How Bronswerk Heat Transfer not only delivered a like-for-like bundle for a Kettle type Steam Generator, but also implemented a small re-design that significantly extended the lifetime of the Steam Generator.
Dow Chemical required a replacement of the bundle of their Steam Generator every 2 years due to leaking tubes caused by flow induced vibration. They asked us to come up with a redesign in order to get rid of the vibrations as well as to extend the use of the Steam Generator.
Instead of just offering a new like-for-like bundle, we were challenged to find out the cause of these vibration problems. Using both the HTRI and the finite element method, we were able to determine the actual natural frequency of the tube and determine that the U-bend section in particular had insufficient support, resulting in a low natural frequency of the tubes. This was probably the root cause of vibrations.
We found the solution by adding tube supports in strategic locations, while retaining the heat transfer surface and sizing.
Thanks to our approach, the new design bundle has been in operation for more than 10 years without any problems. This saves the customer a replacement bundle CAPEX every 2 to 4 years and reduces the risk of unplanned downtime.
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