Removal of hard coke and oily/wax sludge raises efficiency
Taking less than one third of the time than traditional processes, Tube Tech eliminated excessive downtime, raised efficiency and saved a substantial amount of money at a BP Refinery during the overhaul of hairpin heat exchangers on the Crude Oil Distillation complex.
- Tube Tech was initially called in to remove accumulations of hard coke and oily, wax like sludge that had built up in the two seven-metre long hairpin exchangers, each containing approximately 1,000 tubes.
- Conventional approaches using rigid lances achieve only a 70% cleaning standard as they never negotiate the hairpin bend itself.
- Tube Tech first analysed the nature and composition of the deposit and its dimensions.
- They then prepared a mock-up of the blocked tubes at their premises.
- All collected data steered towards a new and highly innovative three stage process.
Over 99% of the contamination was removed including cleaning and polishing around the hairpin bends for the first time.
As well as returning the hairpin heat exchangers very close to ‘as new’ condition, the treatment was completed in less than two days instead of the six usually required by standard pressure-jetting techniques.