Systematic approaches for improving shell and tube heat exchanger reliability are essential. The keys to heat exchanger reliability are having a good design, reliable inspection data, and accurate tube bundle life predictions.
Regular inspections and cleanings help ensure that tubes and tube sheets are not eroded, wall thickness of the tubes is appropriate, and that no leaks are found. If a leak is found in a single tube, that tube is plugged.
However, when 10% or more of the tubes in a unit are plugged, retubing is recommended. This involves removing all tubes from the tube bundle, replacing with new tubes, and rolling the new tubes to the tube sheets.
Most shell and tube heat exchangers are unique to the plant or facility that uses them. Ordering a new one when something goes wrong with an existing unit is not often a simple process.
This makes retubing a more convenient option, as well as a more economical option.
Tubes are likely to wear out before the shell in which they are encased. Repairing and retubing as necessary extends the life of the unit as a whole. Proper maintenance lowers costs and keeps efficiency at an optimum level.
Xchanger Mechanical has extensive experience in retubing heat exchangers. Using superior tubing, qualified personnel, and proper written procedures, we ensure that your retubing project is performed correctly.