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Chemical Process Technology

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007




Many Shell and Tube heat exchangers are provided in Chemical and Process plant for heat exchanging, heat recovery and integration for energy saving. There are many issues associate with Shell and tube heat exchanger such as corrosion, fouling & scaling, heat transfer efficiency drop, cleaning and maintenance, etc.


One of the way to minimize and avoid above mentioned issues is applying protective coating on the tubes. The benefits are :
  • CORROSION - Coating avoid corrosive contact with tube material and avoid corrosion. Extra corrosion allowance or corrosion resistance material is required. If severe corrosion occur, retubing may be required.
  • FOULING & SCALING - Coating avoid sticky fluid contact with tube material and stay as fouling & scale.
  • HEAT TRANSFER EFFICIENCY - Fouling & scaling will reduce heat transfer efficiency and more heat transfer area required. This will increases the heat exchanger capital investment.
  • CLEANING & MAINTENANCE - Fouled heat exchanger shall be shutdown for cleaning and maintenance. In some event, chemical cleaning may be required. This increases heat exchanger operating and maintenance cost and also increases downtime and reduce plant availability.
  • COST EFFECTIVENESS - In some configuration and operating condition, coating compare to corrosion resistance material, coating may turn out to be very cost effective.

Curran International (CI) is one of the heat exchanger tubing coating service provider. Edward Curran from CI has published an article in Chemical Processing.com.


On the other hand, there are disadvantages for coating. One of the major issue is the reliability of coating stay in tubing without dropping-off. Lost of coating layer may put the heat exchanger in unsafe operation without operator awareness and potentially lead to catastrophic consequence. This is an major issue alway debate till no conclusion and receive a lot of challenges.

What do you think about coating tubing ? Is any of your heat exchanger tubing coated ? Why not share you experience here ?

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posted by Webworm, 9:30 AM

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