From a safety study a concern was raised about the probability of instant tube rupture in 300 bar heat exchangers in LDPE plants. A study has been performed in a multidisciplinary team to determine the potential failure mechanisms. Among the possible potential failure mechanisms those which can cause instant tube rupture were identified. Based on these potential failure mechanisms, non-destructive examinations were performed to investigate if these failure mechanisms were present and online acoustic emission measurements were performed to investigate during which process conditions the damage occurred. Eventually a cooler was dismantled to investigate the root cause of the damage. This paper describes the entire study.

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