Condenser Vibration Mitigation

Tube vibration in the condenser can cause serious tube damage when increased steam flows are introduced or when retubing with thinner wall tubes or those with low Modulus of Elasticity. Tube vibration, if left unresolved, may result in catastrophic tube failures and the subsequent unplanned shutdown of the unit.  High-velocity steam cross-flow over condenser tube bundles excites the tubes significantly, causing all types of flow-induced vibration mechanisms.  Examples of these are turbulent buffeting, vortex shedding, and fluid elastic instability in the form of a whirling motion that can result in mid-span collision and catastrophic circumferential fracture.

RetubeCo has pioneered the development of anti-vibration stakes to accommodate all tubesheet configurations including single-ray and tapered-ray tube pitches.  When stakes are installed mid-span in each support plate bay they effectively halve the unsupported length of the tube and reduce these vibration mechanisms that cause tube failure.

Proven Anti-Vibration Solutions

Clip-Stake®, Ray-Lock® and V-Lock® stakes by RetubeCo are engineered to fit each specific condenser and are test fit to insure effective tube restraint.  An interference fit of the stake between tubes in the open lanes dampens each tube by pressing against the adjacent tubes.  This dampening significantly reduces the fluid elastic instability that leads to tube failure.  These stake designs, incorporating a self-locking clip, are unique to RetubeCo.  The clip design resists movement of the stakes during condenser operation, preventing them from backing out or working from midspan to a support plate.

Clip-Stake®, Ray-Lock®, and V-Lock® stakes are manufactured from stainless steel tube, flattened to the specific thickness necessary to match the tube pitch characteristics of each individual condenser and provide the desired interference fit previously mentioned.  The stakes will then remain properly positioned and locked within the bundle.

Clip-Stake® installation requires no special tools.  There are no extra clips, clamps, bands or other parts required.  The result is a simpler installation with reduced time and cost.  Depending on the condenser, some tube patterns may require the more complex Ray-Lock® or V-Lock® stake which are specifically designed for these applications.

Call us 1-800-4-RETUBE today and speak with an engineer to discuss a staking strategy for your condenser.

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