Should we take petrochemicals in ICT

Petrochemical industry

Steam reforming

Steam reforming is a process in which hydrogen-rich synthesis gas is generated from light hydrocarbons. This production takes place in the so-called primary reformer.

Primary reformers can be found in many refineries, fertilizer plants or at methanol manufacturers. They are an important and central component of the systems. The actual steam reforming of the hydrocarbons takes place in reformer tubes that are installed vertically in the reformers.

The tubes are made of high-alloy centrifugally cast materials and are filled with a nickel-based catalyst. Since the reaction in the pipes is endothermic, external firing is necessary. This is ensured by burners that can be placed on the ceiling, on the sides or on the floor - depending on the design of the respective reformer. Due to the high temperatures and pressures, the reformer tubes are subject to immense loads.

With these high loads on the pipes, regular checks are particularly important in order to reliably identify pipe expansions and cracks and to correctly assess their danger. Because the losses due to downtime caused by leaks in the reformer pipes are much higher than the replacement and installation of new pipes.

The LEO-SCAN system has therefore been used successfully for reformer tube tests for more than 25 years. The wall thickness of the tubes is completely penetrated by means of an eddy current method and examined for the smallest cracks, such as those that can arise from overheating in the event of burner or catalytic converter problems. In addition, an expansion measurement is carried out using laser technology, since the creep damage is usually associated with expansion.

With the LEO-SCAN system, around 250 pipes can be checked per shift. All tests can be superimposed so that the results and their course can be compared. Since in many reformers there is damage close to the floor, testing of the Leo-Scan system begins as early as 20mm above the floor.

REFORMER TUBES & COMPONENTS - Comprehensive services for testing reformer tubes.

REFORMER TUBES & COMPONENTS - Comprehensive services for testing reformer tubes. (us letter)