Compact heat exchangers for supercritical CO2 (sCO2) service are often designed with external, semi-circular headers. Their design is governed by the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) whose equations were typically derived by following Castigliano’s Theorems. However, there are no known validation experiments to support their claims of pressure rating or burst pressure predictions nor is there much information about how and where failures occur.
This work includes high pressure bursting of three semi-circular header prototypes for the validation of three aspects: (1) burst pressure predictions from the BPVC, (2) strain predictions from Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and (3) deformation from FEA. The header prototypes were designed with geometry and weld specifications from the BPVC Section VIII Division 1, a design pressure typical of sCO2 service of 3,900 psi (26.9 MPa), and were built with 316 SS. Repeating the test in triplicate allows for greater confidence in the experimental results and enables data averaging. Burst pressure predictions are compared with experimental results for accuracy assessment. The prototypes are analyzed to understand their failure mechanism and locations.
Experimental strain and deformation measurements were obtained optically with Digital Image Correlation (DIC). This technique allows strain to be measured in two dimensions and even allows for deformation measurements, all without contacting the prototype. Eight cameras are used for full coverage of both headers on the prototypes. The rich data from this technique are an excellent validation source for FEA strain and deformation predictions. Experimental data and simulation predictions are compared to assess simulation accuracy.