Failures and leak inspection techniques of tube-to-tubesheet joints: A review

Dinu Thomas Thekkuden, Abdel Hamid Ismail Mourad, Abdel Hakim Bouzid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The integral components of heat exchangers and in particular the tubes, tubesheets and tube-to-tubesheet joints have vital roles in the proper functioning of this equipment. Several frequent instances of heat exchanger premature failures at the tube-to-tubesheet joints reported in the past decades have resulted in a huge investment loss. As a counter measure, proper case studies of failure followed by maintenance are commonly practiced in the industry. Several accidents were originated from the failure of heat exchangers and therefore, failure analysis for the root cause is inevitable to take precautionary measures for avoiding similar catastrophes. Proper regular online and offline inspections of heat exchangers are useful to predict the effectiveness and performance of the heat exchanger. Many leak inspection techniques are currently in use to identify the leaks in and around the tube-to-tubesheet joints. Review articles addressing the importance of tube-to-tubesheet joints and problems are scanty. Therefore, this review discusses the major root causes of heat exchanger failures and recommended preventive remedial measures followed by the leak inspection techniques relevant to the heat exchanger tube-to-tubesheet joints. The information discussed in the article is promising for researchers and professionals working in the field of heat exchangers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105798
JournalEngineering Failure Analysis
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • A review
  • Failure mechanisms
  • Heat exchanger
  • Leak inspection and prevention
  • Tube-to-tubesheet joints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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