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Explosive Technology

Heat Exchangers Explosive Technology

Explosively welded plugs are installed inside the tube or tubesheet, thus limiting tubesheet weld buildup. These plugs are extremely efficient and have proven to be the most economical way to repair all feedwater heater tube leaks.

  • Explosively Welded Tube Plugging
  • Explosively Welded Repair Sleeves
  • Explosively Expanded Low Pressure Plugs
  • Explosively Expanded Condenser Plugs
  • Explosively Expanded Ferrules
  • Explosively Tube Expansion

Advantages of Explosively Welded Tube Plugging

Superior Joint Integrity
Joint integrity is ensured as a result of seal welding between the tube ID and the plug, and on-site hydraulic or pneumatic tests can confirm leak tightness. Plugs have been successfully tested at 10,000 psi. In thermal cycling tests, a plug/tubesheet joint was heated and plunged into cold water ten times, with the joint remaining tight and leak-free.

Tubesheet Damage Absence
Explosive welding is a solid-state process in which a true metallurgical bond is achieved inside the tubesheet or tube hole. The quality and reproducibility of the weld is assured because the correct geometry is designed into each plug and the proper explosive charge is pre-engineered to match.

Ease of Installation
Installation requires minimal preparation and installation time. Special machining is not necessary and hole tolerances are not critical, though removing surface oxides from the weld area of the tube is necessary. If the leak is at the tube-to-tubesheet joint, a section of the tube is removed and the plug is installed to the tubesheet hole.

Plug Size Variety
Hole tolerances are not critical because the range of plug sizes available is suitable for most tube bore sizes from 27/64” to 1”. Plug sizes above 1” diameter can be manufactured upon request.

Easily Installed in Limited Access Area
Ease of installation and the fact that the charge is initiated outside the heater enables explosive plugs to be readily installed through the manway openings. The nickel plug will bond metallurgically to virtually any tube or tubesheet material used in feedwater heater construction.

Fast Response by Expert Technicians
TEiC Heat Exchanger Services technicians are specifically trained, licensed, and experienced in the installation of explosively welded plugs on all types of feedwater heaters, under all kinds of conditions.