• Estimation of shutdown schedule to remove fouling layers of heat exchangers using risk-based inspection (RBI)

      Elwerfalli, A.; Alsadaie, S.; Mujtaba, Iqbal M. (2021-12-02)
      Oil and Gas plants consist of a set of heat exchangers, which are used in recovering the waste heat from product streams to preheat the oil. The heat transfer coefficient of exchangers declines considerably during the operation period due to fouling. Fouling in heat exchangers is a complex phenomenon due to the acceleration of many layers of chemical substances across tubes of heat exchangers resulting from chemical reactions and surface roughness. In this paper, the fouling process was determined as a critical failure in the heat exchanger. Failure is an accelerated fouling layer across the heat exchanger tubes, which can be the reason for the clogging of tubes. Hence, a risk assessment was conducted using the Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) approach to estimate the probability of fouling in heat exchangers. The results showed that the RBI approach can be used successfully to predict the suitable time to shut down the plant and conduct the fouling cleaning process.