May 2010

Special Report: Maintenance/Reliability

Flow-induced fatigue failure

Case histories describe a variety of failures and solutions

Due to the combined actions of vibration with pitting corrosion tube failure occurred by a mechanism known as corrosion fatigue. Vibration on its own should not cause any mechanical problems provided it is below the material fatigue limit. Case histories are presented that describe a variety of flow-induced vibration-related failures in tubular heat exchangers. Introduction. Many types of heat exchanger failures are randomly faced in the petrochemical, chemical, utility, engergy and petroleum industries.1 Some common failures in heat exchangers are: assembly errors, manufacturing defects, improper design, pipe and tubing imperfections, welding,2 fabrication,3 improper materials, improper op

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