A World’s First in Fouling Removal

First Look at Tube Tech International’s Shell Side Jet™

Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, via the SME Instrument, under grant agreement 805767, Tube Tech International has developed its patented Shell Side Jet™ solution, which is the first ever guaranteed technology to remove fouling between the tubes on the shell side of shell and tube heat exchangers.

Developed as a result of a lack of technology on the market that can clean in-between tube rows of the shell side of a heat exchanger, Shell Side Jet is the first of its kind in the industry.  
So, what’s wrong with current methods? Traditional technology used to remove fouling from tube rows of the shell side of a heat exchanger are time-consuming to set-up and dismantle and are very labour intensive, often requiring a whole team of technicians to conduct the cleaning. 

Traditional methods also require extensive equipment which must be manually adjusted to bent and broken tubes and do not provide the client with feedback reports. As well as this, the equipment is unable to penetrate between tube rows, resulting in only 5-30% of the surface area being cleaned. There are also significant safety issues involved as technicians are ‘bundle facing’ when carrying out the cleaning process. 

The Shell Side Jet™ Solution:


Typically, Tube Tech International will deploy a team of highly trained technicians anywhere in the world within 72 hours. The Shell Side Jet system is deployed within two hours upon arrival and there is no need to use bundle rollers which are large, heavy and costly to transport. The system is controlled by two people and is smart enough to complete the cleaning on its own.

The Clean

Shell Side Jet is the only system that penetrates between six-millimetre tube rows, offering a more precise and efficient clean. It is the only system available that guarantees to achieve 90% clean as standard. This precision enables a dramatic reduction of water usage compared to traditional shell side bundle blasters (from approximately one hundred gallons per minute, down to as little as two gallons per minute), meaning far less waste is created.

Smart Technology

Tube Tech’s innovative lance technology moves with the shape of the tube and the system detects blockages, broken tubes and incorrectly positioned baffles, so obstructions can be identified and dealt with without causing further damage.

Feedback Reports

Detailed digital reports are provided to the client after the clean. Results can be determined by the client weighing the bundle before and after cleaning to ascertain the level of fouling removed. Other information provided in the report includes the distance of baffle plates, location of damaged or broken tubes, volume of fouling, photos of before, during and after the clean, and an intuitive heat map.

Derek Sumsion, Research and Development Manager at Tube Tech International, said: “Tube Tech International aims to deliver globally patented, next-generation, high level cleaning robots to dramatically extend run times and improve safety and fuel efficiency to substantially reduce CO2 emissions within the industry. Shell Side Jet is a product of this commitment and has been made possible with the backing of the Horizon 2020 funding project.”

Tube Tech was founded in 1988 by current CEO Mike Watson, with a mission to answer heavy industries’ challenges with innovative solutions. With offices in the U.K., the U.S.A and a recently opened site in Malaysia, Tube Tech is able to offer its unique fouling removal solutions to clients anywhere in the world.

Find out more about Shell Side Jet: https://www.tubetech.com/shell-side-jet/