Tube Tech Cleans Heat Exchanger Tubes to Facilitate IRIS Inspection

An energy company based in the northwest of England contacted Tube Tech to complete enhanced cleaning of its internal heat exchanger tubes. The plant had previously been unable to conduct an IRIS inspection due to tenacious tube fouling.

The Challenge

The plant maintenance team had been unable to obtain effective IRIS inspection results due to tenacious tube bore fouling and their incumbent term cleaning contractor did not possess the technology capable of achieving a suitable standard of cleanliness for inspection.

The lack of suitable technology to remove fouling from the tubes resulted in the plant being unsure of tube integrity. If fouling could not be sufficiently removed to conduct an IRIS inspection, the plant would have been forced to replace equipment, at a substantial cost.


The Solution

The refinery contacted Tube Tech as a provider of specialist fouling removal technology services. Our team suggested its unique tube bore enhancement system which would provide nearly 100% certainty of achieving a suitable standard for IRIS inspection.

Tube Tech’s enhanced IRIS standard tube fouling removal service ensures all deposits are removed and tubes are ready for immediate IRIS inspection. The client would not have to risk rework, which in critical path situations could prolong a turnaround. Traditional water jet technology is not always suitable to remove small tenacious hard deposits which will affect the smooth running of an IRIS probe and prevent accurate meaningful results.

Three Tube Tech technicians completed this project within three days.

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Client Comment

The plant’s maintenance planner/ co-ordinator said:

“This is the first time we have been able to complete an IRIS inspection on this unit. It has enabled us to confirm tube integrity and avoid a potential equipment replacement. We are now seriously looking at other applications where we have similar integrity issues as we have been very impressed with the results Tube Tech has achieved.”

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