The paper presents a rational method of analysis of heat-exchanger tube-sheet stresses. While the tube sheet is taken to be a perforated plate on an elastic foundation in the manner of Gardner and Miller, it is also considered as part of an integrated indeterminate structure, and the interaction between the tube sheet and the connecting cylindrical shells and flange of the exchanger is determined so that a condition may be formulated which the edge rotation and edge moment of the tube sheet must satisfy. In general, neither the edge rotation nor the edge moment is zero; the edge of a tube sheet is therefore neither clamped nor simply supported. Application of the present method to four different types of heat exchangers is described in detail. To illustrate the method, Gardner’s example of a fixed-tube-sheet exchanger is recalculated. While Gardner’s method yields only the two limiting values of the maximum stress in the tube sheet, which differ by more than 100 per cent, the present method makes it possible to determine the exact value of this maximum stress. By means of the present method, the stresses in the other parts of the heat exchanger, namely, the tubes, shell, head, and flange, also can be calculated. As a consequence of the present analysis, it is found that, in the external-floating-head type of exchanger, the tube-sheet stress is not independent of the shell-side pressure, which is contrary to Gardner’s and Miller’s conclusions.

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