Test, inspection and report (TIR) of heat exchangers
Get a diagnosis and solution for your heat exchangers
You think something is wrong with your heat exchanger. So, before doing anything, it is important to diagnose the problem. To do so, Sterling TT conducts a test and inspection. Then, we produce a detailed report illustrated with photos from your heat exchanger. In short, we call this work a TIR (Test, Inspection, Report).
We go through different steps.
External visual inspection of your heat exchanger
First, we perform an initial external visual inspection to identify the elements correctly. We trace the history of the heat exchangers to understand when they were designed and by whom they were supplied originally.
We easily recognise the contract serial numbers when it is a Sterling TT’s make or one of the companies we bought, including Thermo Engineers, Heat Exchange Industries (HEI) or Britannia Heatex. The serial number allows us to find the drawings and information related to the heat exchanger. We will need these at a later stage if we repair or replace the units.
During this visual inspection phase, we look for any physical damage, including paintwork. Some of the issues we usually find are:
coating of Verdigris (often seen with copper alloys),
corrosion, e.g., coatings of rust onside frames, flanges or bolting,
erosion (evidence of wearing),
tubes that are bent, and
missing elements, e.g., connection header.
After the visual inspection, the second step of a TIR process is to proceed to a pressure test, also called hydrostatic test.
The goal is to investigate if a leak has occurred in the elements. How do we proceed? We fill the tube system with water or air, which may be dyed to help detect the leak. Then, we pressurise the unit to the specified test pressure. We test the pressure tightness by shutting off the supply valve and checking for pressure losses. If so, we detect the leaks and ascertain their positions and probable causes.
Note: if damage occurs during the transportation from your factory to ours, or if the damages are too substantial, the unit may be unsafe for a pressure test.
Removal of the heat exchanger headers
Following the pressure test, we remove the headers to facilitate the inspection of the internal surfaces of the tube plates and tube ends. This step allows us to examine the condition of any internal surface coating. Again, we are looking if and where the equipment is eroded or corroded.
Report and solutions offered
Finally, we write a report about the issues we have found and illustrate it with photos so you can become aware of the extent of the damage.