Hot Tube Stabilization

Stabilizing Process Tubes during Furnace Operation

Relying upon IGS’s 25+ years experience in online refinery fired heater repairs, Hot-tek can stabilize process tubes while the fired heater is in full operation.

Failed Tube Supports

Occasionally, tube supports (wall and roof) in the radiant section of process heaters fail allowing the process tubes to potentially get out of alignment (sagging or bowing) or even worse, rupture.

Hot-tek has developed an online repair service to stabilize the process tubes while the heater is still in full operation. Our service can prevent costly shutdown and let the operator run the unit until the planned turnaround dates.

Stabilizing the Process Tube

The stabilizer can either be supplied by the customer or fabricated by IGS. The typical metallurgy of heater tube supports is HK40 (or similar). More frequently than not, this material can be difficult to source in a short period of time. If HK40 is available, it will be utilized; otherwise, 310SS is the next best candidate for the stabilizer material.

Image: Replacing the Refractory and Replacing the external steel shell




Application Procedure

Utilizing proprietary procedures, Hot-tek will:

  • make a penetration in the vicinity of the failed tube support
  • insert the stabilizer
  • weld the stabilizer in place
  • replace the refractory
  • replace the external steel shell in the repair area

It is important to note that the process tube will not return to its original location. Necessary process tube inspection and hanger replacement should be completed at the next available turnaround.

Safety is the most important factor in performing this type of repair. Hot-tek has performed hundreds of online services without any accidents/incidents.

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