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Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger
3

Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

(OP)
There is an inert ceramic ball stuck fairly deep in one of my U-tubes. Any ideas on how to get it out? Already tried using an HP water gun

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

Hi ,
You should use the service of company familiar with very high or ultra high pressure pump (1200 bars) to remove your ceramic ball . This will work for sure . Good to visualize the location of the blockage with an endoscope .

A reference : URACA
Good luck
Pierre

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

Do you really really need that tube? Most HX's can cope with the loss of a few tubes so why not just plug it off and fill it with something?

Struggling to understand how a ceramic ball got inside one of your U tubes though....

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

(OP)
two tubes are actually blocked, so now sitting 10% of tubes blocked, so it would be good to unblock.

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

Make the balls bigger!

Even 10% loss should be acceptable

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

The only real risk with the plugged tubes is that the increased flow rates may cause more erosion.
If the ball is actually in the ubend then you may be out of luck. The ubend portion is oval and they may not be able to build enough pressure to dislodge it.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

This underscores a learning lesson that most of us already know. In some situations big balls are needed to solve problems, while in other situations they just unnecessarily create problems. In situations where the latter is true (as is the case here) it's usually very difficult to undo those problems.

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xPlqLHcphyw

Cannot be beaten as a magnificent track by one of the best bands in history.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

Sorry for the diversion there - I couldn't help it based on don's rather tongue in cheek comment....

As ever a diagram, picture, diameters of tubes would help us understand - can you get access to the tube plate?

All else fails can you remove the tube sheet easily or is this barely worth cutting it out, cutting the tubes and repairing it?

What have you tried so far?

Could you drill it from the end?

So much depends on access or lack thereof.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

I have watched guys use air to slam a carbide ball down a tube in order to break up an obstruction. It might work and it might not.
You could always weld a small bar across the opening of each tube in order to prevent that.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

Plug all the tubes blocked until the next shutdown. Depending on the total number of your tubes 10/% plugged, should be aceptable.

luis

RE: Blocked tube in shell and tube heat exchanger

@georgeverghese (Chemical) - Kindly advise on how to contact you privately (drop some clues, LinkedIn profile, etc.). I really need to pick your mind on a compressor issue.

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