Tubular Exchangers – Polymer Deposits Removed Using Dry Cleaning Technology

U-Tube (Hairpin) and Straight Tube Exchangers Cleaned Without Water


Having contracted Tube Tech to clean using ultra dry techniques on other heat transfer equipment in the past the UK plant of an international petrochemical plant knew Tube Tech were the right company to solve yet another difficult exchanger cleaning challenge. Two tubular heat exchangers which again needed to be cleaned completely dry to remove light polymer deposits.

Preliminary inspection of heat exchanger Debris in tube prior to Tube Tech clean Tube inspection before Tube Tech clean Morning cleaning information


  • 2 x ethylene tubular exchangers ( 1x straight tube 1x U-Tube hairpin) both with triangular pitch tubes required cleaning
  • Deposit described as semi-brittle polymer/plastic, stringy, like thin strips of video tape/film.
  • Additional dust deposit from where polymer had degraded.
  • Client said there was no evidence of any blockages.
  • Water must not be used – cleaning process had to be completely void of any moisture, so ultra-dry.


  • The advanced Rotaflex system with a micro-flex drive was used to clean the straight tube sections on each heat exchanger.
  • 6 heat transfer tubes were found blocked on the straight tube exchanger
  • The Jet ShoTT system was then used to expel loosened debris from the bends of the u-tube exchanger.
  • Using extendable rigid SD drills Tube Tech were able to unblock and then polish the blocked tubes.

Tube Tech Comment

Scott Donson, Technical Sales Manager: “Tube Tech are here to solve cleaning challenges, we are not a generic water jetting contractor, but a technology driven specialist cleaning contractor, so thanks to our wide variety of cleaning techniques we were able to accomplish what could have been a challenging clean with relative ease much to our clients delight.”

Client Comment

Engineering Manager: “Cleaning without water is an usual challenge for heavy industrial cleaning contractors so we were pleased with Tube Tech’s outside the box thinking and ability to clean these exchangers effectively, safely and quickly.”

Tube Tech are Approved Contractors for SABIC sabic  and ARAMCO  amrico

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.