The standards of the Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA) describe three baffle types: single segmental, double segmental, and no-tube-in-window (NTIW). Used for decades, these baffle types capture the high heat transfer coefficients for cross flow over a tube bundle.

HTRI research for these baffle types shows that flow distribution is non-ideal with large flow variations near the baffle tips. This contributes to higher pressure drop and large temperature distribution. Acknowledging these non-ideal distributions, industry has adjusted designs to reduce hot spots for high temperature applications and to eliminate stagnant regions for fouling applications.

Two recent trends necessitate additional studies for alternative baffle types.

  • High-effectiveness applications. Designs with large temperature changes on the shell side have a high-temperature effectiveness and are often coupled with a low pressure drop requirement. These applications are challenging for segmental baffles where heat transfer is accompanied with high pressure drop and flow maldistribution reduces the mean temperature difference.
  • Electric heaters. Of particular concern are hot spots due to constant heat flux in low flow regions.

At our 2024 Global Conference, the HTRI community will discuss improvements to current baffle technology, including alternatives to TEMA baffle types. Commercial proprietary technology such as HELIXCHANGER®, EMbaffle®, and Square One baffles will be reviewed, along with other axial flow geometries such as rod and strip baffles. Join us and have an impact on potential HTRI recommendations to TEMA.