Sei sulla pagina 1di 38

OISD - 133

Amended edition




First Edition, November 1990
Amended edition, August, 2000


Government of India

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas

First Edition, April 1990
Amended edition,
August, 2000



Prepared by



NEW DELHI – 110 001

OISD publications are prepared for use in the oil and gas
industry under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. These
are the property of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and
shall not be reproduced or copied and loaned or exhibited to
others without written consent from OISD.

Though every effort has been made to assure the

accuracy and reliability of data contained in these documents,
OISD hereby expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for
loss or damage resulting from their use.

These documents are intended only to supplement and

not replace the prevailing statutory requirements.

Note1 in superscript indicates the

modification/changes/addition based on the
amendments approved in the 17th Safety Council
meeting held in July, 1999.
Note 2 in superscript indicates the
modification/changes/addition based on the
amendments approved in the 18th Safety Council
meeting held in August,2000.

The Oil Industry in India is nearly one hundred years old. Due to various
collaboration agreements, a variety of international codes, standards and
practices have been in vogue. Standardisation in design philosophies and
operating and maintenance practices at a national level was hardly in existence.
This, coupled with feed back from some serious accidents that occurred in the
recent past in India and abroad, emphasised the need for the industry to review
the existing state of art in designing, operating and maintaining oil and gas

With this in view, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, in 1986,
constituted a Safety Council assisted by Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD),
staffed from within the industry, in formulating and implementing a series of self-
regulatory measures aimed at removing obsolescence, standardising and
upgrading the existing standards to ensure safer operations. Accordingly, OISD
constituted a number of Functional Committees of experts nominated from the
industry to draw up standards and guidelines on various subjects.

The present document on “Inspection of Fired Heaters” has been

prepared by the Functional Committee on “Inspection of Static Equipment”. This
document is based on the accumulated knowledge and experience of industry
members and the various national and international codes and practices. This
document is meant to be used as a supplement and not as a replacement for
existing codes and practices. It is hoped that the provisions of this document,
when adopted may go a long way to improve the safety and reduce accidents in
the Oil and Gas Industry. Users are cautioned that no standard can be a
substitute for the judgement of a responsible, qualified Inspection Engineer.
Suggestions are invited from the users, after it is put into practice, to improve the
document further.

Suggestions for amendments to this document should be addressed to

The Coordintor,
Committee on “Inspection of Static Equipment,
Oil Industry Safety Directorate,
2nd Floor, “Kailash”
26, Kasturba Gandhi Marg,
New Delhi – 110 001

This standard in no way supercedes the statutory regulations of CCE,

Factory Inspectorate or any other Government Body which must be followed as
List of Members
Name Designation & Position in
Organisation Committee
1. Sh. R.K. Sabharwal CMNM-IOC (R&P) Leader

2. Sh. R.H. Vora DGM IOC (Mkt) Member

3. Sh. D.P. Dhall Ch Insp. & AE Member

Manager-BPC (Ref)

4. Sh. P. Dasgupta SIPM IOC (R&P) Member

5. Sh. I.M. Advani MGR Insp-(Proj) HPC (Ref) Member

6. Sh. V. K. Moorthy Dy. Suptd.Engg, ONGC Member

7. Sh. R.M.N. Marar Jt. Dir-OISD Member

In addition to the above, various other experts from the industry contributed in the preparation,
review and finalisation of this document.



1.0 Introduction

2.0 Scope

3.0 Definition and types of Heaters

3.1 Fired Tubular Heaters
3.1.1 Heating Coil
3.1.2 Furnace and Ducting
3.1.3 Stack
3.1.4 Types of Fired Tubular Heaters
3.2 Director Fired Heaters

4.0 Inspection Responsibility

5.0 Inspection Tools

6.0 Inspection of Heaters during Construction

7.0 Checklist of Inspection of Fired Heaters Prior to Commissioning

8.0 Likely Location of Metal Wastage

8.1 Heating Coil
8.1.1 Deterioration Due to Corrosion
8.1.2 Metallurgical Deterioration
8.1.3 Mechanical Deterioration
8.2 Tube Supports
8.3 Refractory Lining
8.4 Casing
8.5 Miscellaneous

9.0 Frequency of Inspection

9.1 Types of Inspection
9.1.1 Onstream Inspection
9.1.2 Planned Shutdown Inspection
9.1.3 Emergency Shutdown Inspection
9.2 Frequency of Inspection
9.2.1 Onstream Inspection
9.2.2 Shutdown Inspection

10.0 Inspection Procedures

10.1 Onstream Inspection
10.2 Planned Shutdown Inspection
10.2.1 Inspection of radiant and Shock Tubes
10.2.2 Inspection of Convection tubes
10.2.3 Inspection During Steam Air Decoking
10.2.4 Retiring Limits
10.2.5 Hydrostatic Test
10.2.6 Inspection of Heater Foundation
10.2.7 Structurals
10.2.8 Air Duct
10.2.9 Burners
10.2.10 Tube Supports, Hangers and Guides
10.2.11 Fire Box and Convection Box
10.2.12 Flue Gas Duct
10.2.13 Soot blowers
10.2.14 Air Preheaters
10.2.15 Inspection of Direct Fired Heaters
10.2.16 Inspection of Stacks

11.0 Methods of Repairs and Inspection during Repairs

11.1 Tubes and Fittings
11.2 Furnace and Stack

12.0 Documentations

13.0 References

Annexure I
Inspection Check List for Fired Heater in Service

Annexure II
Heater Data Sheet (1-5)

1.0 INTRODUCTION sections. A fired heater consists of

three basic parts namely;
Fired heaters are essential
components of a Petroleum I) Heating Coil
Refinery. In most processes, failure ii) Furnace and ducting
of a heater in a unit may cause iii) Stack
shutdown of the entire unit. Factors
such as Process and Operating 3.1.1 Heating Coil
conditions, Characteristics of
operating media, Human factors etc. The heating coil which
are complex and hence long term carries the process fluid consists of
prediction on the performance of lengths of tubing connected in series
heaters is not possible. The most to form a continuous coil or coils.
reliable method to ensure The tube fittings such as return
operational safety is periodic bends and other connections may
inspection and preventive be of welded construction or rolled-
maintenance. In a sound equipment in headers with plugs.
safety programme inspection and
repairs are carried out to good Various sections of heating
engineering standards. coil are briefly described below:

