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ECT TUBE STANDARDS (FIN TUBES)

16.0. FIN TUBES

We are manufacturing fin tubes as per the standard of ASME SEC VIII and API 661 requirement with flaw for Non Destructive Testing. The flawed fin tubes are used to set the Non Destructive Testing equipment prior to work on the examination. The ASME Code Section VIII Div.1 and API 661 requirements normally are used for inspection and test plan for fin tube.

Tube inspection is a vital tool for the refining and petrochemical industries. Heat exchangers and condensers are designed to sustain 100% separation between the products in the tube (tube side) and the products in the vessel (shell side). A leaking tube can not only cause a significant impact to production it can cause major environmental issues and the potential for loss of life. Tube Inspection techniques have been available for decades. Historically the costs for inspections have been extraordinarily high due to probe manufacturing and instrumentation costs. Only nuclear facilities which are heavily regulated could afford these services. Over the past decade improvements in manufacturing capabilities have helped to decrease the cost for testing devices. The 1986 Process Safety Improvement Act also resulted in an increased demand for inspection services. These two factors have contributed to more cost effective probe design and decreased cost to perform inspections. Tube inspection services are much more cost effective for the oil and gas industry equipment operators than in the past. 

Now exchangers and condensers are being inspected on a more regular basis. This has lead to improved bundle reliability for the oil and gas companies. The inspection allow the operators to improve preventative maintenance programs by identifying damaged tubes requiring immediate replacement during maintenance outages and the ability to more accurately determine remaining life so maintenance activities can be scheduled during future outages and finally the ability to manage “Risk” by reducing the number of unforeseen unplanned outages. These benefits have provided significant reliability improvements for refinery and petrochemical operators and will continue to grow as technology and implementation practices continue to improve over time.

Tube inspection techniques include Eddy Current, Remote Field Eddy Current, Magnetic Flux Leakage, IRIS (UT technique), Near Field Testing (NFT), Near Field Array (NFA) and LOTIS (Laser) profilemetry. An electromagnetic based techniques the ultrasonic and laser techniques require mentioning as the techniques are very complimentary and often used in parallel. Tube inspection is typically broken down into two (2) categories; ferrous and nonferrous. Ferrous materials refer to materials with magnetic properties such as carbon steel and 400 series stainless steel. Nonferrous materials refer to materials with nonmagnetic properties such as copper, brass, Inconel and most stainless steels. 

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