Despite the fact that multipass shell-and-tube heat exchangers operating at high temperature are subject to frequent problems related to flange sealing, there is neither detailed explanations for the reasons of the failures nor adequate solution to this problem. Specific geometry of multipass heat exchangers and the temperature difference between the inlet and the outlet fluids are responsible for the existence of a thermal circumferential gradient at the shell-to-channel bolted joint. However, existing flange design methods do not address non-axisymmetrical temperature loading of the flanged joint assembly. The circumferential thermal gradient, as the cause of frequent failures to seal the flanged joints, is ignored. This paper outlines the analytical modeling of a flanged joint with a tube sheet of a multipass heat exchanger subjected to a non-axisymmetrical thermal loading. A shell-and-tube heat exchanger of 51 in diameter with co-current flow was used for analysis. The main steps of the theoretical analysis used for the determination of the circumferential temperature profiles and the thermal expansion displacements and distortions of the bolted joint components are given. The results from the proposed analytical model are compared to those obtained from finite element models.

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