Meshless: Simulation of a complex heat exchanger with SIMSOLID without meshing

Heat exchangers can be very complex. With heat exchangers, we find different loads on almost every component, e.g. from pressure differences on the tube and shell side, temperature loads caused by thermal expansion and nozzle loads through the connected pipelines. In addition, external loads such as wind loads or earthquake loads can determine the exchanger.

Up to now, the stress and stability analyses have been performed using formulas from various sets of rules such as ASME, AD or EN or, in the case of very complex tasks, also with FEM. The disadvantage of a FEM calculation in this case is that we need a very fine mesh on the tube plate to solve the problem on this highly perforated part. On the other hand, the component can also become very large in terms of diameter, which means that many elements are required for the mesh and a very long calculation time is required.

Let’s take the following heat exchanger. This complex assembly consists of 566 individual parts including 112 bolts and nuts, which are also recorded in the simulation including their tightening torque.

With SIMSOLID you can not only calculate the tube plate displacements and stresses in a fraction of the time required for the meshing in a FEM calculation, but you can also superimpose the loads resulting from the additional influences. Furthermore, for the first time we are able to optimize these material-intensive tube plates because we get very fast calculation results.

Typical calculation times for this project are less than 10 minutes.

We consider SIMSOLID to be a very valuable tool for analyzing complex structures. For this reason we have become consulting partners of SIMSOLID. We can use the advantages of this tool specifically for our calculations.

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