Tube Tech Restores TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchanger in South Africa

Rapid Mobilisation and specialist technology succeeds where previous contractors failed

A facility located in South Africa had tried to remove fouling from its TWISTED TUBE Heat Exchangers by Koch Heat Transfer several times with limited success. The refinery required advanced cleaning techniques to remove both shell side and tube side fouling. Using a multi-system approach Tube Tech was able to restore the heat exchangers quickly, safely, and effectively.

The Challenge

  • Tube Tech had a very short window to mobilise equipment and technicians for this critical path project. 
  • 4x Twisted Tube Heat Exchanger by Koch Heat Transfer bundles each with 960 triangular pitch horizontal tubes. 
  • Refinery advised deposit was ferric oxide spread evenly across the tube side and was blocking the shell side. 
  • Client requested a 90% production standard of fouling removal to the internal and external surfaces. 
  • The twisted tube exchangers were continually fouling since installation in 2008. 
  • Client had previously tried chemical and high-pressure water jetting to remove fouling, but all five attempts had failed to remove deposits. 

The Solution

  • Tube Tech mobilised a team of 24 technicians to work day and night shifts. 
  • This critical path project was successfully completed within the timeframe specified by the client.
  • Multiple systems used included:
    • Remotely controlled tube side water jetting systems with no hydraulic recoil using bespoke tips for twisted tubes.
    • Micro Bore Shell JeTT system removed deposits from the entire shell side spaces by penetrating deep into the centre of the exchangers. 

Tube Tech Comment

Operations Director: “Our client was impressed with not only the success of our cleaning techniques but also our focused approach to safety on site. We are certain our client will see a dramatic increase in heat transfer from the twisted tube exchangers when the refinery starts up after shutdown.”


Client Comment

“We were really impressed with Tube Tech’s performance and how clean the bundles are – the cleanest we have seen them since installation in 2008!”


Tube Tech

Reduce Downtime and Maximize Profitability

Contact our team today for expert advice and tailored solutions across a range of industries and applications.

Contact Us