Curran develops flexible method for applying coatings to tubing in huge condenser water boxes

Curran International, Inc. has announced that it has developed a newer, faster and more flexible method for applying polymer-based protective coatings to tubing in huge condenser water boxes operating in power plants. The new technique deploys a “flex-lance” apparatus that extends as much as 60 feet down the tubing within a small water box.
The technique, incorporating thin film applications technology patented by Curran International, facilitates full length tube coating from “inside the box” without disassembling waterboxes or headers. This solution offers clients in-situ cleaning and coating of corroded condenser tube IDs at a fraction the cost or schedule requirement of retubing.
“Our innovative technique for cleaning the interior walls of small-diameter tubes in condenser water boxes gives plant managers one less headache to deal with,” said Ed Curran, chief executive officer of Curran International. “The flex-lance application technique can then coat even the most obscure spots inside the tubing in the heat-transfer equipment, preparing the surface walls with a grit-blasting technique as well.”
The new flex-lance system uses patented applications technology for applying coating to full circumferential wall of tubes typically 1.00” of less in outer diameter. The flex-lance system can be passed through a 18” manway at the waterbox or header; once set up a technician can coat full length tubes to 60’ in length. A thin film (<.003”) of polymer lining is atomized and driven onto the inner surface of the full length tube as the lance travels down the tube. The application has been used to recover corroded condenser tubes at several power plants. In a unique application a steam ship condenser with failing tubes was repaired with coating in less than 10 days. 
Tube cleaning to “white metal” is a surface-preparation standard required before applying protective thin-film coatings. The coatings application improves resistance to corrosion, fouling and other common tubing blockages. This treatment also drastically reduces plant shutdowns and equipment stoppages for required maintenance and cleanings, positively impacting operational efficiency, asset utilization and equipment performance. The use of thin-film linings has saved energy, petrochemical and power generation clients millions of dollars annually in extra energy consumption and maintenance costs by improving the performance of fixed equipment running cooling water. The application of thin-film tube ID linings has been used for more than 50 years for cooling-water heat exchangers operating at refineries, power generation and petrochemical plants.
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