2.0 SCOPE (a) Radiant Coil

This standard covers the The radiant coils are located

minimum inspection requirements in the radiant section of the furnace
for fired heaters used in petroleum where the heat pick up is
industry. Areas to be inspected, predominantly from the heating
Inspection procedures, Frequency of flame and incandescent refractories
inspection, method of repairs and by thermal radiation. The radiant
causes of deterioration have been tubes may be either vertical or
specified in this standard. The horizontal depending on the
inspection requirements during the construction of the furnace.
construction and prior to
commissioning of new heaters are (b) Convection Coils
also included in brief.
The convection coils are
located in the low heat flux zone of
3.0 DEFINITION AND TYPES OF the furnace. Due to restricted flow
HEATERS area for the hot flue gases in this
section, the predominant mode of
Fired heaters in a petroleum heat transfer is by convection, and
industry are used to add heat to the hence finned/studded tubes are
system. The fuel used may be oil, often used in convection coils. Due
gas or both. There are two different to lower flue gas temperature, the
types of fired heaters commonly process side operating temperature
used namely, fired tubular heaters in the convection coils will be lower
and direct-fired heaters. than that of radiant coils. The
convection tubes are generally
3.1 FIRED TUBULAR HEATERS placed horizontal, irrespective of the
configuration of radiant tubes.
In a fired tubular heater, the
hydrocarbon to be heated flows (c) Shock Tubes (Shield tubes)
through a heating coil or coils placed
inside an enclosure which is fired. The rate of heat absorption
Tubular heaters are built with two tends to be high at the entrance to
distinct heating sections namely the the convection section in heaters,
radiant section and the convection where the convection section is right
above the radiant section, because
heat is delivered both by radiation These are metallic members
and convection. Tubes at this able to withstand high temperatures
section are called shock/shield used to prevent sagging/ bowing /
tubes. buckling/ swaying of tubes.
Horizontal roof tubes of box type
3.1.2 Furnace and Ducting heaters are supported by means of
hangers and side wall tubes by
The term furnace covers all supports. Vertical tubes are
members that form the housing, provided with tube guides.
supports and any other auxiliary
equipment. The furnaces are (f) Reradiation Cone
operated on natural draft or provided
with forced and/or induced draft by The re-radiation core is a
means of fans or blowers. The hollow inverted cone, made of alloy
various parts of furnace and ducting steels for high temperature service,
are briefly described below: installed inside the fire box at the top
of cylindrical furnaces, by means of
(a) Air Duct hanger rods. This is meant to
increase the radiant heat transfer.
Air duct is a conduit, made
of steel sheets to convey air from (g) Central Bridge Wall
FD fan to the fire box through air
preheater (if provided) with the air The central bridge wall is a
preheater bypass duct. Section of refractory wall constructed at the
air duct carrying hot air is normally middle of the fire box of a box type
insulated from outside. heater with horizontal tubes making
two cells with symmetric coil(s)
(b) Wind Box arrangement in each cell. It is
advantageous, if different heat input
The wind to is a chamber is required in each coil.
surrounding a burner through which
air under pressure is supplied for (h) Convection Section
combustion of the fuel. The flow
rate of air is adjusted by means of This is the section of
air registers. furnace at the flue gas outlet of
combustion chamber where
(c) Burners secondary heat recovery coils,
known as convection coils are
Burners are nozzles through placed.
which fuel is delivered inside the fire
box at the required condition so as (i) Flue Gas Duct
to provide ideal firing. Burners may
be mounted vertically upwards or Flue gas duct is a conduit,
horizontally depending on the made of steel sheets used for
construction of the heater. conveying flue gas from convection
section outlet to the stack, through
(d) Fire Box air pre-heater and I.D. fan. The
ducts are generally lined from inside
Fire box is a cylindrical or or insulated externally.
rectangular chamber in which actual
combustion of the fuel takes place (j) Air Pre-heater
and the heat transmitted to the
surrounding tubular coil by radiation. Air pre-heaters are made as
The walls of the fire box are made of waste heat recovery units from the
refractory bricks/castables at the fire out-going flue gas to heat the
side backed by insulation and outer combustion air. Both rotary and
steel casing. stationary type air pre-heaters are
commonly employed.
(e) Tube Supports/Hangers/Guides
(k) Soot Blower
Heaters in which fuel is fired
It consist of a long tubular directly into the fluid stream to be
lance with spray nozzles for heated are called direct fired
spraying steam or air to dislodge heaters. The common examples in
soot deposits on convection tubes refinery use are direct fired air
while the heater is in operation. heaters and flue gas generators.
Rotary, stationary and retractile type
of soot blowers are commonly Typical direct fired heaters
employed. consist of a steel cylindrical sheet
with air/gas inlet and outlet, and the
3.1.3 Stack burner(s) mounted at one end. The
steel shell is internally refractory
A flue gas stack is a vertical lined to protect the shell. General
conduit used to discharge products arrangement of a direct fired heater
of combustion at a safe height so as is shown in Fig.3. The shells of
not to pollute the surrounding direct fired heaters are designed to
atmosphere beyond the permissible withstand internal pressures. Such
limits. It is also used as a means of units should be treated as pressure
creating a draft at its base due to the vessels and inspected according to
difference in density between the OISD Standard-128 ‘Inspection of
internal and external gases, in Unfired Pressure Vessels’.
natural draft furnaces.
3.1.4 Types of Fired Tubular Heaters RESPONSIBILITY
There are many variations The following shall be the
in the arrangement of fired tubular responsibility of the inspection division.
heaters, the most commonly used
being the box type and vertical type (i) To maintain a constant vigilance on
of heaters. the physical condition and operating
parameters of the heaters during
(a) Box Type Heaters operation to spot any unsafe
condition and initiate corrective
A box type heater is measures.
considered to be any heater in
which the tubes are horizontal. In (ii) To inspect, measure and record the
this type it is possible to have zones deterioration of materials and to
of different heat densities. They evaluate the physical condition.
may be updraft or downdraft with
gas or oil fired burners located in the (iii) To evaluate and analyse the
end of side walls, floor, or any deterioration rate which forms the
combination thereof. In Fig. 1 & 1a basis in determining scheduled
few of the commonly used coil repairs/replacements before serious
arrangement in box type heaters are weakening or failure of any part
shown. occurs.
(b) Vertical Heaters (iv) To determine causes of
deterioration and to advise remedial
Vertical heaters are either measures.
cylindrical or rectangular, with
vertical radiant tubes. The majority (v) To predict/recommend short-term
of vertical tube heaters are bottom and long-term repairs and
fires, with the stack mounted directly replacements to enable
on top of the heater. With a bank of procurement of materials required
heaters, a common stack also may well in time.
be used. In Fig. 2 two different type
of vertical heaters are shown. (vi) To inspect while doing the repairs
for quality of the work and to
3.2 DIRECT FIRED HEATERS approve after completion of repairs.
Inspection shall be carried out in the
(vii) To maintain and update following stages:
maintenance and inspection records
of various parts of the heaters. i) Study of the design, drawings,
layout and the tender documents.
(viii) To keep the concerned operating
and maintenance personnel fully ii) Identification and inspection of
informed as to the condition of the materials of construction.
various heaters.
iii) Approval of welding procedures in
(ix) To ensure that the heaters are accordance with tender
inspected as per schedule of specifications/code requirements.
iv) Carrying out of welder qualifications
(x) To inspect the quality of tests as per code.
replacements materials.
v) Ensuring that approved welding
5.0 INSPECTION TOOLS procedures, welders and welding
electrodes are employed.
i) Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge
ii) Radiography Equipment vi) Ensuring that proper preheating and
iii) Magnetic Particle Testing Kit post weld heat treatment are carried
iv) Dye Penetrant Inspection Kit out, wherever specified.
v) Infrared Scanner for Thermography
vii) Checking the quality of welding by
vi) Portable Metallographic Equipment radiographic and other NDT
vii) Portable Hardness Tester techniques as required.
viii) Binoculars
ix) Magnifying Glass viii) Ensuring that the tubes are
x) Magnets expanded into headers properly and
xi) Pit/Depth Gauge the tube ends are not damaged,
xii) Inside Calipers wherever applicable.
xiii) Outside Calipers
xiv) Direct reading calipers of special ix) Ensure proper welding of Tube Skin
shapes Temperature Thermocouple (TST)
xv) Steel Rule/Tape points.” and “To ensure that all the
xvi) Inspector’s Hammer tubes are properly seated in
xvii) Broad Chisel or Scraper hangers/anchors NOTE1.
xviii) Wire Brush
xix) Thin Bladed Knife x) Checking if the layout and
xx) Plumb, Bob and Line dimensions of all parts are strictly as
xxi) Paint or Crayon per the drawing.
xxii) Portable Lights
xi) Testing the coils and all the
6.0 Inspection of Heaters during pressure parts hydrostatically
accordingly to design requirements.
xii) Ensuring that all load bearing
Various practices such as the API-
structurals are in accordance with
RP 530 are used for the design of
approved drawings.
heater tubes. Other parts of the
heaters, namely the furnace, setting
xiii) Ensuring that the reinforcement
and stack are designed to good
studs of the furnace casing and the
Engineering Practice. It is the
ducting are rigidly welded to the
responsibility of the Inspector to see
steel plates prior to lining.
that the heater is constructed strictly
to the design requirements. Proper
xiv) Ensuring that castable refractory
inspection requires regular checks
materials is mixed and applied
as it progresses.
according to manufacturers
recommendations and in correct xix) Ensuring that explosion doors are
thickness. provided and are operable.

