Mechanical Cleaning of Heat Exchangers
Mechanical cleaning with a brush system is one of the most effective methods for cleaning (smaller) shell & tube heat exchangers. By this we mean cleaning the inside of the tubes by means of a rotating brush method. The concept is simple, a tube cleaning system powers a flexible shaft, which then rotates a brush. Due to the rotating action of the brush, there is continuous friction on the tube wall, which will cause the pollution to quickly come off. In combination with a water flush, the pollution is flushed away immediately. The water also acts as cooling for the internal core of the flexible shaft, so that the outer mantle does not heat up.
Usage within HVAC
Mechanical tube cleaning is fast, effective and very simple to perform. As a result, the method is characterized as very user-friendly and people can often carry out the work themselves. The technology is especially interesting for the following systems/installations:
- Watercooled condensers/chillers.
- Process heat-exchangers (often found within the petrochemical/process industry).
- Tubes of an Air fin cooler.
- Evaporator tubes of Aircooled Chillers.
Think of systems from well-known suppliers and manufacturers, such as: Trane, York, Carrier, McQuay etc.
Application and Usage
In principle, the tube cleaning systems can all be used from an internal tube diameter of 7,0 millimeters. Everything above is no problem. Please note that more accessories will be required for various internal diameters. This is because different diameters of brushes and shafts are available, to be able to clean any diameter of tube. In addition, it is important to choose what kind of tube cleaning machine you use, should it be powered by air or electric, etc. You can read more about this in the specific categories listed.
- Can be used from an internal tube diameter of 7,0 millimeter and up!
- Can be used for any length - just a matter of the right accessories.
- Brushes available in various materials including; nylon, brass, stainless steel etc.
- Can be used for any industry - various types of tube cleaning systems available.
The mechanical brush method allows you to remove different types of deposits. In general, the focus is more on light to medium pollution. But with the right brushes, heavier types of pollution can also be removed. Think about:
- Silt, mud and algae.
- Biofilm (slime).
Assistance and customer service
Do you still have questions about mechanical tube cleaning? Please contact our customer service department. There you can get tailor-made advice about our products.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is mechanical tube cleaning?
The mechanical cleaning of tubes is quite simple, you use a tube cleaning system with a flexible shaft to rotate a brush in the tube. By rotating the brush, friction is created in the tubes, which causes the deposits to come loose. The integrated low pressure water flush ensures that the deposits are removed from the tubes. Check out this video for more information.
2. For which type of installations can I apply this cleaning technology?
Mechanical tube cleaning can be utilized for, for example: condensers, chillers, evaporators, etc. As long as you have to clean tubes internally, you can use this technology. Here you can find a complete overview of installations that can be cleaned with Goodway equipment.
3. For which tube diameters can I use this technology?
With the standard brushes you can clean tubes with an internal diameter of 6,4 to 25,4 millimeters (1/4'' - 1''). Larger brushes are also available to clean larger tube diameters. Goodway Benelux offers a complete range of accessories, with which it is possible to clean up to 700 millimeters inner diameter.
4. Can I damage or scratch the tubes with this technology?
This is not possible as long as you use the regular nylon brushes. There is a risk of damage with harder metals and/or scrapers. However, this is always different. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service.
5. Can I only clean with water?
During the rotation of the brushes, a small amount of water flows through the flexible shaft, this water is used to cool the core. In addition, this water flushing ensures that the deposits are removed from the tubes. Some tube cleaning systems can also be used dry, which means that the brush rotates in the tubes without a water flush, allowing to clean tubes without water. This is often the case with larger tube diameters from 25,4 millimeters (1'') and up, for example: fire tube boilers and production piping. Our experts can assist you further with this.
6. What is the advantage of mechanical tube cleaning?
This technology uses little water and works on the basis of low pressure, so it is much safer for the operator and the installation itself compared to other techniques, such as high pressure.
7. What is the disadvantage of mechanical tube cleaning?
If you have to clean a lot of tubes, a mechanical cleaning can take quite a while. This is because each tube has to be cleaned manually. In general, our advice for large heat exchangers is to use the projectile cleaning technology. However, this can be different based on the specific situation, if you have any questions, please contact our experts.
8. What is your experience with this technology?
The mechanical cleaning of tubes has been used successfully for some time in various industries such as: power plants, food production/processing, maritime, petrochemical and more. The customers who use this cleaning technology consist of a mix of contractors and end customers who use the equipment themselves to periodically clean and maintain their installations.