that they are generally more cost effective than removable bundle designs.

NEU- The most cost effective design available. The tubesheet is welded to both the shell and Bonnet. There is no access to the shell. Tubes may be chemically cleaned, water blasted or steam cleaned from inside only. These units are commonly used in high pressure services (such as feedwater heaters), where process conditions allow for even pass exchangers.

NEN- Tubesheets are welded to both the Shell and Bonnets. Access to the tubes is through covers on the channels. These units are favored in very high pressure designs as their construction minimizes the tubesheet thickness and number of high pressure retaining flanges.

AEM/BEM/AEL-SHELL side is completely welded up, however, the Bonnets are removable. Chemical, mechanical, and water blast cleaning of the tubes is possible, however you do not have access to the shell.

You should avoid using Steam cleaning on a fixed tube sheet unit unless the unit has a shell side expansion joint. The steam will cause the tubes to expand and pull out of the Tube Sheet causing failure at startup.

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