Heating System Increases Product Integrity and Enhances Plant Reliability

chromalox ltfx

The Challenge

A Wyoming manufacturer of road repair “crack-filling” mixtures takes refinery byproducts and processes them into a variety of road crack filling mixtures used in different locations throughout the U.S. The facility required high temperatures to create these mixtures, using gas-fired (open flame) heat tubes and steam trace to keep the product liquified enough to move through the process. However, the tubes are carbonized in a matter of months, causing shutdowns – and when those occur, the product in process must be discarded. Traditional heating elements have failed due to the heating bundle’s small bends and nooks where product collects and burns. The application called for a larger surface area to minimize buildup.

The Solution

Chromalox offered a serviceable and replaceable heat trace option that eliminated open flame operation and increased overall efficiency. A CSA-rated large tank flange heater (LTFX) for hazardous locations was tested in one tank and was found to outperform the current installation. Replacement for the remaining heating units is underway. The heater’s control panel was designed to add more units as retrofitting continues to convert the facility from gas to electric.

Benefits

  • Improved reliability – Easily replaceable heating elements keep the plant online
  • Increased energy savings – More  efficient electric heat system reduces energy consumption compared with open-flame heating
  • Reduced product losses caused by production downtime