Failures and fouling analysis in heat exchangers


  • V. Vasauskas
  • S. Baskutis


In this paper the analysis of failures and fouling in heat exchangers has been presented. The approach com-bines laboratory scale experiments with industrial observa-tions to study the thermal and fouling characteristics of plate type heat exchangers.The process of heat transfer under real operation conditions is investigated. The paper presents examples of defects in connecting pipes, corrosion inside heat exchang-ers due to influence of heat transfer media.Materials for heat transfer plates of heat exchang-ers were analysed. Damages of heat exchangers due to wrong installation and exploitation conditions and corro-sion have been investigated. The Vicker’s indentation method has been employed in the experimental verifica-tions of this analysis, because the resultant deforma-tion/fracture geometry appears to confirm the main simpli-fying assumption of the analysis. Analyzing an interface between inner tube surface and fouling it was determined that fouling has hardness of 100 Vicker’s points higher than that of the tube analyzed. Measurements of indenta-tion stress-strain responses on defected tubes and heat transfer plates may be used to determine strength proper-ties during evaluation reliability and durability of heat ex-changers.