Exchanger Tube Cleaning
Predictable Exchanger tube ID cleaning for Non Destructive Evaluation (NDE) – an evolution of Curran Internationals' tube surface prep creating a revolution for Pressure Equipment Integrity (PEI).
In the course of cleaning “used” exchanger tubes for coating applications, Curran International adapted its technique to surface-prep small tubular equipment for high-integrity NDE inspections. It has become the preferred method to clean exchanger and fin fan tube IDs for improved mechanical integrity. This work is performed at refinery and petrochemical plants during turnarounds and equipment maintenance outages and has proven successful against common and enhanced forms of hydro blasting.
|Typical results of conventional methods of exchanger tube ID cleaning:|
Dirty carbon steel tube
before grit blasting
|Results of Curran International’s exchanger tube cleaning offers: “Get it cleaned the first time”|
Same carbon steel tube
after 45 sec blast
Curran International has long served the power and energy industries, providing dry blast surface prep for NDE of steam and gas turbine fixed equipment; most of these projects are performed as critical path schedules during plant maintenance outages. Over the years, Curran International has incorporated process improvements to meet client expectations in the petrochemical sector.
Shell and tube exchangers (including U-tubes). “White metal” results the first time
|Curran applies its exchanger tube cleaning methods to shell and tube exchangers (including U-tubes) both in the units and on a wash pad. Curran will set up containment to trap all of the grit and also will tie in a dust collector to eliminate any fugitive dust. Our clean, dust free process allows other crafts to continue performing their scope so as not to impact the turnaround schedule.|
|You will be able to perform any kind of inspection on your tubes from, IRIS to eddy current (ECT), to remote field (RFT). Curran can just clean your inspection pattern or also clean the remaining tubes for operations. Click here to see what a grit blasted clean tube can do for you.|
Fin Fans/Air coolers
Cleaning the ID of fin fan (air cooler) tubes for inspection using Curran Internationals method overcomes the issues associated with hydroblasting. There is no need for:
Curran’s methods allow the technicians to work from existing catwalks with only a blast hose that is hung over the railing down to the blast pot below.
|Grit is kept out of the header box by Curran’s fin fan containment nozzles, used grit flows down a catch hose to waste drums below. Dust collection is set up on those drums to ensure no debris escapes.|
- Fin fan tubes cleaned for eddy current or even IRIS inspection the first time
- Ability to have inspection crews begin working on the bank Curran just finished
- Because of the containment, inspection crews can work side by side with Curran crews.
- Dry media containment has minimal impact compared to imperfect water containment.
- Quick, superior tube cleaning results
Tube cleaning for Production/Operation and performance Only (not inspection):
Curran’s tube cleaning methods essentially return a tube to new status by removing even tightly adhered scale. This has allowed some of our clients to achieve efficiencies with one client recognizing a 35% operating efficiency at start up after dry abrasive fin fan tube cleaning.
Click here for the case study
Typical scenario is that Curran will blast clean the IRIS or inspection patter or 25% and then hit the other 75% of the tubes for operation. A quick 30 second blast per tube from Curran’s exchanger tube cleaning method will result in cleaner tubes then by hydro blasting
Other tube cleaning services
Curran grit blasting method cleans down in pits
Prep for NDE inspections
Refinery clients from the across the United States and around the world incorporate this cleaning method as part of their turnaround work scope. Here is what they have to say:
West coast Fixed equipment lead:
“I am pleased to let you know that we have been very satisfied with the quality of your work and would not hesitate in recommending your services to any of our sister refineries. You have demonstrated that you are able to work on short notice, are able to deal with changing requests and most importantly to perform all your work safely. Heat exchanger tube inspection with IRIS requires a high level of cleanliness in order to be performed correctly and your grit-blasting technique has proven itself again and again in terms of providing this magnitude of cleaning, even where high pressure H2O (36,000 PSI) will not”
Refinery PEI Engineer:
4” OD x 18’L convection furnace tubes - “…these were the cleanest tubes…quality job, timely execution…”
Gulf Coast Operations Manager – NDE company:
“As you’re aware, our ability to fully inspect internal surfaces with LOTIS is directly dependant on the cleanliness of the tubes, and there was no question that these tubes were the cleanest I’ve ever seen for this type of inspection.”
Lead Inspection Analyst – Texas petrochemical plant:
“I feel strongly that having cooling water tube side exchangers cleaned by grit blasting allows much greater confidence in determining relevant from non-relevant data.”
PEI specialist/NDE focal point, Gulf Coast refinery:
“…the results of the cleaning effort were excellent. We were never able to clean these tubes for IRIS using hydroblasting, thus were forced to use RFET….We will continue to use Curran International for cleaning when IRIS inspection is necessary.”
Maintenance Superintendent/Turnaround, West Coast refinery
“I want to extend my appreciation for a job well done by the Curran International employees. This particular job was a real challenge, and it was very important to our operation. Curran crew worked long hours, under very tough and demanding conditions. They were interrupted numerous times to allow other critical path work to continue. Joe and his crew kept a positive attitude the whole time and helped us accomplish our goals. We wanted you to know how much we appreciated the help.”
Click here for recently completed projects.