Ceramic Coatings for Process Tubes

Is excessive fouling limiting your fired heater performance?

Is your fired heater limited by bridge wall temperature, tube metal temperature or firing duty? The cause could be excessive fouling/scale formation on the radiant tubes.

Cetek’s Tube-Coat service addresses all these issues and brings the tubes back to an as-new condition. The High Emissivity Ceramic Coatings ensure that the tubes remain in this clean state for an extended period of time.

Process Tube Oxidation and Carburization Protection

Cetek Ceramic Coatings provide a durable, protective, thin-film layer on the outer surfaces of process tubes, which prevents oxidation, corrosion, and carburization of the metal and maintains the tube thermal conductivity coefficient close to new tube conditions.


How Cetek Process Tube Coatings Deliver Maximum Heat Transfer

Oxidation and scale formation on the outer surfaces of process tubes reduces conductive heat transfer, resulting in low production rates and/or excessive fuel consumption. Cetek’s High Emissivity Ceramic Coating system ensures maximum conductive heat transfer for the process.

Significantly Improve Reliability

Layers of fouling/scale prevent accurate determination of tube metal temperature, reducing the reliability of those measurements. Because the thin layer of Ceramic Coating provides a consistent temperature differential between the outside surface and the metal tube, the reliability of tube metal temperature determination is improved significantly.


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Larry Emch

IGS Subject Matter Expert

Payback within 6 Months

Cetek High Emissivity Coating Stops Oxidation of Radiant Tubes

Benefits of Cetek Ceramic Coatings for Process Tubes

Corrosion and carburization result in metal loss and reduced service life.

Cetek’s coatings provide significant benefits in the form of:

Typical productivity benefits of 4% to 10%


Fuel Savings


Production Increases


Decreased BWT


Increased Tube Life / Reliability


Rapid payback on investment


Oxidation Prevention

Oxidation and scale formation on the outer surfaces of process tubes reduces conductive heat transfer, resulting in low production rates and/or excessive fuel consumption.

Cetek’s High Emissivity Ceramic Coating system ensures optimum maximum conductive heat transfer for the process.

Carburization Prevention

An industry trend to operate fired heaters more efficiently, at lower excess oxygen levels, to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions has increased the potential for carburization of external surfaces of radiant section tubes.

This leads to grain boundary penetration of carbon, carbide formation, embrittlement of the surface, crack formation and loss of metal.

The result is a reduced service life of the radiant tubes.

Radiant tube external surfaces were protected from carburization by Cetek Ceramic Coatings in applications in major refineries in Asia Pacific and India.

In each case, the life of the coating was at least 10 years, during which time there was no evidence of carburization.

Ceramic Coatings for Process Tubes

Extension of Service Life

If process tube life is limited by wall thickness reduction caused by oxidation or carburization, Cetek’s High Emissivity Ceramic Coatings will overcome this limitation and extend tube life.

Reliable Determination of Tube Metal Temperature

Measuring tube metal temperatures is vital to the reliable operation of fired heaters. The presence of oxidation and layers of scale on the tube surfaces interferes with the accurate determination using IR thermography, or optical pyrometers, since the external surface of the fouling layer could be significantly higher than the actual metal temperature.

Cetek’s high emissivity ceramic coatings prevent oxidation and scale formation and provide a consistent temperature gradient between the coating surface and the metal. This allows an accurate determination of the actual metal temperature and a return to reliable operation.

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How IGS Apply Ceramic Tube Coatings

The coatings are applied by Cetek’s highly trained, experienced technicians, following thorough cleaning of the tube surfaces. Coating systems are available for every type of metal substrate and process temperature.

The coating application may be applied in-situ, to tubes already installed in heaters, or to new tubes at Cetek’s facility, or at a remote site. In the latter cases, coated tubes may be placed in storage until needed.

The coatings are inert, non-catalytic, and water-based, offering a complete environmentally safe process improvement.

The service is supported by a superior Health & Safety Program, yielding a safety record better than industry standards.

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