Texas Tower (VCFE Platformer) x 2 Combined Feed and Effluent Exchangers Cleaned Shell and Tube Side

“NEW” Multi Drill – Unblocks severe fouling in record time

The shell and tube sides on two Middle East VCFEs were expected to be 10% fouled. In reality, both sides were 60% fouled, having not been cleaned since their installation 16 years ago. Tube Tech cleaned the Texas Towers, shell and tube side simultaneously with new multi drill system. The VCFEs cleaned in a very short period of time using innovative cleaning techniques.

The Challenge

  • 3856 tubes were believed to contain thin ferrous oxide and polycyclic aromatics.
  • Shell side fouling was believed to have thin fouling of hydrocarbons.
  • Dimensions were 2 x 3856 tubes x 12mm x 20.9 m long. Largest to date.
  • After identifying blocked tubes, Tube Tech revealed ca. 60% of tubes blocked.
  • Inspection of the shell side revealed 60% of hard coke bridging between the tubes.


Solution (Tube Side):
After identifying the blocked tubes Tube Tech used a three stage process:
  • Pulse jets and robotic acoustic sensors to locate and unblock soft blockages, More severe blockages were removed with a multiple drilling unit, and Rotary darTTs were propelled the tubes to remove deposits on 7712 tubes.
Solution (Shell Side):
Many sections were bridged with extremely hard coke. Tube Tech used:
  • Polymeric water jets to remove the majority of bridging, Revolutionary ShellJeTT to remove soft fouling, and A new Rotary ShellJeTT to drill blockages from between tubes.
High Speed Enhanced Tube Cleanliness to allow both Eddy Current and IRIS Inspection Standard. Challenge

Tube Tech Comment

Mike Watson, Managing Director: “Planning Planning Planning. From designing the support structure to hold both VCFEs vertically and safely to sending the client 3D animations of scaffolding requirements there was no ambiguity. The thorough testing of new innovative cleaning solutions in house was also highly beneficial. Tube Tech has never cleaned such fouled Texas Towers yet was able to develop ideal technology. Communication and minute by minute reports ensured the client knew of everything that was going on. A very happy client.”

Images and videos associated with this project are available via Tube Tech International
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