Recommended Shell and Tube side velocities

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Recommended shell and tube side velocities values are listed below, the values can be used for preliminary design purpose when designing shell and tube heat exchangers, these are guidelines that are in place as lower velocities can cause fouling issues and very high velocities can cause erosion issues. If there is silt or similar material present, it’s recommended to keep the velocity high to prevent settling.

Liquids

Tube side:  Water and similar liquids ranges from 3 – 8 ft/s (0.9 – 2.4 m/s)
Shell side:  Water and similar liquids ranges from 2 – 5 ft/s (0.6 – 1.5 m/s) 

Vapours

Atmospheric pressure: 33 – 98.5  ft/s (10 – 30 m/s)
High Pressure: 16.4 – 33 ft/s  (5 – 10 m/s)
Vacuum: 164 – 230 ft/s (50 – 70 m/s)

 

Keywords: recommended velocities, shell and tube side velocities, tube side velocities, shell side velocities

References

R.K. Sinnott, Coulson & Richardson’s Chemical Engineering Design, Volume 6, 3rd Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann

Links
Shell & Tube heat exchanger design and rating software
Shell & Tube condenser design software

 

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