What is the Best Heat Exchanger Cleaning Methods?

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The inside of a heat exchanger is its most important element. The metal tubing is what allows the shell side to function properly. It also collects and retains any solid particles in the fluid that come into contact with it. If the tubes become contaminated and no longer clean, then your process will suffer and in some cases, shut down completely. 

Shell and tube heat exchangers are used for a number of industrial processes, including distillation, evaporation, boiling, freezing, condensation, cooling, drying, and separation. You need to conduct regular cleaning efforts for your heat exchangers tube cleaning in order to get the appropriate flow levels back without worry.

The heat exchanger needs cleaning when you don’t see desired temperature range, or if pressure drops are higher than normal. You can also run a fouling indicator to see when the exchanger needs cleaning.

How to clean a heat exchanger?

Cleaning your heat exchanger is a process that involves several steps, and it’s one that should be approached with caution. It’s important to make sure you understand the right steps to clean a heat exchanger prior to starting. By following these steps we typically see success in cleaning the heat exchanger. There are several methods available to ensure that the equipment is being cleaned properly.

High-pressure water blasting 

High-pressure water blasting is the most traditional form of cleaning pipe, used for decades by oilfield operators. Since it’s so effective, many companies still use this technique. When water blasts through a pipeline it pushes debris through the end of the pipe and into a catch basin below. A common problem with high-pressure water blasting is that water doesn’t always come out of the end of the tube perfectly evenly, leading to some areas getting more attention than others. 

Chemical solution

The benefit is that this method can save you time and money by allowing you to clean your heat exchangers with cleaning solutions quickly and effectively and at the same time lowering your environmental impact. The disadvantage is that there are risks involved in using chemicals and it does require some further cleaning.

Mechanical cleaning tubes method

Mechanical cleaning tubes should be used to efficiently remove all contaminates. The rotating motion drives contaminants out of the tube walls and into the water stream where they will be filtered out. This process can restore pipe length, save energy costs, and eliminate silt problems. Preserve the integrity of your heat exchanger by choosing an appropriate method for cleaning. Mechanical Tube Cleaning is the next step in preventing premature heat exchanger fouling and equipment failure. Standard brush cleaning can be ineffective where tubes are large and/or bendy, and chemical cleaning is difficult to control and sometimes impossible to reverse.

Air and Water Heat Exchanger Cleaning Method

Most tube cleaning methods and systems rely heavily on water and its functions. Most of the time this is in a propulsion role to get the cleaning media. Through the system, and nearly always if not always involves water. Coming in contact with the tubes or any components of the system. The Air and Water Heat Exchanger Clean Method. Keeps water away from all heat exchangers and circulating components while using air pressure (80-120 PSI) to fire the tube cleaner. At a minimum of 30 feet per second, and more typically 40-50 feet per second through the tube.

Maintenance

Although ongoing maintenance is essential to keeping your air conditioning system running at peak efficiency, it can be a costly endeavor. At times, if you have more than one system, the job can be overwhelming. If so, you may want to consider HVAC maintenance companies. They typically provide some special services, some of which are deep cleaning, repairing, and tune-ups.

Conclusion

Heat exchanger cleaning is a complicated and strenuous process. And if done incorrectly can lead to catastrophic failures that directly threaten the health and lives of the people in the plants. However, with the right tools and techniques, it can also be a highly profitable venture. This article discusses why heat exchange cleaning is. Such an important part of chemical processing plants. Outlines the most effective methods and techniques for its accomplishment. And offers insight into how businesses can maximize their heating exchanger lifecycles while maintaining strict safety measures.

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