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Petrochemical Applications

Refractory and Petrochemical Installations

A wide variety of industries rely on furnaces and boilers for

manufacturing processes, but the refractory linings for furnaces,

boilers, kilns, incinerators, crackers and reactors are prone to

degeneration and loss of performance. With a thermal imaging

camera damaged refractory material and the corresponding heat

loss can be easily located, as the heat transmission will show up

clearly on a thermal image.

Thermal imaging cameras are widely used in the petrochemical

sector. They provide rapid, accurate diagnosis for furnace

maintenance, refractory loss management and condenser fin

diagnosis. Heat exchangers can be checked to detect blocked


Furnace and boiler equipment is also prone to failures from

a variety of other mechanisms. These include coking that plugs

the inside of tubes and impedes product flow, slag build-up on

the outside of tubes, under and overheating, flame impingement

on tubes due to burner misalignment, and product leaks that

ignite and cause serious damage to the equipment.

To ensure refractory quality of boiler and furnace installations

it is not enough to just perform inspections from the outside.

The refractory on the inside of the boiler or furnace has to be

inspected as well. With conventional methods it is necessary to

shut down the installation to be able to inspect the inside. This

is extremely costly due to a loss of production during downtime.

These losses are not necessary, however, for FLIR Systems also

has special thermal imaging cameras that can be used to inspect

the inside of the installation during operation.

This is possible due to the flame filter FLIR has included in the

design of these thermal imaging cameras. Flames emit infrared

radiation at different intensities at different wavelengths and at

certain wavelengths in the infrared spectrum flames emit hardly

any thermal radiation at all. A flame filter uses that fact to enable

the thermal imaging camera to ‘see’ through the flames.

References: Flir Systems