August 2007

Maintenance/Heat Transfer

Prevent leaks in heat exchangers

Changes in design code lead to solutions for chronic leaking glycol exchanger

Rajkumar, R., Reliance Industries Ltd.

Leaking heating exchangers are problematic. Leaks can be sourced to poor design, bad workmanship, faulty materials, etc. In this example, a heat exchanger in an ethylene glycol unit endured an ongoing leak. The following procedure was used by the maintenance group to determine the leak's root cause and best remedial action. Background. Leak from any flange, either from a small-bore process piping or a large dish-end of an exchanger is a problem for the process and maintenance engineers. Leaks can happen due to bad workmanship, faulty material or poor design. For whatever reason, such events can require isolating the line or equipment isolation with a chance of capacity/quality compromise.

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