xv) Where brick lining is used, the laying xx) Checking the specifications and
of brick lining should be as per suitability of safety.
recommended procedure.
xxi) Checking the verticality of stack.
xvi) Ensuring that all refractory work is
free of voids/cracks/bulges valves, if xxii) Ensuring that the refractory drying
any, provided in the system. out operation is carried out as per
specifications. Check that during
xvii) Checking the quality of insulation the drying out operation, the heater
material and weather proofing. casing and stack temperatures are
within permissible limits.
xviii) Ensuring that all painting jobs are
done after adequate surface xxiii) Inspecting the refractory lining and
preparation and the paints meet the tubes after the drying out operation.


The following information shall form part of the checklist.




Plant :
Service :
Coil I/L & O/L Press :
Hydro Pressure I/L & O/L temp :
Fluid Flow Rate :
Heat Duty :
Max. Heat flux :
Max. Allowable skin Temp. :
Max. Allowable Skin Temp. :
Radiant section
Min/Max. allowable flue gas temp :
in stack
Max. Temp. of casing :
Furnace Type :
Draft :
Air pre-heater type :
Stack type :
Purchase order No. :
Manufacturer :
Serial No. :
Drawing Nos. :
Erection Contractor :
Contractor’s Inspector :
Company Inspector :
The following shall be the checks required prior to commissioning:

Action Check Mark Remarks
1. Check if all as built drawings and design calculations
are received for records.
2. Check if all test reports of materials, welding,
Radiography, stress relieving etc. are received
for records.
3. Check if tubes, supports and connections are
installed in accordance with drawings.
4. Check external surface of tubes for deposits
5. Ensure that coils are free of foreign matters
6. Check proper allowance for expansion of tubes.
7. Check if all skin temperature points are installed
and reading accurately.
8. Inspect all weld joints visually.
9. Carry out thickness survey of tubes for records.
10. Check all tubes are placed full seating on their
11. Check if adequate provision is given in lining
for thermal expansion.
12. Check burner alignments.
13. Check operability of air registers dampers, oil
guns, pilot burners etc.
14. Check steam tracing to avoid oil congealing in
pressure gauge/switch lead lines etc.
15. Check ease of operation for gun changing
16. Check operability of explosion doors.
17. Check and inspect peep doors and their field
of view.
18. Check accessibility of all furnace parts.
19. Check headers boxes for tightness
20. Check and inspect air preheaters
21. Ensure rotary APH rotates freely and
provision for expansion is provided.
22. Check and inspect ducting and ensure
adequate provision is given for expansion.
23. Inspect duct lining and insulation
24. Test the heater tubes and connected piping
25. Check and inspect general completion of various
sections of heaters.
26. Ensure that all construction equipment,
scaffolding etc. are removed.
27. Check if refractory lining is dried out by
approved procedure.
28. Inspect refractory lining after drying out
29. Apply a pressure test for furnace and
ducting and check leakage.
30. Check operability of soot blowers.
31. Check steam supply to header boxes, furnace,
soot blowers and coils.
32. Check that all relief valves are set at the
correct pressures.
33. Check and inspect structure and all their
load bearing welding.
34. Ensure all railings, gratings and floor plates
are safe.
35. Check external painting of all structurals.
36. Check the general cleanliness inside and
outside the heater prior to commissioning

8.0 LIKELY LOCATION OF and refractory side of radiant tubes if

METAL WASTAGE the tubes are overheated uniformly
due to starvation.
8.1 Heating Coil
Failure by high temperature
The principal factors contributing to oxidation will take place due to tube
deterioration of the heating coil are wall thinning mostly at the fire side
as listed below: of the tube. If the tube is subjected
to internal pressure, failure is
a) Type of process characterised by severe scaling,
b) Characteristics of charge stock bulging and longitudinal cracks. For
c) Velocity of flow through Heating Coil tubes with internal vacuum,
d) Pressure numerous transverse cracks on the
e) Temperature oxide scales are observed. In
f) Combustion products extreme cases cracks may
g) Mechanical damage penetrate the tube wall resulting in
The above factors may act
singularly or in combination resulting b) Sulphidation:
in various forms of deterioration,
namely; Sulphur attack, like
oxidation, proceeds by conversion of
i) Deterioration due to corrosion the metal to a sulfide scale. The
ii) Metallurgical deterioration most destructive form of sulphur is
iii) Mechanical deterioration Hydrogen Sulphide. Generally
corrosion rate is a function of the
sulphur content in crude, but other
8.1.1 Deterioration Due to Corrosion factors such as presence of
Naphthenic acids, dissolved oxygen
a) High Temperature Oxidation etc. may increase the corrosion rate
for the same sulphur content.
Higher tube metal
temperatures than the design value The rate of corrosion of
may be experienced in heater tubes sulphur increases with temperature.
due to various factors such as high Therefore, areas of heater tubes
process temperature, flame subjected to higher temperature
impingement, high heat flux, internal such as the fire side of radiant tube
coking/fouling, flow starvation etc. may suffer higher corrosion, while all
High tube metal temperature causes internal surfaces of heater coils are
high temperature oxidation which is prone to sulphur attack. Erosion
characterised by hard brittle oxide and pitting type cavitation attack is
scales on the tube surface, resulting found on internal surfaces of return
in tube wall thinning. bends. Pitting type corrosion is
observed beneath sulphur rich
The most likely locations internal deposits. Where
where high temperature oxidation discontinuous layer of coke is
occurs are the fire sides of radiant present, the parent metal adjacent
and Shock/shield tubes, it may also to the edge of the coke layer suffers
take place on the convection tubes preferential attack.
c) Naphthenic Acid Corrosion: Convection coils made of
studded tubes are prone to pitting
Organic acids such as type internal corrosion in corrosive
Naphthenic acids cause corrosion of oils, due to differential temperatures
heater tubes in the temperature between studded and bare areas.
range 230-425 degree C. The
corrosion is more pronounced in 8.1.2 Metallurgical Deterioration
locations of high velocity, turbulence
and impingement such as the return Metals and alloys subjected
bends, downstream of weld joints of to high temperature for long periods
heater tubes etc. Corrosion by undergo metallurgical deterioration.
Naphthenic acid is characterised by While metallurgical changes rarely
sharp edged stream lined grooves cause loss of tube metal thickness,
or ripples resembling erosion they result in general reduction in
effects. mechanical strength or change in
ductility which may eventually cause
d) Low Temperature Acidic complete failure of the tube.
Areas subjected to high
The flue gas of fired heaters tube metal temperatures are prone
contains SO2. At low temperatures, to metallurgical deterioration. The
this may combine with moisture and time of exposure to the temperature
condense as acids which is and hence the operating history of
corrosive. Depending on the flue the tube also is a factor. A brief
gas outlet temperature, the description of various forms of
convection tubes external surface is metallurgical deterioration is given
prone to acidic corrosion. The below:
sulphur deposited on tubes also
form acids during shutdowns which a) Grain Growth:
can affect all sections of tubes.
In general the smaller the
e) Fuel Ash Corrosion grain size in a metal or alloy, higher
the tensile strength and lower the
If the fuel fired in the rupture and creep strength.
heaters contains more than 50 ppm Therefore, any change in grain size
of vandium and sodium salts, the is detrimental for given operating
deposits formed on the tube conditions. Mild steels undergo
surfaces are corrosive at grain growth above 600 degree C.
temperature higher than 650 degree and austenitic stainless steel above
C. External surface of radiant tubes 900 degree C. Grain growth also is
may be affected by this type of a function of time of exposure at
corrosion, known as fuel ash high temperature, degree of cold
corrosion. work and type of steel.

