Refractory Encapsulation Prevents Downstream Fouling

Downstream fouling caused by fraying refractory fiber over time has become a costly problem. With each turnaround, the cleaning costs amounted to over $500k with additional risks of millions lost due to substantial efficiency loss due to coils dusting.

The Asset: A Duct in a Hydrogen Plant in the United States

The Hydrogen Plant is located in California, United States, and is part of a French multinational company that supplies industrial gases and services to various industries including medical, chemical and electronic manufacturers.

The Problem: Friable Refractory in the Duct Causes Downstream Fouling

The duct has fibrous refractory. The refractory degraded over time causing downstream fouling to reach the SCR.


The Solution: Cetek Neutral Emissivity Coating

The IGS team applied Cetek neutral emissivity coating to fully encapsulate the fibrous refractory and prevent any further downstream fouling. This outage was well-planned and executed very smoothly. The final inspection confirmed the 7600 ft² coated area to be in a satisfactory condition, extending life of the refractory and preventing downstream fouling.

Refractory Coating Benefits

The application of ceramic coatings onto refractory surfaces delivers a range of benefits, including:

1. Lowered Maintenance Costs
Preventing downstream fouling eliminates the costs associated with its cleaning

2. Improved Efficiency
No fouling means the asset can reliably operate at its expected design efficiency

3. Long-Term Solution
Cetek refractory encapsulation has been known to last for the life of the asset.

Project Description

Initial inspection of the E108 duct found the refractory to be burnt and frayed in a standard pattern across the entire duct. Some modules had been replaced by the onsite refractory contractor before the IGS team entered the unit.

Once the burnt refractory was removed, the unit was cleaned and prepped for rigidizing. The weather was overcast and temperatures were mild allowing for easier mixing and pumping of the Cetek coating. Environmental readings were taken during the project, but there were no concerns about environmental conditions having a negative effect on the project or coating application.

Final inspection proved that the coating was applied in a satisfactory condition. This outage was very well planned and executed very smoothly.


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Larry Emch

IGS Subject Matter Expert


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