TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger returned to bare metal

TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer cleaned with innovative technology

A Middle Eastern refinery had installed TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer. 18 months after installation performance had deteriorated such that both shell and tube side required cleaning. The TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer is designed with “cleaning lanes” to allow high pressure water jets to travel in one side of the exchanger and out the other, whilst penetrating and cleaning away any fouling.

The Challenge

  • Shell Side fouling as well as tube side deposits are not always removable using either traditional High Pressure Water Guns nor chemicals, especially if the cleaning lane / passage way is blocked.
  • TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer cleaning lanes are so small it does not allow any traditional high pressure water jetting equipment to physically travel down the cleaning lanes of the twisted tubes i.e. in one side and out the other, due to the narrow restriction which can be as little as 6mm.
  • Cleaning had to be completed quickly as plant downtime costs were $50,000 per day.
  • Traditional water jetting contractors had attempted to clean the TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer using traditional hydro blasting and water jet gun popping techniques at 1000 bar (12500 psi).
  • Their attempts took 8 days, using 3 men and barely achieved a 20% cleanliness according to the client.

Solution

  • Liaising closely with both the client a Tube Tech designed a new and unique, bespoke cleaning technique.
  • Shell side cleaning was subsequently performed using a remote technology that travelled the full length of all the cleaning lanes and channels, penetrated the scale and also removed all blockages from deep within the tube bundles.
  • Cleaning of the internally TWISTED TUBE bore was performed using a technology that expanded during cleaning, to the given diameter and tube twist configuration.

Tube Tech Comment

Mike Watson, Technical Director: “ TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer are becoming popular within the refining and petrochemical industry but are notoriously difficult to clean. We are pleased to announce that we now have a unique method to clean both the shell AND tube side of the exchangers.”

Tube Tech are Approved Contractors for SABIC

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