Case study
special design shell & tube heat exchanger

What we design for a hydrocracking process

How we succeeded to design and manufacture the right solution for our customer's, a chemical company, hydrocracking process.

Passionate about heat exchange.

Our solution
Shell & tube heat exchanger

Solution for efficient hydrocracking

The process of hydrocracking requires high-quality equipment. We have supplied our customer with the specified heat exchanger, designed according to the required quality procedures and certification and on time.

Customer challenge

A customer asked us to supply a hydrocracking installation. Hydrocracking is an important process in the chemical industry. High-pressure hydrogen at high temperatures is used to create lighter fuels from basic compounds through a catalyst. Hydrogen molecules bond to the shortened carbon ends, increasing the hydrogen level in the fuels. More hydrogen means more combustion energy. An added bonus is that hydrogen is the cleanest fuel there is.

Our approach

To prevent steel rupturing, the temperature should be kept as constant as possible during welding. That is why it is essential to keep the temperature of the heat exchanger at a couple of hundred degrees during specialist welding activities. The exchanger should then cool gradually to prevent it from rupturing. This is called step cooling. Examples of tube sheets were simultaneously submerged at the same temperature as the real tube sheet, followed by destructive testing which allowed us to fine-tune the conditions required for manufacturing this equipment.

The solution

We designed a Heat Exchanger in which both the shell and the tube side are made of 2¼ Cr steel. As the inside has parts that come into contact with hydrogen, a layer of stainless steel is welded on it. Apart 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. Exactly the solution our customer asked for, high quality and on time.

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