Fired Heater Radiant Arbor Coil ID Cleaning to Remove Internal Fouling

A major petrochemical plant located in the Al-Jubail area of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contacted for a solution to inspect the tubes and remove fouling from the internal surfaces of arbor coil radiant tubes within one of its fired heaters. The coil configuration did not allow for an off-the-shelf solution.

Charge Heater Radiant Arbor Coil Internal Fouling

The petrochemical facility had noticed cold spots on certain radiant tube legs of its UOP PACOL hot oil charge heater with Arbor Radiant Coils, possibly caused by fouling. They required a visual inspection to ascertain the level of potential fouling, followed by a solution to remove deposits and restore performance.

In this case, the client had concerns with differential tube temperatures and the potential for expansion cracks around the cold spots.

Fired Heater Radiant Arbor Coil ID Cleaning to Remove Internal Fouling
Charge Heater Arbor Coil Cold Spots

Radiant Tube ID Hydrojetting

The client approached Tube Tech as a specialist fouling removal provider. The team was tasked with developing a bespoke solution for the visual inspection and cleaning of the fired heater radiant section tube bores on all 32 radiant tubes. Due to the design of this unit (UOP PACOL heater with Arbor Radiant Coil), this meant a total of 64 tube legs.

We designed, built, and tested the solution at our Research and Development Centre. The technology was proven to be successful in navigating the individual tube end from the common header, which meant travelling nine meters horizontally along a header pipe, negotiating the 90-degree bend before climbing vertically twelve meters and then continuing over the return loop.

The bespoke solution was able to identify the location and severity of fouling and our technicians were then able to remove more than 90% of the deposits, restoring tube temperatures and minimizing the risk of expansion cracks and equipment failure.

Challenges of On-Site Radiant Coil Arbor Tube Defouling

“This was a challenging project that involved technical development and testing at our facility in the UK. Once we were confident that the technology would work, we airfreighted it to Saudi Arabia where our team were able to complete the project within four days during a planned turnaround period.

“The tool that we developed to give us access to the tube ends exceeded expectations and produced astounding results. We are now able to undertake other box heater Arbor Radiant Coil header applications using the same technique.

“The client has expressed delight with our approach and dedication to solving its unique challenge. We look forward to working with them again soon.”


Fired Heater
Tube Tech

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