Eddy Current Tube Testing
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- What is Eddy Current Tube Testing?
Eddy Current tube testing is a means of checking the condition of tubes in the condenser and evaporator sections of a chiller. An electronic probe is inserted in each tube at the end of a tube bundle and pushed through the entire length of the tube. The information fed back from the probe reveals abnormal tube wear or tube defects.
- Why is it important to use Eddy Current Analysis?
When a tube fails in a chiller, water enters the refrigerant side of the chiller. Water mixes with the refrigerant and forms an acid which attacks the internal metal surfaces of the machine. The resulting damage can be catastrophic, rendering a unit beyond repair. Many times Eddy Current testing will detect potential failures, allowing repairs to be made prior to failure.
- What type of tube problems are detected by Eddy Current Testing?
- Tube wear due to erosion or improper water treatment
- Wear at tube supports
- Stress corrosion
- Tube pitting
- Damage due to tube freezing
- How often should tubes be tested?
As a general rule, most manufacturers recommend that testing be done at three year intervals. After the first test has been made, a realistic testing schedule can be made scheduling future tests.