Mechanical boiler tube cleaning
Mechanical boiler tube cleaning is an effective method to remove all kinds of deposits from boiler fire tubes. A mechanical boiler tube cleaning proceducure consists of a boiler tube cleaning machine, a flexible shaft, and a brush or cleaning tool. The cleaning brushes and scrapers rotate at high speed in the fire tube, creating friction, which quickly releases the deposit on the tube wall. By simultaneously using a vacuum system, the loosened deposits can be immediately extracted and collected. Mechanical boiler tube cleaning is performed dry, no water is used during the boiler cleaning process.
Application and deposits
Boiler fire tubes can become fouled pretty quickly. Having a boiler tube cleaning procedure in place is therefore important, to prevent heavily fouled boiler tubes, since this can lead to completely blocked tubes and the occurance of malfunctions of the boiler system. Depending on the type of fuel and usage, cleaning can take place every 3-6 weeks. If no boiler tube cleaning is performed, the deposits can accumulate and eventually lead to clogged tubes, which is detrimental to the efficiency of the installation. Common types of deposits in fire tubes are:
Depending on the hardness and degree of fouling, abrasive nylon brushes or hard metal scrapers can be utilized. These will rotate at high speed in the boiler tubes and thus loosen and remove the deposits in combination with a vacuum system/extraction.
Advantages of mechanical boiler tube cleaning
A mechanical boiler tube cleaning offers various advantages for the customer and equipment. Some of them have been listed below.
- There are many different cleaning brushes and scrapers available, so that different tube diameters and types of deposits can be removed. It is also possible to open up clogged tubes.
- A rotating brush or scraper is larger than the tube diameter and therefore creates continuous friction, which is very effective in loosening deposits. Boiler tube cleaning with rotating brushes gives the best cleaning results when compared to traditional methods such as high pressure lancing and manual cleaning with rods.
- Boiler tube cleaning equipment is easy-to-use and requires little training, allowing technicians and engineers to perform the cleaning themselves.
Cleaning the outer side
Most fire tube boilers are connected to a water treatment to prevent deposit buildup on the outer side of the fire tubes, such as limescale. However, it is possible that the water treatment does not function correctly or that for whatever reason limescale forms on the outer side of the fire tubes. In that case, the deposit must be removed in order to keep the heat transfer and thus the efficiency at an optimal level. A thin layer of limescale can already have a detrimental effect on the heat transfer. Read more about chemically cleaning the outer side of fire tubes here.