TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer: Shell and Tubeside cleaning – South Africa

External shell side fouling before cleaning Fouled koch twisted tube exchanger before cleaning working area with 6 pumping units New Koch Twisted Tube Exchanger before installation Morning cleaning information Management of operation team Night shift crew Day shift crew


Having tried to clean their TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchangers by Koch Heat Transfer  several times, this South African refinery required advanced cleaning techniques to remove both shell side and tube side fouling. Using a multi-system approach Tube Tech was able to clean the twisted tube exchangers effectively, quickly and safely.

The Challenge

  • Tube Tech had a very short window in which to mobilise both equipment and technicians for this critical path project.
  • 4 x TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer bundles each with 960 triangular pitch horizontal tubes.
  • Client advised deposit was ferric oxide spread evenly across the tube side and blocking the shell side.
  • Client requested a 90% production standard of clean to the internal and external surfaces.
  • Twisted tube exchangers continually fouling since installation in 2008.
  • Client had previously tried chemical and high pressure water jetting to remove fouling but all 5 attempts had failed to remove all deposits.

The Solution

  • 24 technicians from Tube Tech mobilised to work day and night shifts.
  • Multiple systems used included:
    • Remote control Tube Side water jetting systems with no hydraulic recoil using bespoke tips for twisted tubes.
    • Micro Bore Shell JeTT system removed deposits from the entire shell side spaces by penetrating deep into the centre of the exchangers.
  • This critical path contract was successfully completed within the short timeframe specified by the client.

Tube Tech Comment

Martin Byford, Operations Director: “Our client was impressed with not only the success of our cleaning techniques but also our focussed approach to safety on site. We are certain our client will see a dramatic increase in heat transfer from the twisted tube exchangers when the refinery starts up after shutdown.”

Customer Comment

“We were really impressed with Tube Tech’s performance and how clean the bundles are – the cleanest we have seen them since their 2008 installation!”

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