A Shell and Tube is the most common type of heat exchanger used in applications that require higher pressures and temperatures. Consisting of a tube bundle inside a shell, this basic design is heavy duty, rugged and durable. The system is simple, two fluids of different temperatures are circulated through the heat exchanger. One fluid flows through the tubes while another fluid flows over the tubes providing an optimum and efficient heat transfer.
Advantages of a Shell & Tube
Higher pressure and temperature options available
Basic, heavy duty, rugged and durable
Average life is 15-20 years; however it is not uncommon to be in service for over 30 years
Typically less expensive than other types of heat exchangers including a plate and frame
Main Components of a Shell & Tube
The tubes are typically copper or stainless steel with a ¾" or 5/8" outside diameter, while the remaining components are usually manufactured from milled steel.
Tie rods (circular metal rods) and spacers hold the tube bundle together while holding the baffles in the correct position. The tie rods are fastened into the tube sheet then secured at the farthest baffle. The number of tie rods, baffles and tubes depends on shell diameter and required application.