Tube Removal Tooling
Table of Contents
Tube Removal Tooling Available - Links Above:
Tube Removal using Tube Removal Tooling
The use of tube removal tooling aids the removal of tubes from boilers can be hindered by many factors. In fire tube boilers the quality of the feed water is paramount. To stop the build-up of deposits on the outside of the tube. As the tube is pulled through the tube sheet the deposits stop the tube from being pulled with ease. If the tube end is flared, beaded or welded, these will have to be removed before any attempt to remove the tube from the boiler.
One of the cheapest methods of removing these formed tube ends is by the grinder. Although, grinding may be the cheapest, but can be very time-consuming and can create many challenges. Grinding can be hard on operators and if in the hands of the inexperienced then damage to the tube sheet can occur. If gouges are formed in the tube sheet from grinding then these will have to be repaired by a welder and company holding the appropriate R Stamp. If damage is ignored, then once the new tubes are installed poor metal-to-metal contact will result in tube leakage.
End Prep Tooling
Using an end prep tool is another method of removing flares, beads and welds. These are either tube weld removal tools or Tube End Facers. The tube end facer can be either pneumatic or electrically driven. Various tool bits can give different profiles to remove the tube ends or welds.
End prep tools are easy to use and don’t require the same amount of precision as a grinder. The tool uses collet jaws to grip the inside of the tube while the operator turns a series of ratchets, slowly advancing a blade towards the tube sheet until the weld is fully removed.
Once the tubes are removed then the tube sheet holes can be prepared. It’s advisable to carry out a dye penetrant test on both tube sheets for cracking of the ligaments which can happen if the sheets have been overheated. Information on tube sheet hole prep can be found on our Tube Installation page.