24/10/2017
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Hydrocrackers

Texas tower  

Challenge / question

Hydrogen is clean because all that is left after combustion is clean water. However, there is one hiccup. Processing hydrogen is extremely difficult. The mere fact that hydrogen molecules are particularly small makes it hard to separate them. In addition, producing lighter fuels requires hydrogen at high pressure and high temperature. This demands a special material, so-called 2¼ chromium steel.  One of the characteristics of this steel is its extreme sensitivity to rupture, therefore, perfect workmanship is required to process it. A client asks us to supply a hydro cracking installation.
 
Hydrocracker  

Our solution

We design a heat exchanger, where both the shell and tube side are made of 2¼ Cr steel. As the inside hass parts that come into contact with hydrogen, a layer of stainless steel is welded on. Aside from its sensitivity to rupture, 2¼ Cr steel is exceptionally strong at high temperatures. This helps to keep the thickness of the equipment within bounds. In order to avoid the steel rupturing, the temperature during the welding must remain as constant as possible. Therefore, it is vital to keep the temperature of the heat exchanger at a couple of hundred degrees during specialist welding activities, sometimes even for weeks. Next, the exchanger must gradually cool down to prevent it from rupturing. This is called step-cooling. Examples of sheets at the same temperature, followed by destructive tests, enable us to fine tune the conditions required to manufacture this equipment. We supply the specified heat exchanger, designed according to the required quality procedures, certification and in time to the client.

 
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