Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 581–594 | Cite as

Estimation of Fretting Wear-Limited Life of a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger Tubes: Analytical Formulation, Computer Implementation and Qualification Against Actual Reported Failure

  • Gajendra Vasantrao Patil
  • M. A. Dharap
  • R. I. K. Moorthy
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


In a typical shell and tube-type heat exchanger, the tubes are clamped at the ends by tube sheets and supported by intermittent baffles with gaps. Vibration of tubes makes them susceptible to impacting and rubbing with the baffle support or adjacent tubes. Damage caused by these impacts and rubbing motions is termed fretting. An analytical tool is developed to carry out fretting wear-limited life of heat exchanger tubes. The developed tool is evaluated with reported cases of failure. The authors had earlier conducted this evaluation (Patil et al. in J Fail Anal Preven 17:126–135, 2017) in cases where the vibration was excited by vortex shedding. This paper extends the study to include the other flow-induced mechanism of turbulent buffeting, thus making the tool more comprehensive.


Fretting Shell and tube heat exchanger Vortex shedding Turbulent buffeting premature failure 

List of symbols


Fluid density


Free stream velocity


Reduced frequency


Tube diameter


Lift coefficient, dimensionless


Circular vortex shedding frequency, radian/s


Lift force (force perpendicular to the mean flow) per unit length of tube


Mass flux


Power spectral density


Phase angle


Number of harmonics contributing to the total force


Element length


Mass matrix


Linear damping matrix


Nonlinear damping matrix


Linear stiffness matrix


Nonlinear stiffness matrix

\(R_{{t +\Delta t}}\)

External force vector at time \(t +\Delta t\)

\(\ddot{U}_{{t +\Delta t}}\), \(\dot{U}_{{t +\Delta t}}\), \(U_{{t +\Delta t}}\)

Acceleration, velocity and displacement vectors at time \(t +\Delta t\), respectively


Contact force


Support stiffness


Displacement between tube and support


Nonlinear damping coefficient

\(V\left( t \right)\)

Worn volume after time \(T\)


A specific wear coefficient


Normal contact force between tube and support


Sliding distance after time T


Fretting wear damage volume rate


Specific wear coefficient


Normal work rate


Support thickness


Tube wall wear depth


Random excitation force coefficient


Tubular exchanger manufacturer association


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gajendra Vasantrao Patil
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. A. Dharap
    • 1
  • R. I. K. Moorthy
    • 2
  1. 1.Veermata Jijabai Technological InstituteMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Pillai College of EngineeringMumbai UniversityNew PanvelIndia

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