RESEARCH PAPERS: Heat Exchangers

A Maintenance Strategy for Heat Transfer Equipment Subject to Fouling: A Probabilistic Approach

[+] Author and Article Information
S. M. Zubair, A. K. Sheikh, M. O. Budair, M. A. Badar

Mechanical Engineering Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

J. Heat Transfer 119(3), 575-580 (Aug 01, 1997) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2824144 History: Received October 29, 1996; Revised April 21, 1997; Online December 05, 2007


Fouling of heat transfer surfaces introduces a major uncertainty into the design and operation of heat transfer equipment. After a brief discussion on impact of fouling, we present and discuss a stochastic approach to the analysis of fouling models. In view of the performance indicator (U/Uc ) of the heat exchangers, a maintenance strategy for planned maintenance schedules is presented. Various scenarios of reliability based maintenance strategy are introduced. The strategy is explained in terms of the scatter parameter (α) of the time-to-fouling distribution corresponding to a critical level of fouling, and the risk factor (p) representing the probability of tubes being fouled to a critical level after which a cleaning cycle is needed. In addition, the cost implications of the above mentioned strategy are explained and their impact on heat exchanger maintenance is highlighted.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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