History of Heat Exchanger Tubes

Heat exchanger tubes have been around for as long as we can care to remember. They offer a reliable method for transferring heat from hot to cold, ensuring that no energy is lost. Convection, conduction and radiation are all methods for transferring heat where heat exchanger tubes are designed to convey heat between fluids.

Original Design and Manufacture.

A heat exchanger tube is carefully designed to meet customer specification. Tube suppliers like USEL Tubular Division provide the heat exchanger tube and finned tube in several designs, ranging from the common stock heat exchanger tubes and the integrally finned tubes to welded tubes and U tubes which can be tailored to meet your requirements.

The heat exchanger tube incorporates inlets and outlet ducts which enable heat to transfer effectively. Some fluids can be separated by a solid wall which prevents the liquids mixing and coming into direct contact with each other.


You’d be surprised what heat exchanger tubes can be used for! The heat exchanger tube has been used to increase the temperature of fluids whilst cooling the temperature of others, for many years. They are often used to cool air and gas but can also heat fluids up.

The versatility of the exchanger tubes makes them so desirable for various industries, whether it be for engineering applications, manufacturing applications or the petrochemical industry. As well as this, the heat exchanger tubes are used for atomic power plants and power stations to reclaim heat energy.

A finned tube is found in heating and air-conditioning systems- not forgetting refrigeration units and other special purpose applications like boilers, evaporators, condensers and coolers.

Types of Heat Exchanger Tubes.

The most common type of heat exchanger tubes are the shell and tube exchangers, but this isn’t to say that they are the only ones on the market. The shell and tube exchanger tubes are enclosed in a shell and allow other liquids to flow through the spaces in between, but here are some of the other tubes that you can expect to find from tube suppliers, like USEL Tubular Division,today:

Welded Tubes

USEL Tubular Division stock the Welded Tubes in stainless steel, nickel alloys and titanium, accommodating some of the most diverse needs and wants. Any of the Welded Tubes are manufactured to the highest-quality and are either direct welded or cold worked.

U Tubes

The U Tubes are produced to suit your specific needs. If you have any unique requirements, tube suppliers will take these into consideration when manufacturing the U Tubes to ensure that they function effectively and match your demands.

Helical High Finned Tubes

Unlike other heat exchanger tubes, the Helical High Finned Tubes are used for applications of repair and air cooling. A fin is wrapped around the base of the tube to provide the desirable characteristics. The Helical High Finned Tube incorporates extruded fins to offer more protection.

Longitudinal Finned Tubes

There are several applications of the Longitudinal Finned Tube, supplied by tube suppliers, these include fired heaters and gas coolers. The fins can either be perforated or solid depending on the intended application.

Stock Heat Exchanger Tubes

You’ll find these heat exchanger tubes from any reputable tube suppliers! USEL Tubular Division supplies these to accommodate almost any emergency requirements, ensuring that you receive your products in plenty of time. When it comes to choosing a stock heat exchanger tube, you’ll have the option to have tubes cut to length and deburred (if applicable).

Flow Arrangements.

Depending on which finned tube you choose for your application, you’ll need to choose from various flow arrangements.When choosing a finned tube, you need to be mindful of the flow arrangement as this will ensure that the surface area is maximised and that the resistance to fluid is minimised.

Parallel Flow is where warm and cold fluids pass through the tube in the same direction- they run “parallel” to each other.With Counter Flow, the fluids travel similarly in the sense that it’s parallel but hot and cold liquids flow in different directions.

The most efficient flow arrangement is Counter Current Flow. This efficiently transfers heat from the medium where the temperature difference is high.

Heat Exchangers Today!

Heat exchangers are available in all shapes and sizes, making it almost impossible for you not to find exactly what you need. Offering suitability for various industrial applications, a heat exchanger tube can be found in laptops, refrigerators, petrochemical refineries, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing processing- the list is endless!

Today, USEL Tubular Division stock the heat exchanger tubes to meet the demands of the modern market, ensuring that you save money, reduce emissions and improve productivity.

If you want to find out more about the history of heat exchangers, call USEL Tubular Division on0191 587 1777 today!

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