Heat tracing, also known simply as tracing, is a method used to prevent heat loss from solid or liquid products contained in tubes or pipes. In the petrochemical and chemical industries, the offshore industry and the food industry it is a challenge to keep products in pipelines, tanks, pumps and instruments warmer than the ambient temperature and to keep them from freezing. Tubing often is often the lowest priority in a company, and many try to insulate existing tubing with foam. They often measure pipes using separate tracing and foam. Nowadays more and more companies opt for an environmentally responsible approach that also saves money: pre-insulated tubes with or without internal electric tracing or steam tracing, depending on the available sources of energy.
Reduction in Total Cost of Ownership.
Cost reduction over the entire service life (TCO) is the motive for many customers to switch to customer-specific heat tracing bundles. It starts with the installation: the whole electrical, oil or steam trace bundle, including insulation, can be properly fitted in one go by one fitter. This saves many man-hours on installation time and transfer costs. The tracing bundles can also be supplied on rolls and custom-installed with accompanying accessories that minimise heat loss. Furthermore, the chance of chloride stress corrosion cracking in stainless steel is minimal and the bundle is much better protected against external agents such as moisture and salt. During maintenance, the external coding shows exactly what the bundle contains without it having to be opened. All these factors reduce the costs of the installation and maintenance of various types of tracing - electrical, oil or steam - considerably compared to alternatives with separate foam or wool. See the image below regarding installation.
Heat tracing advice
In addition to customer-specific advice on heat tracing cables including inspection & monitoring, Teesing also supplies other kinds of tubes, connectors, fittings, valves, manifolds and strainers for the supply and discharge of tracing, steam or otherwise. Teesing can also be of assistance during the design phase and installation, ensuring that your heat trace project is carried out as smoothly and quickly as possible.
If you are considering applying heat tracing, the following questions may help you:
- Do you want to trace with steam or electricity? (Which source of energy do you have available now?)
- Do you only want to protect against frost or do you want to maintain a higher process temperature?
- Do you want to be able to inspect and monitor the tracing?
Protecting processes and products against temperature differences is often an underestimated necessity and is considered to be a ‘necessary evil’. Yet it can be a cause of many concerns for the operator or the site or plant manager. We are happy to help you with your heat tracing queries with respect to heating your process lines, tanks, pumps or analysis equipment or protecting them against frost.
Traditional installation: tubing - tracing - insulation - finishing.
Or a one-time proper installation including monitor/controller.