f) Miscellaneous Types of b) Graphitization

Certain ferritic steels when
Other impurities such as operated for long period in the range
chlorides, wet phenols etc. may of 440 degree C may suffer
cause corrosion of heater tubes. graphitization in which the carbide
Chlorides cause pitting type which gives the strength to the
corrosion, intergranular corrosion steels decompose into iron and
and stress corrosion cracking on graphite. Replacement of hard,
austenitic stainless steels. strong carbide with soft, weak iron
Generation of polythionic acids from and brittle graphite lowers the
wet sulphide scales during down strength of steel.
time may also pose similar corrosion
problems to Austenitic Stainless c) Carburization
Diffusion of elemental etc. Various forms of mechanical
carbon into solid steel when in deterioration are indicated in the
contact with carboniferous materials following paragraphs:
such as petroleum oils is called
carburisation. Carburisation a) Creep & Stress Rupture
increases rapidly with increase in
temperature. Carburization is often Creep is defined as the
found where coke and gaseous plastic deformation of metals held
hydrocarbons are present at for long period of time at stresses
temperatures higher than 760 lower than the normal yield strength.
degree C. The presence of hard, Creep rate increases with increase
brittle carburized structure may of stress or temperature. Loss of
result in spalling or cracking of the thickness due to corrosion will result
tubes. in increase in stress of tubulars and
hence the creep rate. Stress
d) High Temperature Hydrogen rupture takes place when the creep
Attack rate is very high. Metallurgical
deteriorations also result in loss of
At high temperatures (above creep strength of the material.
230 degree C. ) hydrogen may
dissociate to atomic hydrogen and b) Bulging
penetrate the steel surface. The
source of hydrogen may be from the Localised hotspots such as
process steam or evolved by those caused by flame impingement
thermal cracking of hydrocarbon. reduces the mechanical strength of
The carbon in the steel migrates to the material at such spots, resulting
the grain boundaries where the in bulging due to internal pressure.
carbon and the hydrogen combine
to form methane. This reaction c) Sagging
causes internal pressure at the grain
boundaries to build up high enough Sagging is due to
to crack the metal integranularly. decreased structural strength of
This phenomenon is generally tube on overheating, unequal metal
known as high temperature temperature, improper spacing or
hydrogen attach which also result in failure of tube supports.
d) Bowing
e) Hardening
Bowing is due to unequal
When ferritic steels are metal temperature or restriction to
heated above 732 degree C, free thermal expansion at the ends
austenite, a solid solution of iron and which induces excessive stresses.
carbon begins to form. If the steel is
cooled rapidly - and this critical rate e) Thermal Stresses
of cooling varies widely with the
steel compositions - martensite, an If a dissimilar metal is
extremely hard and brittle substance welded to the furnace tube such as
is formed. In carburised furnace skin points and tube guide supports,
tube even the slow cooling of the the differential co-efficient of
furnace is fast enough to cause expansions will cause thermal
hardening which is often stresses. When the temperature
accompanied by cracking through around such locations fluctuates, the
the tube wall. stresses will fluctuate resulting in
thermal fatigue and failure at weld
8.1.3 Mechanical Deterioration HAZ.

Mechanical deterioration of f) Vibration

tubulars may take place due to over
stressing, weakening, poor Vibration of heater tubes is
workmanship, vibration, abrasion caused by flow fluctuation, rapid
evaporation and poor tube supports.
Vibration will cause tube metal wear 8.4 CASING
at the tube/tube support contact
points and where the tubes are i) Failure of internal refractory lining
touching the refractory. Rolled in causes overheating of underlying
headers may develop roll leaks due steel casing. This will be revealed
to vibration. by local hot spots.

g) Workmanship ii) Cracks in refractory lining allow the

flue gas to come in contact with
Damage to a tube during steel. The low temperature of the
mechanical decoking can take place casing promotes acidic corrosion.
if the cleaning tool was operated in
one place for long period. Machined iii) External surface of the casing are
surfaces of header fittings can be subject to atmospheric corrosion.
damaged by decoking tool. Undue
force used in header fitting can 8.5 Miscellaneous
result in cracks, excessive wear or
distortion of the fitting. Repeated i) The burner mounting plates are
hammering of ferritic alloy steel at prone to distortion and oxidation due
one location causes cracking of to flame back up. Burner tips are
tube. subjected to erosion and oxidation.

ii) Flue gas ducts, breeching and stack

8.2 TUBE SUPPORTS are prone to acid dew point
corrosion on steel parts.
i) The tube supports are subjected to
much higher temperature than the iii) Settlement of foundation may cause
tubes. Hence they are more prone cracks to develop in brick or
to high temperature oxidation and concrete stacks. Section of stack
fuel ash corrosion. lining exposed to rain are damaged
in a short period.
ii) Stainless steel tube such as S.S.
type 309 & 310 are prone to sigma iv) Air preheater elements and casing
phase formation and loss of ductility. may be affected by acid dew point
corrosion if flue gas temperature is
iii) Failure of tube supports may take low. The cast iron elements of APH
place due to mechanical overloading may develop cracks under thermal
caused by bowing of tubes, loss of shock inducing conditions, such as
strength of supports and tube on stream water washing.
v) Improper operation of furnaces can
8.3 REFRACTORY LINING cause after burn explosion in the
convection section / flue gas
i) At high temperatures, refractories duct/stack and related deterioration.
will deteriorate as a result of long
time exposure, by spalling, failure of vi) Externally insulated ducts and
binding material, melting and loss of pipelines may corrode if water seeps
structural strength. into the insulation.

ii) Inadequate cooling of furnaces such 9.0 FREQUENCY OF

as during emergency shutdowns will INSPECTION
cause thermal shock and cracking of
lining. 9.1 Types of Inspection
iii) When fuel ash containing vanadium Generally there are three
is in contact with refractory, a fluxing types of inspection of fired heaters
action takes place producing a that are in service
molten slag and gradual reduction in
thickness. i) Onstream inspection
ii) Shutdown inspection supports of radiant section shall be
iii) Emergency shutdown inspection carried out daily.

