In order to investigate the possibility of numerical simulation for whole structures of heat exchangers, two finite element analysis models have been established for the fixed tubesheet structure composed of tubesheet, cylindrical shell, and tubes using different types of elements. Stresses and deformations produced by pressure load or thermal load are calculated, and the axial strain at the middle area of the cylindrical shell is experimentally measured. By comparing the numerical results with experimental measurements, it is found that both finite element analysis models can give satisfactory results. Considering the difficulties in modeling heat exchangers, beam and shell elements are recommended.

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