Furnace / Fired Heaters Tubes (USX/TLX) Cleaned in Record Time

Combined high pressure water jetting, rotary mechanical de-scaling and ultrasonic systems


A European polyethylene manufacturing site required a decoke of their USX /TLX furnace tubes to as near to 100% cleanliness as possible. We had solved other heat exchanger cleaning challenges on their site and were called again, as local water jetting contractors could only ever clean to about 60% – failing to achieve suitable cleanliness  and leaving uneven coke on the walls of the furnace tube.



  • Previous contractors used high pressure water jetting to clean the TLX / USX furnace tubes but scale always remained, leaving a “key” for fouling to build up again.
  • Previous contractors had taken 6 shifts to de-coke the 12 x 6” >1.5” USX/TLX furnace tubes.
  • Client required a bare metal finish with simultaneous inspection to ensure maximum heat transfer.
  • Tubes were fouled with hard furnace coke. The changing internal diameter meant that studded pigging was not an option. Steam air decoking also had not worked to the client’s satisfaction.


  • We assured the client that furnace tube decoking could be completed within 2 shifts.
  • A semi-automated decoking system, WysperJet, would remove the coke in a uniform manner and within record time.
  • The Furnace tube decoking system combined a 3 in 1 system including high pressure water jetting, rotary mechanical de-scaling and ultrasonics. All systems de-coking at the same time.
  • We removed the hard coke deposits from inside the USX / TLX furnace tubes with only 2 passes down each furnace tube.
  • Furnace tube decoking was completed within the 2 shifts quoted.
  • Tube Tech always mobilises 4 different furnace tube de-coking technologies to cover all eventualities.

Tube Tech comment

Mike Watson, Managing Director: “We appreciated the importance of a uniform clean when decoking furnace tubes and have firsthand experience of using traditional 1000 and 2500 bar water pressure, which in many cases is not enough to de-coke the layers of coke within the tubes. Our WysperJet furnace decoking system combines 3 systems in one cleaning head – what one system doesn’t remove, the next system will. This decoking system ensures 100% tube heat transfer surface area is cleaned.”


For more information or to discuss your cleaning challenge call us on +44 1268 786999 or e-mail info@tubetech.com, alternatively click here to fill out our contact form.