9.1.1 Onstream inspection ii) Monitoring of tube skin

temperatures, process fluid
Onstream inspection is temperatures, pressure drop across
carried out when heater is in the coils, flue gas temperatures and
service. All external parts of the drafts at various sections shall be
heaters such as structurals, ducting, carried out daily.
insulation/painting, external surface
of stacks etc. can be visually iii) Thermographic survey for hot spots
inspected onstream. The heater on tubes, furnace casing and stack
tubes, tube supports, internal shall be carried out on a monthly
refractory lining etc. are visually routine or earlier if required.
inspected through the peep doors.
The observations recorded during iv) Onstream inspection of all other
onstream inspection are of parts of the heater such as ducting,
importance for effective shutdown structurals, refractory etc. shall be
inspection. carried out every fortnight.

9.1.2 Planned Shutdown Inspection 9.2.2 Shutdown Inspection

During planned shutdowns, All parts of the fired heaters

all parts of the heaters are shall be thoroughly inspected in
thoroughly examined and corrective open and clean condition during
action taken for a safe run until the each turn around of the unit in which
next planned shutdown. the heaters are located.

9.1.3 Emergency Shutdown Inspection 10.0 INSPECTION PROCEDURES

Emergency shutdowns are Before undertaking for
taken due to tube failure or inspection of fired heaters, the
failure/malfunction of any other part. inspector should know the complete
Inspection is generally limited to the previous history of the heater tube
failed part. However, it can be supports and other parts. He should
extended to other parts which were also be aware of the design and
found in unsatisfactory condition normal operating parameters,
during onstream inspection. vulnerable locations of deterioration
10.1 Onstream inspection
The frequency of inspection
of fired heaters is established with Onstream inspection shall
due consideration for safety and be carried out to determine the
efficient operation of the heaters. extent of general damage and
The rate of deterioration of heater deterioration of the heater. Findings
parts may dictate the time interval of onstream inspection forms a
between two inspections. On the basis to determine the repairs to be
other hand shutdown of some other carried out during the next planned
part of the process unit may render shutdown of the heater. It also
the heater available for inspection. helps to identify and rectify unsafe
The following frequency of conditions arising out of faulty
inspection of fired heaters shall be operation. The following points shall
followed: be checked during periodic
onstream inspection:
9.2.1 Onstream inspection
i) The main burners shall be checked
i) Visual inspection of firing conditions to ensure that flame does not touch
flame pattern, tubes and tube the arch or the tubes. Where more
than one burner is used, the flames
should be kept as uniform in length that immediate correction could be
and size as possible. made. Some indications of faulty
operation are:
ii) The radiant tubes shall be inspected Indication Probable Cause
for hot spots flame impingement, 1) positive pressure 1) ID fan not
excessive oxidation bowing and at top of firebox running
sagging, and the exact locations Excessive firing
recorded. rates

iii) Metal skin temperatures of the 2) Excessive 2) Overfiring

radiant coil shall be checked and the temperature in
possibility of any excessive coking fire firebox
evaluated. Maximum allowable skin 3) High flue gas 3)a) Heat release too
temperatures for various metallurgy pressure high
of tubes during normal operation b) Incorrect
and steam air decoking are as combustion air
follows: flow
c) Fouled up
__________________________________ convection
Metallurgy Normal Decocking
Operation C 4) Variation in 4) a) Unequal flow
___________________________________ outlet distribution
temp. of
Carbon Steel 565 620 multipass
2 1/4 Cr-1 Mo 635 720 b) Flame
5 Cr - 1/2 Mo 650 730 impingement
9 Cr - 1 Mo 685 750
18 Cr - 8 Ni 870 925 5) High pressure 5) a) Cock build
18 Cr - 8 Ni 870 925 drop in coils up/fouling
- 2 1/2 Mo b) High flow rate
25 Cr - 20 Ni 1150 1185 c) High
___________________________________ vaporisation
6) Low pressure 6) Low flow rates
iv) All radiant tubes and cross overs drop in coils
shall be checked for any sign of 7) High flue gas 7) Excessive
vibration and the tube locations pressure drop fouling
recorded for future reference. across
v) The tube supports/hangers/guides bank/air
shall be checked for displacement or preheater
any deterioration.

vi) The lining of the furnace shall be ix) The oxygen level in the flue gas
checked for cracks and spalling. shall be monitored to avoid
Hot sports observed on the furnace excessive oxidation of the tubes or
casing will also indicate deterioration after burning in the convection and
of the lining. air preheater sections.
vii) Breeching and ducts shall be x) Check for any flue gas leakage from
visually inspected for any signs of the furnace and flue gas passage
external oxidation/paint failure which ways.
may be as a result of overheating of
the metal after the internal refractory xi) Check for any leakage of oil from
lining has failed. rolled end headers and plugs.
viii) The heater operating data shall be xii) Check the operability of soot
monitored and compared with the blowers.
design conditions to spot any
abnormal operating conditions so
xiii) Visual inspection shall be made of iii) The tubes shall be visually checked
all load carrying structural steel for excessive sagging or bowing and
members to check any usual the cause ascertained. Moderate
conditions such as deflection, sagging or bowing of radiant tubes
bending, corrosion which might are quite common and the same is
result in substantial weakening of not considered serious unless it
the structurals and the cause may affects the mechanical cleaning or
be determined. jam and wedge against other tubes.
Tubes sagged/bowed by more than
xiv) The stacks shall be externally 1.5 times outside diameter of the
inspected for cracks on the shells of tube should be replaced.
concrete/brick stacks and hot spots
and external corrosion of steel iv) The tubes shall be visually
stacks. Check, if any unusual inspected to locate bulging, burning
vibration of the stack exists. or scaling, cracking or splitting etc.
All the above types of deterioration
xv) Temperature of flue gas down are due to high tube metal
stream of APH shall be monitored to temperature and are observed only
prevent dew point corrosion NOTE1. at the fire side of the tubes.
Excessive scaling indicates loss of
xvi) Casing shall be checked for hot thickness and the decision to
spots/perforations NOTE1. replace the tube may be considered
based on the rate of thickness loss,
xvii) Floor casing/burner housings shall life of tube, anticipated length of
be checked for warping/bulging next run etc. Diametral creep upto
. 5% on tube is allowed.

xviii) Expansion joints on flue gas/air v) The tubes shall be examined for
ducting shall be inspected for leaks external corrosion and mechanical
. damage. The points resting on the
tube supports/guides are prone to
xix) Insulated APH casing and air mechanical wear and localised
ducting shall be periodically corrosion. If the construction of the
inspected (after opening pockets of radiant tubes do not permit visual
insulation) for detection of external inspection at the refractory side of
corrosion NOTE1. the tubes, tubes removed for
replacement may be used as
10.2 PLANNED SHUTDOWN samples to study the refractory side
INSPECTION corrosion rates.

