Thermax Infrared Firetube Inspection
for Proactive Maintenance
Use infrared thermal vision to survey the condition of firetubes in refinery preheat ovens and steam boiler tubes.
Visually detect internal fouling in heat exchanger firetubes
Visually identify external, abnormal conditions on firetubes
Visually detect abnormal conditions in steam boiler tubes
Thermax Infrared Firetube Inspection uses a thermal imaging camera to survey the condition of firetubes in refinery preheat ovens and steam boiler tubes.
This work is highly technical, and requires a proven inspection method. Variables affecting the inspection are flame interference, internal reflections, geometry of the pre-heat oven, emissivity of the firetube, ambient temperatures and limited access from port holes.
A short wave infrared camera, also known as a thermal imaging camera, operates in the 3um to 6um wavelength. Fitted with flame filters, this infrared camera is capable of measuring high temperatures, which are used to capture thermal images of firetubes.
With image processing software and technical experience, we analyse the images and extract the temperature at any point. By applying ‘trending’ of the data, we can identify the internal and external conditions of your heat exchanger firetubes.
Fire tube with internal problem. Reduced heat transfer. Tube at higher temp. Tube bowed.
Fire tubes with holding brackets in good order plus temp of tubes.
Refinery preheater oven - Fire tube condition inspection
Detect internal fouling
Fouling is a buildup of material on the internal surface of firetubes. Tubes preheat crude oil destined for the distillation unit. Fouling can be caused by crystallization, sedimentation and coking. Tubes with internal restrictions will:
- Run at a higher pressure causing chemical changes
- Flow rates at restrictions will be higher causing erosion inside the tube, and wall thinning
- Increased pressure and wall thinning can lead to tube ruptures
- Heat transfer is reduced costing more energy to operate
Fouling increases the costs of operating the preheat oven. Thermax-IR Firetube Inspection helps you to detect internal fouling.
Identify external firetube conditions
A. Flame impingement that cause damage from:
- Erosion as the flame “rubs” the tube surface and burns it, depositing residue
- Corrosion from the chemistry inside the flame and the residue left on the tube
- Scaling, that is a result of corrosion of the tube
- Tube bulging leading to tube rupture
B. Defective components:
- Loose, hanging tubes from holding bracket failure
- Broken thermocouple mountings
Flame impingement is caused by poor burner management.
This increases energy consumption and costs. Thermax-IR helps you to detect flame impingement, and defective components.
Flame impingement and defective firetubes increase energy consumption and costs.
Assess steam boiler tubes
In boiler tubes, energy is transferred from hot gas to water to produce pressurised steam.
- Blocked, cracked or damaged tubes lead to reduced heat transfer, raising the cost of operating the boiler
- Steam leakage from a pinhole in a firetube may go undetected, but escaping or cooling steam is lost energy and therefore lost money
- Escaping steam in a hydrocarbon vessel is extremely explosive, and creates the risk of damage to surrounding equipment, plant materials and it lowers staff safety.
Use Thermax-IR Firetube Inspection to assess the internal and external condition of your firetubes.
Conform to SHEQ requirements (Safety, Health, Environment, Quality)
Reduce risk of explosion, fire and consequential damage
Avoid unexpected shutdowns
Extend the life of capital equipment
Reduce energy usage
Implement Proactive Maintenance