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Shell & Tube Exchanger Fabrication

Fabrication Shop Capabilities

Manufacturing heat exchangers requires tight machining tolerances and welds that must conform exactly to approved welding procedures. As the largest manufacturer of heat exchangers in North America, we have the right people, equipment and facilities to accomplish the task.

Ohmstede’s shop capabilities in Texas, Louisiana and California are vast. Our multiple manufacturing locations, specialized equipment and proprietary processes, give Ohmstede the capability to handle every job from small and simple to large and complex. We can manage one unit to multiple units, whether for a capital project, a quick turnaround or an emergency response. Our multiple locations allow us to spread the work among several shops simultaneously, making delivery faster and more reliable with less overtime, thus saving customers valuable time and money.

Ohmstede’s specialized machining and drilling center in Beaumont, is equipped with state-of-the-art machine tools allowing us to machine 12 tubesheets up to 13.5-inches thick simultaneously. We can produce all the components for replacement or new tube bundles in hours not days. With multiple assembly bays, the same replacement or new tube bundles can be assembled, hydrotested, and prepared for shipment at the same time.

In Ohmstede’s Sulphur, Louisiana, shop, robotic welding equipment is used for overlay and clad restoration.  Specialized electroslag weld strip technology enhances Ohmstede’s ability to work effectively with higher alloys, specifically 1-1/4Cr and 2-1/4Cr, stainless and high-nickel alloys. Many of the heat exchangers destined for harsh service are built in our Sulphur facility, where we use custom-designed equipment for overlaying steel and welding high alloy heat exchanger components.

Every Ohmstede facility is self-sufficient with all the equipment required to produce complete heat exchangers and repair existing ones.  From a 10-inch diameter pipe-sized heat exchanger to a 120-inch diameter giant, Ohmstede has multiple facilities with the right equipment to meet your requirements.

We own and operate the latest generation and widest variety of bundle extraction equipment available allowing us to extract and reinsert virtually all types of heat exchangers and related equipment in tight spots or high places.


Ohmstede’s specialized shop services include:

  • A clean room for welding reactive metals such as titanium
  • Heat treating ovens for stress relieving
  • Decoking ovens and hydroblasing equipment

Our automatic tube welding equipment assures high quality tube-to-tubesheet welds every time and engineered tube rolling equipment is utilized throughout every facility.

All Ohmstede shops comply with the requirements of the ASME Code and National Board certification. We have more than 1,100 welding procedures and are certified for code stamps “R,” “U,” “S,” and “U2.”

Fabrication Shop Expertise

Tube-to-Tubesheet Expansion

A tube-to-tubesheet joint is a metal-to-metal seal obtained by residual elastic stress. As the joint is subjected to repeated stress and thermal cycles, the residual stress has a tendency to relax and may lead to leaks. To increase reliability, a seal-strength weld may be employed prior to expanding the tubes.

Our craftsmen have the equipment and skills necessary to employ two methods of tubesheet expansion: Mechanical Roller Expansion and Hydraulic Expansion. Which method is used depends on cost, thickness of tube sheet and tube wall, material and tube accessibility.

Tube Manufacturing

Ohmstede manufactures tubes using two processes: Welded Carbon Steel Process and Seamless Tube Process. We also source tubes from a variety of suppliers to ensure we have the right product to meet your heat exchanger's engineering requirements. Because of our volume and relationships with suppliers, we can quickly source most any tube needed.

Clad Materials

Clad materials are a composite of two different materials.  The thicker and normally lower-cost backer material provides strength while the thinner and typically more expensive top layer provides corrosion resistance.

Ohmstede offers three methods for producing clad structures: Roll Bond Clad, Explosive Clad and Electroslag Strip Clad. The one customers choose depend on design requirements, timing and cost. Ohmstede project managers and design engineers work with customers to help determine the best option for various applications.