10.2.1 Inspection of Radiant and Shock vi) Leaking rolls and plugs shall be
Tubes visually checked. The external
surface of the fitting body and
a) Visual Inspection holding members shall be examined
for cracking, distortion and
i) The nature of external deposits on mechanical wear. The plug or U-
the tubes shall be checked prior to bend seat in the fitting shall be
cleaning. Sulfur compounds on examined for enlargement, out of
external deposits may lead to roundness, width of seat and
external corrosion during down time. damage to the seating surface.

ii) On heaters with fittings of the vii) When welded coil are used all weld
removable U-bend or plug type, the joints should be inspected carefully.
tubes shall be visually checked Visual inspection may be
internally for the nature and the supplemented by dye penetrant,
thickness of internal deposits. On magnetic particle and radiographic
welded coils, the coke thickness inspection as the condition may
shall be determined by radiography warrant.
at selected locations.
viii) Any welding on the tube such as i) Ultrasonic thickness readings of the
skin points and tube spacers etc. tubes shall be taken at four or more
shall be carefully examined for predetermined locations along the
cracks. Welds of dissimilar length/height of the tube. At each
metallurgy on the tubes are location, tube thickness is measured
particularly prone to cracking due to at 3-4 spots along the circumference
thermal fatigue if subjected to flame and the same are recorded. Typical
impingement. tube thickness data entry forms with
locations of gauging points are
ix) Internal visual inspection of the shown in Fig. 6 & 7. The previous
tubes with plug type fitting shall be thickness readings at the
carried out by holding light at one corresponding locations may be
end and viewing from the other. compared with the present thickness
This will reveal deteriorations such and the corrosion rate and
as pitting type corrosion, erosion remaining life of each tube
thinning of tube ends, mechanical determined. The locations to be
damage caused by cutters etc. gauged shall include areas closest
to the flame, downstream of each
x) Where severe internal corrosion is weld joint, adjacent to tube supports,
anticipated it is recommended to return bends of welded coils, and
split open representative tubes portion of tube inside the header.
which are removed for some other
reason and make a thorough ii) Further, the minimum thickness of
internal survey to determine the the tubes shall be determined at the
corrosion rates of tubes at various following areas:
geographic locations of the heater.
Internal deposits, where present, a) Excessively oxidised areas
shall be scrap cleaned and the b) Bulged locations
tubes examined to locate pitting c) At locations of hot spots as recorded
underneath. Return bends and from onstream inspection.
downstream locations of weld joints
shall be checked for erosion and c) Other Type of Examinations
streamlined pitting type attack.
i) Hardness Testing: Spot checking of
xi) After mechanical cleaning of the hardness of tubes at selected areas
tubes, all tubes shall be internally may reveal metallurgical changes
inspected for coke deposit and to such as carburisation,
the extent possible, mechanical decarburisation and hardening of
damages. Similarly external tubes at external surface.
inspection of the tubes shall be
carried out after steam air decoking ii) O.D. Measurements: Outside
to determine any deterioration on diameter measurements on tubes
tubes due to overheating. shall be carried out at
predetermined locations and the
xii) In heaters having stainless steel readings compared with those of
tubes arrangements shall be made previous inspection to check minor
for passivation before exposing it to bulges, creep and external thickness
atmosphere. loss.

xiii) If stainless steel tubes have been iii) Metallurgical examination: Heater
used in inlet ends of heater tubes (to tubes exposed to high temperatures
mitigate severe corrosion at inlet undergo metallurgical changes that
ends) Radiography or critical are detrimental to tube life. Most
thickness survey shall be carried out metallurgical tests are destructive
to detect any grooving taking place hence metallurgical examination of
downstream of S.S. sleeve. discarded heater tubes which are
suspected to have been exposed to
b) Determination of Tube Wall high temperatures often throw light
Thickness on the condition of the other existing
tubes. However, with spot
metallographic equipments, it is An improperly operated steam air
possible to detect most metallurgical decocking process may cause
deteriorations such as grain growth, damage to the tubulars. The
hardening, decarburisation etc. of following shall be observed carefully
tubes in service also. during steam air decoking:

10.2.2 Inspection of convection tubes a) It shall be ensured that

The guidelines for inspection of i) adequate steam flow and pressure

radiant and shock tubes given in during the spalling operation exists.
10.2.1 are equally applicable for
convection tubes also, depending on ii) correct pressure and flow of air
their accessibility for inspection. during burning exists.
However, the following additional
points should be borne in mind while iii) all passes are spalled
inspecting the convection tubes: simultaneously and steam flow
distributed uniformly.
i) External corrosion of the convection
tubes will be more when compared iv) the tube skin temperatures are
to radiant tubes for the following correctly monitored. The skin
reasons: temperatures shall not exceed the
limits indicated in section 10.1. The
a) The lower flue gas temperature at furnace firing conditions shall also
convection section. be monitored periodically.

b) The external deposits on convection v) the amount of coke collected in

tubes are not completely removed knock out drum is monitored to
by conventional cleaning, hence judge the effectiveness of the
down time corrosion due to process.
sulphorous scales.
vi) visual inspection of the tubulars after
ii) Due to lower heat flux in convection steam air decoking is carried out.
section, deteriorations due to high
tube metal temperature will be of 10.2.4 Retiring limits
less magnitude as compared to
radiant tubes. All heater tubes which do not have
sufficient thickness to last till the
iv) Excessive sagging or bowing of next shutdown shall be replaced.
convection tubes may result in An elaborate method of estimating
blockage of the flue gas passage tube skin temperature, minimum
way which will affect the heater allowable thickness and calculation
performance. of remaining life of heater tubes as
given in API RP-530 shall be used.
v) All studded tubes shall be Tubes which indicate severe grain
mechanically cleaned by suitable growth shall also be renewed.
methods to remove the sulphur
deposits NOTE1. 10.2.5 Hydrostatic Test

vi) Studded tubes shall be inspected The heater coils shall be

visually for external corrosion hydrostatically tested with fresh
especially below the stack openings water at a pressure of one and half
NOTE1 times the maximum operating
pressure corrected for maximum
vii) Convection tubes shall be inspected operating skin temperature or one
for erosion marks opposite/adjacent and half times the heater feed pump
soot blower openings NOTE1. shut off pressure, whichever is
higher. Testing may be done with
10.2.3 Inspection During Stream Air kerosene or suitable oil in services
Decocking where water ingress is not desirable
iii) All riveted/bolted/welded
Hydrostatic test shall be carried out connections on structural members
whenever replacement of any shall be checked for cracks and any
tube/fitting is done and in every other type of deterioration.
major maintenance/inspection
shutdown and in every decoking 10.2.8 Air duct
i) Visual inspection of the air ducts
Demineralised water shall be used shall be carried out for any signs of
for hydrostatic testing of stainless external corrosion. Light hammer
steel heater tubes to avoid chloride testing of the duct plates shall be
stress corrosion cracking. The test carried out to locate thinned out
pressure shall be held for at least 30 areas.
minutes after all joint leaks have
been eliminated. ii) Mechanical damage and buckling of
the duct shall be checked.
During the time the heaters are Settlement of foundation will cause
under test pressure, an inspection damage to the ducts.
shall be carried out from inside the
combustion chamber/convection box iii) Check the tightness of all bolted
to locate any possible leak. All joints.
heater fittings shall be examined
thoroughly to see that tube rolls are iv) The dampers shall be examined for
tight and that the plugs or U-bends corrosion and cracking and its
and their holding members are operability shall be checked. The
properly seated and tight. calibration of damper position
indicator shall also be checked.
10.2.6 Inspection of Heater Foundation
v) Expansion joints shall be visually
i) Check the foundation for examined. Leaky non metallic
settlements with reference to a bellows shall be replaced. Metallic
reference point and compare with expansion bellows having cracks
the previous inspection. shall be repaired/replaced NOTE1.

