Spirelf® Tube Inserts





Principle of operation

SPIRELF® is a vibrating device secured on both tube ends by a fixing wire. This system converts the energy of the fluid flow in the tubes into vibration, creating a continuous online mechanical cleaning effect thus, reducing the fouling layer at the tube wall.

The heat transfer improvement leads to a significant increase either in outlet temperature or in feed rate.

The most common fluids used are atmospheric residue, crude oil, and most of the light liquid hydrocarbon chains, including applications with reboilers.

This results in a proven increase in run duration (double or more) and a stabilized pressure drop.

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Main applications

Crude Distillation Units (CDU) and Atmospheric Residue Service preheat trains

Hydrotreater / Hydrocracker preheat trains

Treated water services


Air coolers



No modification of the heat exchangers

No damage to the tubes wall

Quick to install

Supervision by PETROVAL

Added guarantee


Heat transfer increase

The turbulence generated by the presence of the insert increases the tube side heat transfer coefficient by 50% to 100%.

Energy savings

The improved heat recovery from the hot fluid results in a reduction in fired heater duty and consequently, a reduction in fuel consumption.

Debottlenecking the preheat train

The furnace is the bottleneck when the throughput of the unit is constrained by the feed preheat. Improving the heat recovery of the preheat train increases the throughput up to 3% with the same preheat temperature.

CO2 Emission reduction

CO2 emission is also reduced due to a reduction of fuel consumption.

On line mechanical cleaning

SPIRELF® converts the tube side fluid energy into a mechanical cleaning of the inside tube wall through vibration.

Reduction in fouling

The mechanical cleaning effect leads to a reduction in the fouling rates of up to 80%.

Stabilized pressure drop

As the fouling rate is stabilized, the steady flow hydraulics leads to a stabilized pressure drop.

Run duration increased

Heat transfer improvement and fouling mitigation lead to doubled run duration and better operating conditions.