Dry Ice Blasting to Clean Heat Exchangers and Fin Fans

Posted by impactindustrial on Nov 07, 2017

We all know that poor maintenance can force unscheduled shutdowns, and in the case of fouled heat exchangers this can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Heat exchangers are subject to constant fouling and efficiency loss, therefore costing you money in lost energy, asset life and run time. Fired heaters are the biggest consumer of energy within most plants and when a heat exchanger is under performing, the fired heaters are forced to work harder to compensate.

Adhering to a routine cleaning schedule saves on downtime, and when coupled with the right cleaning method can prevent corrosion and deposits from forming as quickly, extending asset life, increase efficiency, and maximizing profits.

What if you combined the cleaning of heat exchangers with your plant inspections instead of waiting until DeltaP occurs or an increased amount of energy consumption to call a cleaning contractor? By scheduling cleanings and inspections together, your inspectors could work closely with the contractor to ensure the equipment is cleaned to your expectations, is fully operational and that all regulatory standards are met the first time without delays.

Traditional heat exchanger cleaning methods involve high pressure spraying (can cause damaged to tubes), or the use of chemicals, and may require dismantling of the equipment to clean safely or effectively. Often these exchangers are taken off site to a facility for cleaning, creating un-necessary downtime and associated costs.

Traditionally, on-site maintenance teams do not directly perform the cleaning, and leave the cleaning method up to the maintenance contractor. This is usually related to an it’s how we’ve always done itapproach and assumes the contractor is using the best cleaning method available.

If your current contractor or cleaning method is unable to clean your heat exchangers in place or without the use of chemicals, then you should request a Dry Ice Blasting service provider to perform an on-site cleaning demonstration. Cleaning with dry ice will allow both the tube cleaning and the inspections to be performed simultaneously without dismantling exchangers, therefore reducing the overall project length significantly.

Dry Ice blasting is a proven method of cleaning exchangers, boiler tubes, radiator fins, generators, motors, pumps, etc. Cleaning with Dry Ice is very versatile in its ability to clean delicate heat exchanger fins without damage, or aggressive enough to clean heavy tars like bitumen, asphalting, coke, heavy oils, Sulphur, spilled hydrocarbons, and other contaminants from loading areas.

Benefits to using Dry Ice Blasting to clean Heat Exchangers Include:

  • A faster, better clean
  • Reduced cleaning costs
  • Clean while equipment is on-line
  • Non-conductive/safe around electrical
  • Chemical free
  • No secondary waste streams
  • Damage free cleaning
  • No acidic damage or caustic etching

If your plant does not already have a routine heat exchangers program, you should consider it today!  Our Dry Ice Blasting team will work closely with your inspectors to ensure both parties have the same definition of “Clean”.