ii) Visually inspect the foundation 10.2.9 Burners

concrete for calcination and flaking.
Calcination takes place due to i) The burners shall be inspected for
dehydration at high temperature, oxidation, corrosion and erosion.
resulting in weak porous structure of
concrete. Corrosion of the ii) The air registers shall be examined
reinforcement steel will cause for their physical condition and
cracking of the concrete. Such adjustability.
conditions require corrective
measures. iii) The alignment of the burners shall
be checked after installation.
10.2.7 Structurals
10.2.10 Tube supports, Hangers and
i) Visual inspection of all load bearing Guides
structures shall be carried out for
signs of overloading such as The tube support / hangers /
deflection, buckling and corrosion. guides shall be examined for cracks,
The cause of excessive deflection oxidation, missing sections and
should be ascertained and missing/broken or oxidised bolts.
corrective measures taken. Ferritic/Austenitic SS supports are
prone to formation of sigma phase
ii) All ladders, platforms and stairs and subsequent weakening.
shall be inspected for paint failure Presence of sigma phase can be
and external corrosion. determined by studying the
microstructures of representative
tube supports. It should be borne in
mind that failure of tube supports in vi) Reradiation cone and its hanger
operation may cause damage to the rods, bolts and support baffles shall
tubes and accordingly unsound be examined for oxidation, cracks
support should be replaced or and weakening.
vii) Refractory / Metallic corbels shall be
10.2.11 Fire Box and convection Box visually inspected for damage NOTE1.

i) The steel casing plates shall be 10.2.12 Flue Gas Ducts

examined for any signs of
overheating such as oxidation and i) The flue gas ducts shall be visually
buckling and corrosion. Where the examined for any signs of
casing is made of bolted panels, the overheating as indicated by paint
joints shall be checked for flue gas failure and external corrosion.
leakages. The peep doors and
manholes shall be checked for any ii) Flue gas ducts are also prone to
deterioration. The explosion doors internal corrosion due to
shall be checked or their fitness and condensation of acidic flue gases,
operability. and also down time corrosion due to
deposits. The casing plates shall be
ii) The refractory lining shall be visually light hammer tested to locate
inspected for breakage, cracks, thinned out area.
spalling and slagging. Spalling of
refractory lining causes seepage of iii) Internal visual inspection shall be
flue gas towards the steel casing carried out to locate damage to
overheating it. Slagging will result in internal lining, if any.
loss of overall thickness of the lining.
Refractory surface subject to very iv) The dampers shall be inspected to
high temperatures will become check the operability and for
plastic, forming a hard glassed corrosion. Calibration of damper
surface. position indicator shall also be
The condition of refractory lining and
its supporting members in high v) The tightness of all packed joints
temperature zones like at the top of shall be checked. The physical
vertical furnaces need special condition of the expansion joints
attention and their periodic also shall be checked.
inspection by locally cutting the
furnace casing may be considered. vi) Insulated air ducting shall be visually
Note 2
examined, after removal of
insulation in pockets, for detecting
iii) Insulation of furnaces is provided as external corrosion and thinning
a back up material to the refractory NOTE1
lining. Deterioration of the insulation
will be revealed by overheating of 10.2.13 Soot Blowers
the steel casing. External insulation
and insulation protection of other i) The soot blower lance pipe shall be
components such as ducting and checked for internal choke up,
piping shall be visually inspected for corrosion and erosion of the spray
deterioration. nozzles.

iv) The expansion joints on refractory ii) The operability of the soot blower
lining shall be free of debris and free shall be checked. The position of
of expand. spray nozzles should be such that
they do not cause direct
v) The burner throats shall be impingement on the tubes. Check
examined for coke build up, cracks, the gland packing for leakage and
breakage etc. evidence of warpage. The steam
shut off valve also shall be checked
for leakage.
ix) Refractory lining inside APH shall be
iii) Soot blower relief valves shall be inspected for spalling/cracks NOTE1.
revisioned as per OISD Standard
132. x) Casing shall be visually and
ultrasonically examined, for
iv) Soot Blower impingement corrosion due to condensed flue gas
plates/liner plates shall be checked products NOTE1.
for erosion/corrosion NOTE1.
10.2.15 Inspection of Direct Fired Heaters
10.2.14 Air preheaters
The inspection of direct fired
i) The rotating element of rotary air heaters, as far as the burners and
preheaters shall be removed and refractory lining are concerned, is
the air and flue gas compartments similar to that for a tubular heater.
shall be inspected for any type of
deterioration. The external, cylindrical
casing of some of the direct fired
ii) Rotary and circumferential seals heaters may be designed to
shall be inspected for corrosion. withstand internal pressure. Such
units should be treated as a
iii) Deposits on the rotary elements pressure vessel and inspected
shall be cleaned by water washing according to OISD Standard 128.
or any mechanical means. They
shall be inspected for corrosion or 10.2.16 Inspection of Stacks
mechanical damage.
i) The foundation and anchor bolts of
iv) Dust collectors shall be inspected the stacks shall be examined for
for leakage corrosion and erosion. deterioration.

v) In tubular type of air preheaters, ii) Stacks are prone to after burning
fouling of tube at the flue gas side due to carryover of unburnt fuel.
causes high fire box pressure. This may be indicated by localised
Cleaning of the tubes may be overheating of plates of steel stacks,
carried out by water washing or air and cracking of the outer shells of
blowing, or mechanical means. concrete/brick stacks. Thorough
Water washing of APH tubes made external visual inspection of the
of cast iron should be avoided when stacks will reveal such conditions.
the tubes are hot as it will cause Concrete stacks may also develop
cracking of the tubes due to thermal cracks due to expansion of
shocks. corrosion products of the steel
reinforcements. Such conditions
vi) The tubes and the casing shall be need repair depending on their
inspected for corrosion/mechanical seriousness.
damage. The casing and covers
shall be checked for buckling due to iii) The internal lining of all stacks shall
after burns. The tightness of be inspected for cracks, wear and
packing between air and flue gas for structural soundness by using
side shall be checked. Bosun’s chair or scaffolding.

vii) It shall be ensured that the wash iv) A close inspection of welds of flue
water from air preheater does not gas stacks shall be carried out to
cause damage to the lining and locate preferential acidic corrosion
casing plates of the ducts and air and stress corrosion cracking.
v) Ultrasonic thickness survey of steel
viii) APH casing shall be inspected for stacks shall be carried out.
signs of external corrosion, after Thickness survey adjacent to the
pockets of insulation are removed at ladders will usually suffice for stacks
the selected locations NOTE1. with ladders. For stacks without
ladders, thickness survey may be
done by using painters 11.1 Tubes & Fittings
trolley/scaffolding. During the first
major maintenance/inspection i) Damaged tubes with rolled in fittings
outage of the heater, thickness shall be fully replaced. After
survey of steel stacks shall be removal of the damaged tube, the
carried out. Subsequent thickness fitting shall be inspected for damage
survey shall be done at least in such as nicks, cuts and out of
every alternative shutdown or based roundness of the tube seat. The
on the expected corrosion rate, a clearance between the replacement
safe frequency of inspection may be tube OD and tube sheet I.D. of the
decided. The remaining thickness header shall be checked to
shall be compared with the pre- ascertain whether the same is within
established minimum allowable the permissible limits. The
thickness and repairs carried out as expansion given on tube I.D. also
necessary. shall be checked to ensure
adequacy of leak proof joint.
vi) The stiffening rings, lugs, wind
breakers, ladders and landing on the ii) Depending on the extent of damage,
stacks shall be thoroughly inspected the rolled headers shall be either
for corrosion. replaced or repaired. Small cracks
and isolated deep pitting on the
vii) The caps on brick and concrete headers may be weld repaired. In
stacks shall be checked for any alloy steel fittings, the weld heat
deterioration. Failure of the caps input should be limited to avoid
may cause loose bricks to fall down. stress relieving of the header.

