Curran Exchanger Tube Cleaning

Curran tube ID dry grit blast cleaning method has elevated expectations of tube cleanliness for Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE). Never again compromise PEI data with poor inspections as a result of “dirty tubes.”

Using high velocity, high pressure air, Curran is expert at scouring tenacious scale and deposits from tube substrate and pits. Curran tube ID cleaning has facilitated high integrity NDE data acquisition of air coolers, SRU exchangers, and surface condensers. Curran crews are expert at performing work in-situ, during turnarounds and equipment maintenance outages, providing vacuum containment to eliminate nuisance dust, and capture all waste debris.


Exchanger Cleaning

Curran grit blasting has been used for:

  • Refinery air coolers, hydrocarbon condensing units
  • Surface condensers, cooling water exchangers
  • SRU – Claus boilers, WHBs, tail gas units, condensers
  • Furnace tubes, tubular reactors
  • All metallurgy, and U tube type

Curran grit blast method eliminates cleaning “rework” and tube cleanliness is visually confirmed. Each exchanger has a cleaning dwell time calibrated, and a job document reports cleaning time. Curran tube ID cleaning “gets it cleaned the first time.”

  • Cleaner tubes allow a greater probe fill factor and more accuracy in sizing small defects
  • Reduced “background noise” and faster data acquisition and analysis time
  • In-situ scope execution, containment of dry waste and airborne debris
  • Minimize impacts to other planned work in vicinity of Curran cleaning

Air coolers

Cleaning the ID of air cooler tubes for inspection using Curran cleaning method overcomes the issues associated with hydro blasting. Curran crews can execute work on existing catwalks, use vacuum tight containment, and bridge headers using proprietary tube-end to tube-end pitch and catch system. Curran cleaning of air coolers has become a best practice at many refineries across the globe.

At many refineries Curran provides “operational cleaning” of tube IDs too, returning heat transfer duty by effectively cleaning scale from tubes not captured in the NDE scope of work. Contact Curran to discuss your tube NDE and maintenance cleaning strategy.


Refinery clients and NDE inspection companies around the world have found Curran cleaning as a “best practice” for tube surface prep:

Exchanger Work
Exchanger Tent

What Others are Saying

I am pleased to let you know that we have been very satisfied with the quality of your work and would not hesitate in recommending your services to any of our sister refineries. You have demonstrated that you are able to work on short notice, are able to deal with changing requests and most importantly to perform all your work safely. Heat exchanger tube inspection with IRIS requires a high level of cleanliness in order to be performed correctly and your grit-blasting technique has proven itself again and again in terms of providing this magnitude of cleaning, even where high pressure H2O (36,000 PSI) will not
West Coast Refinery Fixed Equipment Lead
4” OD x 18’L convection furnace tubes – “…these were the cleanest tubes…quality job, timely execution…”
Refinery Pressure Equipment Integrity Engineer
As you’re aware, our ability to fully inspect internal surfaces with LOTIS is directly dependant on the cleanliness of the tubes, and there was no question that these tubes were the cleanest I’ve ever seen for this type of inspection.
Gulf Coast Operations Manager – NDE Company
I feel strongly that having cooling water tube side exchangers cleaned by grit blasting allows much greater confidence in determining relevant from non-relevant data.
Lead Inspection Analyst – Texas Petrochemical Plant
…the results of the cleaning effort were excellent. We were never able to clean these tubes for IRIS using hydroblasting, thus were forced to use RFET….We will continue to use Curran International for cleaning when IRIS inspection is necessary.
PEI Specialist/NDE Focal Point, Gulf Coast Refinery
I want to extend my appreciation for a job well done by the Curran International employees. This particular job was a real challenge, and it was very important to our operation. Curran crew worked long hours, under very tough and demanding conditions. They were interrupted numerous times to allow other critical path work to continue. Joe and his crew kept a positive attitude the whole time and helped us accomplish our goals. We wanted you to know how much we appreciated the help
Maintenance Superintendent/Turnaround, West Coast Refinery