Tube sheets of U-tube and bayonet-tube exchangers differ from those of floating-head exchangers in that they receive no external support from the staying or column action of the tubes. The strengthening effect of tube-bending reaction is here investigated, evaluated quantitatively, and presented in the form of simple design factors. These factors are functions of a parameter ua, a measure of the relative “barreling” rigidity of the tube bundle as compared to the flexural rigidity of the tube sheet. With stiff tubes and flexible tube sheets (high ua) the reinforcement due to tube bending is considerable and, in the central region of the tube sheet, the deflection and curvature are essentially independent of any tube-sheet property. At low ua the benefit gained is negligible.

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