In order to improve the performance of the shell and tube heat exchanger, a porous baffle and a splitter bar are employed in this research. Through the arrangement of the porous baffle in the tube-side inlet and the splitter bar in the tube, the flow distribution of liquid in the heat exchanger is improved. PIV technology is used to investigate the unsteady flow in the tube-side inlet and the outlet of different models. The porous baffle significantly improves the flow of fluid in the shell and tube heat exchanger, especially by eliminating/minimizing the maldistribution of fluid flow in the tube-side inlet. The performance of the arc baffle is better than that of the straight baffle. The splitter bar has a minimal effect on the flow field of the tube-side inlet, but it effectively improves the flow in the tube bundle and restrains the vortex generation in the tube-side outlet.