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Projectile Cleaning

Projectile Cleaning

Innovative technology for low pressure cleaning of large (surface) condensers and heat exchangers with 500+ tubes. Shoot special projectiles through the tubes easily, quickly and safely.

Cleaning of condenser- and heat exchanger tubes

When a large number of tubes need to be cleaned quickly and effectively, projectile cleaning is an excellent choice. In the industry, this cleaning method is also known as ''dart cleaning''. All terms refer to the same methodology: firing specially developed projectiles through tubes at low pressure.

Goodway Benelux offers low pressure equipment for the (internal) cleaning of large condensers and heat exchangers with 500+ tubes. When tubes become internally fouled with various types of deposits, this will result in a direct decrease in efficiency and an increase in costs.

Low pressure cleaning/maintenance

Low pressure cleaning is a proven technology that has been used for many years in various industries, such as: power plants, petrochemical industry, process industry, maritime, etc. The technology offers various (major) advantages over traditional cleaning methods such as high pressure cleaning. Some advantages of low pressure projectile cleaning are:

  • Speed. Time saving in projectile cleaning is the biggest advantage. Tubes can be shot through with projectiles within seconds, regardless of their length. With 2 operators you can clean approximately 750/1000 tubes per hour depending on the right conditions. That's faster than any method available. Projectile tube cleaning allows for an overal shorter downtime.
  • Cost reduction. Projectiles are relatively inexpensive and can be reused, so the cost per cleaning is much less than, for example, with high pressure. In addition, the risk of damage to the tubes is virtually nil. This excludes future costs for replacement or repair.
  • Safety. Projectiles are shot at low pressure. This is not only safer for the operators, but also for the system itself. Tubes are not exposed to high pressures internally, as with high pressure cleaning.
  • Water consumption. Projectiles are shot through the tubes within seconds. The actual water consumption per tube being cleaned is therefore very low compared to alternative cleaning methods.

Best areas of application

Cleaning with projectiles will become more interesting as the amount of tubes to be cleaned increases. Especially with larger systems such as surface condensers, it becomes very interesting to perform a projectile cleaning. Below is a brief summary of the best areas of application:

  • The softer the deposits, the better. With soft deposits, lighter and therefore cheaper projectiles are required, which saves material costs. In addition, the chance of a completely clean tube after shooting through 1 projectile is greatest here. Think of light pollution such as: sludge, algae, mud, etc.
  • The higher the amount of tubes, the better. With a large number of tubes, the lead time of the cleaning can be shortened enormously.

Usability of the technology

Cleaning tubes bundles with projectiles is a very interesting way to perform (preventive) maintenance. In addition, the various benefits in terms of safety and reduced downtime are a major advance in comparison to traditional cleaning methods. In many cases it is possible to perform a projectile cleaning. The experts of Goodway Benelux can tell you within a few minutes whether it is possible or not.

For tube bundles with very hard deposits, where ultra high pressure cleaning (2500+ bar) is required, a projectile cleaning will not be feasible. Cleaning with projectiles is therefore an addition to the industrial cleaning of tube bundles and not a replacement for high-pressure cleaning as a whole.

Special projectiles

Goodway Benelux offers various projectiles for different applications. For soft deposits, you can opt for a lighter type of projectile. When the deposits becomes harder and the tube material allows it, one can opt for heavier type projectiles. Every situation and deposit is different, therefore it is important to select the right type of projectile for a correct and effective cleaning result.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is projectile tube cleaning?
Cleaning tubes with projectiles is a simple, yet very effective way to quickly and safely clean large quantities of tubes internally. You can shoot various projectiles through the tubes, which then scrape the deposits off the tube walls. Different types of projectiles can be chosen based on the situation. Check out this video for more information.

2. For which type of installations can I apply this cleaning technology?
Cleaning with projectiles is a very fast cleaning technology, which is why this technique is often used for larger heat exchangers, such as surface condensers at power plants. If your heat exchanger has 500 tubes or more, this technique can already provide added value to your maintenance processes.

3. For which tube diameters can I use this technology?
There are different types of projectiles available, which means that the usability differs slightly in terms of diameters. In general, it is possible to clean tubes with internal diameters from 13 to 31 millimeters. The tube length does not affect the cleaning effect.

4. Can I damage or scratch the tubes with this technology?
The risk of damage and scratches to the tubes is virtually impossible with this cleaning method. Especially when the experts of Goodway Benelux can provide advice beforehand.

5. What is the advantage of projectile tube cleaning?

  • Speed. Time saving in projectile cleaning is the biggest advantage. Tubes can be shot through with projectiles within seconds, regardless of their length. With 2 operators you can clean approximately 750/1000 tubes per hour depending on the right conditions. That's faster than any method available. Projectile tube cleaning allows for an overal shorter downtime.
  • Cost reduction. Projectiles are relatively inexpensive and can be reused, so the cost per cleaning is much less than, for example, with high pressure. In addition, the risk of damage to the tubes is virtually nil. This excludes future costs for replacement or repair.
  • Safety. Projectiles are shot at low pressure. This is not only safer for the operators, but also for the system itself. Tubes are not exposed to high pressures internally, as with high pressure cleaning.
  • Water consumption. Projectiles are shot through the tubes within seconds. The actual water consumption per tube being cleaned is therefore very low compared to alternative cleaning methods.

6. What is the disadvantage of projectile tube cleaning?
There are not that many drawbacks to this cleaning technology. It is certain that this technique will work best with soft to medium-hard deposits. The harder the deposits, the harder it will be to perform a thorough cleaning. A projectile cleaning will not be effective for heat exchangers with extremely hard deposits, where ultra high pressure cleaning (2500+ bar) is required. However, the projectiles can be utilized here as a 2nd cleaning, if there are still some deposits left after the initial high pressure cleaning.

7. What are your references in the industry?
Projectile tube cleaning has been used successfully for some time in various industries such as: power plants and petrochemical sites. The customers who use this cleaning technology consist of a mix of industrial contractors and end customers who use the equipment themselves to periodically clean and maintain their installations.

Some of our references that use this tube cleaning technology to clean and maintain their heat exchangers are: Vattenfall, RWE, Uniper, EPZ (Borssele), AEB Amsterdam, etc.