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Choosing the right finned tubes

Finned heat exchanger tubes are characterised by their radial or longitudinal fins, found on the outside, and carry a fluid to be heated or cooled. On the outside of finned tubes, there is usually air or another liquid.

There are countless ways you can benefit from finned tubes, including gaining an increase in the outer surface area of tubes. But first, you need to make sure you order the right ones.

Tube suppliers, like USEL Tubular Division, pride themselves on delivering a range of these tubes and offer:

Helical high finned tubes

Formed by wrapping a fin around the base of a finned tube, the helical high finned tube is ideal for various applications, and is available in the following types:

  • extruded fins – hardened in the extrusion process, making them stronger than applied fins
  • wrapped fins (L fins) – secured at each end for surface protection and used for moderate temperature and cooling applications
  • overlapped fins (LL fins) – renowned for excellent resistance to corrosion and can be used as an alternative to extruded fins in corrosive environments
  • embedded fins (G fins) – used for general continuous process applications (i.e. refineries, petrochemical, fertilizer, gas plants)
  • knurled L fins (KL fins) – similar to L fins but provide good surface protection and improve heat transfer

 

HF welded helical finned tubes

It’s no surprise the HF (high frequency) welded finned tube is the preferred choice for  industries like petrochemical and power generation, as they provide a homogeneous, clean, continuous bond and are renowned for efficient heat flow and corrosion resistance.

HF helical high finned tubes are typically used in:

  • boilers
  • fired heaters
  • heat exchangers
  • heat pipes

Integrally finned tubes

When it comes to increasing heat transfer in fluids, without altering the size and cost of heat exchangers, tube suppliers have the perfect solution. Rolled out from the tube wall, the fin is integral with the tube and reduces the thickness beneath the finned section – hence their name, ‘integrally finned tubes’.

The material hardness of a finned tube can determine the finning code/fin profile, and dense metals like stainless steel and titanium have the highest fin density – preventing the fin root from cracking. Less dense fins, like carbon steel, copper and alloys, are prone to cracking but effectively improve surface area.

 

Longitudinal finned tubes

With USEL Tubular Division’s longitudinal finned tube, the fin is welded in a diametrically opposite pair, and the way the channels are welded makes them extremely efficient in terms of heat transfer.

The number of fins a longitudinal finned tube has is always a multiple of 4 and is made from the most brazable or weldable materials – making it ideal for:

  • double pipe heat exchangers
  • fire rated heaters
  • gas coolers
  • multi-tube heat exchangers
  • tank heaters

What’s next?

Once you know which heat exchanger tubes you need, all that’s left to do is request a no-obligation quote from reputable tube suppliers and they’ll take care of the rest.

To receive a rapid finned tube quotation, email:

  • the number of tubes you require
  • pipe/tube: diameter, thickness, length, material
  • fins: height, thickness, number, length, material, ends
  • deadline for delivery

to tubesales@usel.uk.com and the team will get back to you with a price. If you’re happy with the quote provided, call USEL Tubular Division on 0191 587 1777 and place your order.

USEL Tubular Division provide fast, efficient delivery of all finned tubes, and also offer an emergency delivery service to suit urgent requirements – so if you’re in a hurry, just let them know. 

About the author

John Winer

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