Shell and tube exchanger failures spur reliability programs

The keys to heat-exchanger reliability are having a good design, reliable inspection data, and accurate tube-bundle life predictions.As plants get older, systematic approaches for improving heat-exchanger reliability are essential. After implementation of the heat-exchanger reliability program in all its Gulf Coast plants, Lyondell Chemical Co. expects a substantial reduction in the number of unplanned plant outages as a result of heat-exchanger tube leaks.In 1997, heat-exchanger tube failures accounted for 31% of the unplanned downtime in Lyondell`s Gulf Coast plants. This resulted in over $12 million of unplanned production interruptions.A multidisciplinary team studied the tube failure...

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