Do You Need To Repair Boiler Tubes?

Until science can come up with a way to disprove the old adage “nothing lasts forever”, industries that rely on boiler tubes and other components equally as important will have to deal with repairs and replacements. Boiler tubes become corroded, they can crack, and they can break. They can also become damaged by outside forces. While you may not be able to do much about the outside forces and the accidents that cause them, treating the insides of boiler tubes with protective coating can lengthen the life of those boiler tubes considerably. Your company will then need to repair boiler tubes less often.

What are Boiler Tubes?

Let’s take a look at power generating plants, just as an example. In order to generate power, steam is produced and utilized. This steam is generated by water being boiled in industrial and utility boilers. Imagine the importance of steel constructed panel components and tubes used for the boiler in a situation like this. To say that they are an integral part of the operation is the understatement of the century. The water quality and frequency of use, however, can cause the insides of these boiler tubes to corrode.

What Types of Industries Use Boiler Tubes?

Simply put, any industry using a boiler will utilize boiler tubes. This can be as simple as heating a small building or as major as the boiler system in a massive, complex industrial site or power plant. There are varying classifications of boilers. Types of industrial boilers can be classified by heat source, combustion technology, design, and function. Each will require its own set of tubing which may have varying functions depending on the type of boiler and what is expected of it.

Boiler Tube Repair

Boiler tubes are broken into classifications. There are tubes used for water tube boilers which are highly thermally efficient but because they are harder to build, more expensive than fire tube boilers. With water tube boilers, only water flows through the boiler tubes. Then there are tubes used for fire tube boilers. Hot gasses pass through these tubes. These boilers are easy to operate and marginally inexpensive to purchase.

Rather than expensive replacement of panel components and corroded boiler tubes, a more viable solution could be the application of coatings that are corrosion resistant through a process called thermal spraying. Direct savings in operational downtime and replacement costs are realized due to this requiring less time to apply. Areas that are generally serviceable through this process are as follows:

  • Protection tubes
  • Furnace walls
  • Combustion chamber soot blowers
  • Superheater soot blowers
  • Reheater
  • Amine contactors
  • Economizer
  • Primary and secondary superheater
  • Combustion chamber waterwalls

For boiler tube repairs, it cannot be stressed enough how vital it is that the surface repairs are done by specialized, qualified surface engineering operators with proven records, capabilities, and proper certification. Not only are the industries that use these boilers greatly reliant on the safety and operation of the boilers and boiler tubes, they are just as reliant on the people who service and repair them. Lives literally depend upon the safety and operation of many of these boiler systems.

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