Caribbean plant extends tube life from two to 15 years with Sandvik hyper-duplex stainless steel

By replacing its existing heat exchanger tube with hyper-duplex stainless steel by Sandvik, a major Caribbean furfural producer has extended its tube lifecycles from two to 15 years.

The manufacturer of furfural, an organic compound derived from agricultural byproducts, based in La Romana, Dominican Republic, was experiencing problems with the lifecycles of standard stainless steel tube in its heat exchangers.

The tube, used to process untreated seawater as the cooling media, needed replacing after just two years in some cases. A new material was required with better resistance to seawater with sewage load, microbiological influenced corrosion (MIC) and sulfur ions.

In 2008, Sandvik SAF 2707 HD® tubes were installed in the overhead heat exchangers.

The material has higher mechanical strength than all super-duplex stainless steel grades on the market. It performs similarly to nickel alloys while being more attractive in terms of material and life cycle costs.

"Our hyper-duplex stainless steel has excellent chloride corrosion resistance for much more aggressive service conditions," explained Marcelo Senatore, Global Technical Marketing, Sandvik Materials Technology.

"After two years of successful operation, the tube was inspected and found to be as good as new, with no signs of pitting corrosion. The customer now expects a tube life of 15 years minimum increased from two years – with a profound impact on material costs."