Shell & tube heat exchanger Fabrication


Shell & Tube heat exchangers, also commonly called 'tubular heat exchangers', are the most common type of heat exchanger used in the chemical process industry.  As the name implies, this type of vessel consists of an exterior shell vessel filled with a bundle of tubes—a 'tube bundle'—that is sealed at each end by a circular tube-sheet, isolating the tubes from the exterior shell.

A given fluid or gas flows through the tubes while another fluid or gas flows through the shell, causing heat to transfer through the tube walls, passing from one liquid (or gas) to the other and allowing it be removed from the system.   


Sheet & Tube Heat Exchangers are used in applications where the demands from high temperatures and pressures are moderate to significant.

Bendel designs and fabricates all three types of Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers, including Fixed Tubesheet, Floating Tubesheet, and U-tube designs, in a variety of metals including Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Nickel Alloy and Duplex.


  • Cost Effective, robust construction
  • Flexible designs accommodate a broad range of applications
  • Particularly well-suited for high-pressure applications
  • Serve both low and high-temperature processes
  • Efficient / high heat transfer 
  • Designs that allows for easy cleaning, maintenance and repair

Bendel is here to serve you and provide the highest quality custom built Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers to meet your application's requirements. We welcome the opportunity to provide you a quote.


Call us today at: 866-596-5112 to learn more about our custom engineering and fabrication services and talk about your upcoming heat exchanger project - or request a quote below.

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Fixed-Tubesheet-Heat-Exchangers-Engineering-Fabrication 6


The Fixed Tubesheet design includes two stationary tube sheets, both of which are bolted to the shell in a fixed position.  A bundle of straight tubes is connected between the two tubesheets and contain baffles to direct liquid flow around the tubes to facilitate the required heat transfer. A channel cover assembly is attached to each tubesheet.

Features & Benefits:

  • Tubesheet is welded to the shell vessel (Tube-end is bolted down)
  • Delivers maximum heat transfer
  • Simple construction
  • Economical solution
  • Tube interiors can easily be cleaned both chemically and mechanically

For Consideration:

  • Exterior surface of tubes are not accessible and can only be cleaned chemically.
  • While an expansion joint can be used to accommodate thermal expansion, fixed tube sheet designs are not ideal for large temperature differentials




Floating Head Heat Exchanger - Engineering Fabrication


The Floating Tubesheet design is similar to the Fixed Tubesheet except one tubesheet is allowed to move axially within the shell while the other tubesheet is fixed. The floating tubesheet configuration allows for the tube bundle to be fully removable—adding ease for both maintenance and cleaning.

Features & Benefits:

  • Tube bundle can expand freely
  • Supports differential thermal expansion between shell and tubes
  • Individual tubes can be easily replaced if needed
  • No limit to tube side passes
  • Well-suited for toxic and/or flammable fluids

For Consideration:

  • More costly than fixed tubesheet designs
  • Large number of gasket joints which can be prone to weakness over time





The U-Tube design consists of straight length tubes bent into a U-shape with both ends terminating at the tubesheet. The tube bundle is fitted with supports or flow baffles. The tubesheet/tube bundle is placed within the shell and bolted between the head flange and shell body flange.  U-tube bundles require a head assembly to direct the fluid in and out through the tube bundle. 

Features & Benefits:

  • By design, U-tubes can readily expand or contract as needed
  • Only one tube sheet required (at one end) hence cost is lower 
  • No internal gasket
  • Entire tube bundle can be easily removed for maintenance and cleaning

For Consideration:

  • If needed, individual tube replacement is more difficult
  • Fewer tubes due to U bends
  • The number of tube side passes cannot be altered


Custom Heat Exchanger Engineering & Fabrication


We specialize in custom heat exchanger fabrication to serve all our customers' needs, including delivery of separate shell and/or tubes as neededsuch as the U-tube bundle delivery pictured above.  We manufacture a variety of heat exchanger types with options and characteristics to suit virtually any purpose including:

  • Single Pass, Multi Passs
  • Single & Double Tubesheet
  • Parallel-Flow, Counter-Flow 
  • With & Without Phase Change
  • Floating & Fixed Head Options
  • Regenerative & Nonregenerative Configurations
  • Expansion Joints
  • Standalone Units, Parallel Units
  • Lined & Unlined Flanges
  • Standard Grade, Sanitary/Food Grade  &  Pharmaceutical Grade Options
  • High Purity Surface Finishes
  • Insulation Jackets
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Heat Exchanger Metallurgy