viii) The stack painters trolley cable and iii) In coils of welded construction, while
damper operating wire ropes shall the damaged section of the tube
be inspected for corrosion and alone would require replacement, it
mechanical damage before each would be a good practice to replace
usage. the tube from weld joint to weld joint.
In such cases, it shall be ensured
ix) Guy lines of guyed stacks shall be that no weld joint be located at
visually inspected for corrosion and areas prone to flame impingement.
weakening of the strands. As far as possible, the root of the
Binoculars may be used to inspect welds should be flush with ID of the
the guy wires. These wires should tube to avoid coke formation at
be greased in every shutdown. The downstream of the excess weld
stack and bottom connections of guy metal. Use of TIG welding for the
wires are particularly prone to root run is preferable. In case of
service corrosion. Alloy Steel tubes, radiography shall
be taken after stress relieving
x) Lightning rods and their grounding wherever applicable. Hardness
cables shall be inspected visually to checks shall be done on the welds
ensure that they are not broken and and HAZ of alloy steel tubes. Stress
that electrical continuity exists. relieving procedures/cycle shall be
reviewed and set up shall be
11.0 METHODS OF REPAIRS examined NOTE1. A details procedure
AND INSPECTION DURING for inspection of welding is covered
in OISD Standard 128 on pressure
Repairs/replacements of damaged
11.2 Furnace and stacks
heater parts are carried out to
ensure that the heater is in fit
Repairing of furnace settings, ducts
condition for uninterrupted service
and stacks involve routine repairs or
until the next planned shutdown of
replacement depending on the
the unit. Method of repairs and
condition of the individual part.
inspection requirements during
Refractory repairs shall be inspected
repairs are given hereunder:
with respect to materials being used,
method of mixing etc. Replacement record tube history and thickness
works of casing shall be inspected reading of box type heater, vertical
with respect to materials being used, heater and convection section tubes
set ups etc NOTE1. respectively. Sheet 5 of Annexure II
is a sketch showing replacement
12.0 DOCUMENTATION history of tube supports of box type
Forecasting the future repairs to any
part of the heater is based on the iv) A reference card indicating work to
past history, present condition, the be carried out during shutdown of
design and operating parameters. the heater based on previous
Therefore, maintenance of accurate inspection data and onstream
information regarding each fired inspection shall also be maintained.
heater is very important. The
records to be maintained shall be in 13.0 REFERENCES
general consist of the following:
i) API Guide for inspection of refinery
i) A heater data sheet covering the equipment chapter II conditions
design, operating and the causing deterioration and failures.
constructional aspects of the heater.
(See for example Anneuxre II, Sheet ii) API guide for inspection or refinery
I) equipment chapter V preparation of
Equipment for safe Entry and Work.
ii) A history card showing the
shutdown period of the heater and iii) API Guide for inspection of Refinery
the reason for shutdown. Equipment Chapter IX ‘Fired
Heaters & Stacks’.
iii) A detailed inspection report
indicating inspection finding, work iv) API RP-530 Recommended
carried out and forecast for next Practices for Calculation of Heater
shutdown. Information such as Tube Thickness in Petroleum
history of individual tubes, thickness Refineries’.
readings on tubes, tube support
replacement history etc. shall be v) API RP 573 -INSPECTION OF
presented in the form of tables and FIRED HEATERS AND STACKS
sketches. Annexure II, sheets 2, 3
& 4 show typical forms used to
Fig. 1 a Box Type Heaters
Fig 1 b Box Type Heaters



UNIT___________ HEATER NO._________________ DATE______________



i) Planned Shutdown (ii) Onstream

(iii) Breakdown (iv) Forced Shutdown

(A) Radiant Section
(i) Visual Inspection prior to cleaning
(ii) Visual Inspection after cleaning
(iii) Hammer Testing
(iv) Ultrasonic Thickness Gauging
(v) Radiography
(vi) Metallography
(vii) Visual Inspection for Roll/Plug Leaks
(viii) Visual/Ultrasonic Inspection of fittings.

B. Convection Section

(i) Visual Inspection prior to cleaning

(ii) Visual Inspection after cleaning.
(iii) Hammer testing.
(iv) Ultrasonic Thickness Gauging
(v) Other types of Inspection
(vi) Visual Inspection for Roll / Plug Leaks.
(vii) Visual / Ultrasonic Inspection of fittings.


(i) Tube supports/hangers/guides

(ii) Reradiationcone assembly.
(iii) Burner assembly
(iv) Refractory Lining.
(v) Central Baffle Walls.
(vi) Plenum Section
(vii) Convection Zone
(viii) Furnace casing
(ix) Explosion Doors
(x) Soot Blowers
(xi) Air Preheater Elements.
(xii) Fluegas Ducts/ Breeching
(xiii) Stack External
(xiv) Stack Internal
(xv) Dampers
(xvi) Damper Operating Mechanisms/Wire Ropes
(xvii) Load Bearing Structures
(xviii) Foundation
(xix) Ladders/Platforms/Railings/Roofing
(xx) External Insulation
(xxi) External Painting
(xxii) Fuel Piping to heater
(xxiii) Steam Piping to Heater
(xxiv) Process Piping to/from heater.


(A) Tubulars
(i) Correct tube removed?
(ii) Inspection of new replacement tubes
(iii) Inspection of headers/clearances
(iv) Inspection of tube expansion
(v) Inspection welding
(vi) Roll plug leaks

(B) Furnace & Setting

(i) Tube Supports
(ii) Refractory Lining
(iii) Casing Repairs
(iv) Burner Alignment
(v) Soot Blowers
(vi) Stack
(vii) Miscellaneous Jobs per job list


(I) Hydrotest of tubulars

(ii) All tubes clear of refractory material?
(iii) All construction materials/scaffolding removed?
(iv) Box up
(v) Leak test of furnace.
(Sheet 1)


General Information

Supplied by : Service :
Project No. : Max. Operating Pressure :
In use from :

Technical Data Coil Design

Type : Design Pressure Kg/cm2g :

Total Duty : Tube metal Temp.oc :
Max. Radiant Flux : Temp. Allowance :
Density : Corrosion Allowance mm :
Coking Allowance : Hydrotest Pr.Kg/Cm2g :
Coil Pressure Drop :
Inlet/Outlet Conditions ( Designs) No. of flow passs/ Tubes
Temperature : per pass :
Pressure : Tubes Material :
Liquid Flow : Tube Size :
Vapour Flow : Wall Thickness mm :
Pressure Drop : Overall Tube Length m :
Min. Furnace Draft/ Bare tubes/studded tubes :
Location :

Flue Gas Temperature Tube Supports

Radiant Outlet : Location :

Convection Outlet : Material :
APH Outlet : Tube Retainers :

Air Temperature Stack

APH Outlet : Location :

I.D./Thickness :
Thermal Efficiency Length of Stack :
Lining :
100% Oil Firing :
100% Gas Firing :