(166c) Heat Exchanger Performance Enhancement through the Use of Tube Inserts


Heat exchanger tube inserts have been used for many years as practical methods for fouling control and heat transfer enhancement, and their benefits are clearly established in numerous industrial installations. Through a combination of increased turbulence and mechanical movements, a reduction of the tube side fouling layer and an improvement of the inner heat transfer rate are achieved.

Several application examples will be presented, showing comparisons between equipped and unequipped exchangers in refinery crude units, in different flow conditions, such as

- crude vs. residue

- crude vs. reflux

- reboilers

Also, the combination of tube inserts with antifoulant additives and chemical cleaning will be discussed.

Benefits derived from the utilization of tube inserts include energy savings, enhanced heat transfer levels, improved online availability of equipment, extended run lengths of exchangers, reduction in maintenance costs, production enhancements through avoidance of down-times, de-bottlenecking, and the possibility of plant emission reductions.