Advice on why you should chemically clean a boiler

The reason for chemically cleaning a steam generating boiler is to remove any contaminants that may inhibit heat transfer from the water/fire tubes to the water in them, which could result in premature tube failure within the boiler.  Even newly constructed units require some form of chemical cleaning to remove oil, mill scale and preservatives used in the manufacture of the material and the installation process. Operational steam generating boilers require periodic chemical cleaning, the frequency of which will depend on the operation of the unit, for example the temperatures and time involved.

There are various reasons why you should chemically clean your boiler. They include:

  • Waterborne deposits
  • Poor water treatment
  • Contamination such as by oil or sea water
  • Porous deposits
  • Scale

The quality of the feed-water and its treatment is a major factor as to determining when steam plant requires chemically cleaning.

Corrosion of the feed-water and condensate systems are also major contributors to boiler and steam side deposits.  The deposits in these systems travel directly to the area of the boiler with the highest temperature, generally the small bore water tubes of the boiler.

The most accurate way to determine when a unit needs cleaning is to remove tube samples from the areas of highest heat flux and/or areas where problems have occurred.

Excessive water side deposits within the boiler insulate the internal surface of the tube, this additional layer causes elevated temperatures within the boiler tubes that can contribute to overheating and premature failure.

Internal deposits can come in various forms, Porous deposits within the water side of the boiler potentially act as catalyst mechanism for the water treatment chemicals that can lead to aggressive corrosion.

Water side deposit removal can minimise the downtime of steam plant caused by taking it offline to carry out remedial work from tube failures.

Chemical cleaning of your boiler also reveals the ‘true’ internal metal condition. This enables a more comprehensive survey because the ‘true’ condition of the base material is visible and can be inspected for embrittlement, uncovered pits or gouges.

Green’s offers chemical cleaning services, inspections and surveys provided by its dedicated, highly qualified team. They enable organisations to identify current and potential problems with their boilers and ancillary equipment so that they can be addressed before they become overly costly or result in avoidable outages.

Available for worldwide mobilisation 365 days of the year, Green’s team are experts at inspecting and assessing boilers to check that they are performing as they should and operating at optimum efficiency. Potential problems found and associated recommendations are made as part of a detailed report so that plans can be put into place, cost and downtime is kept to a minimum and boiler life is extended.

Green’s also provides asset integrity assessment, failure analysis, repair and other services, all of which can be tailored to meet companies’ specific needs.