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Thermal Design and Rating of a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger Using a Matlab® GUI


  • Chemical Engineering Program, Research Group on Sustainable Chemical and Biochemical Processes, Universidad del Atlántico, Km 7 Antigua Vía a Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Chemical Engineering Program, Research Group on Simulation and Process Control, Universidad del Atlántico, Km 7 Antigua Vía a Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Mechanical Engineering Department, Research Group on Efficient Energy Management, Universidad del Atlántico, Km 7 Antigua Vía a Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla,, Colombia


Objectives: To design and rate a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger Using a Matlab® GUI and assess it with the evaluation guide ISO/IEC 9126-1 Methods/Statistical analysis: The general procedure is initiated by estimating the heat flow, the thermal properties and some dimensionless numbers in heat transfer based on the caloric temperature for the fluids. Finally, the films and overall heat transfer coefficients were used to estimate the heat transfer area, which is needed to calculate the approximate size of the equipment, and therefore its cost, been this goal a powerful tool for engineering education. Findings: The student can see the effect of the dirt factor, the geometrical configuration, the thickness of the tubes, and the flow velocity inside or outside the tubes, etc., on the resistance of the total heat exchange between the fluids to later carry out laboratory experiences where they can compare the results and give a better explanation of the profiles obtained with the variable chosen to be studied. It can help engineering students to be more creative in finding different ways to increase the efficiency of heat exchangers or in the design of new ones. Using the program, it was determined the lowest obstruction factor to the heat transfer as a function of BWG number and external tube diameter, the correction factor of the log mean temperature difference and the Dittus and Boelter, and Sieder and Tate parameters. It was confirmed the importance of the software in the student learning process according to the software quality requirements and evaluation guide ISO/ IEC 9126-1. Application/Improvements: The GUI let students to reach the heat transfer educational objectives and the program outcomes expected for new engineers improving the communication between design engineers and technicians in industry.


Dittus and Boelter Parameters, Engineering Software Education, Graphical User Interface, Obstruction Factor, Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger

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