Tag Archives: Boiler

3 Benefits of Valmet Custom Tube Shields

Boiler tubes are a vital part of boiler curved tube shieldoperations and protecting them is very important as having a boiler down for maintenance can be very costly.  One option to protect boiler tubes is using custom tube shields which are the best choice when it comes to erosion and corrosion control methods for boiler tubes.  These are also the least expensive method for this purpose on the market as tube shields will extend the life of boiler tubing without an initial high cost.   At Valmet we are the top tube shield provider in North America and have the engineering and design capabilities to find solutions to your boiler problems.

Below are 3 reasons you should be using custom tube shields from Valmet:
  • Cost Effective:  Our custom tube shields are the least expensive method for tube protection. Compared to other boiler tube life extender methods they are only a fraction of the cost, and with local North American manufacturing facilitates, they can be Custom tube shieldsproduced and shipped to you faster than anyone else on the market. Our tube shields are custom designed and can be ready to ship within 24 hours.
  •  Custom Options: To meet our customers’ needs we offer multiple options of custom tube shields that are designed to be used for both emergency situations and routine maintenance. Options include custom straight shields, custom curved shields, custom economizer shields, and 370° Tube Shields. Our 24/7 emergency call service ensures that our clients will be able to get a response and the tube shields they need to resolve your emergency.
  • Planning Ahead and Stocking Programs: Our experts can work with you to forecast how many tube shields you will require for the year, and then manufacture them up front for you at a discounted price. Valmet will then store this inventory of tube shields for you, and can ship them to you as needed. This will prevent extend boiler shutdown service and have you prepared for all emergency situations.

At Valmet we care about all our customers and wish to provide the best service for them.  To make things easier for our customers we now accept credit card payments to cut down on paperwork delays and to make the process straightforward and uncomplicated.  Along with lightning fast delivery service and response time, we can work with you to develop the best solutions for your requirements.

For more information please contact Jimmy Simms at (304) 518-1114 to learn more about how our custom tube shields can meet all your tube protection needs.

Valmet’s Custom Spout Plug and Integrated Locking Handle

The spout deck on a recovery boiler is considered the most dangerous area for operators and one of the leading causes of recordable injuries.  As such, all operators know that having to plug a single spout for any reason can be a dangerous and time-consuming process. Proper precautions and safety methods are necessary to ensure the safety of operators attempting to plug the spout, as well as preventing harmful materials from dropping into the dissolving tank and affecting overall operations.  To improve safety in performing this operation, Valmet has recently developed a refractory plug that is custom shaped for the Valmet insertable smelt spout.  This new product is designed to provide a quick and reliable option for operators to intentionally terminate smelt flow to a smelt spout.

How Does it Work?Valmet Spout Plug

The Valmet insertable refractory plug was custom designed to quickly and efficiently plug the smelt flow to a smelt spout when necessary.  It works by using a high temperature rope wrapped around the plug as a gasket to create a tight seal between the metal spout and the refractory plug.  The plug is also high temperature refractory rated for use in recovery boiler lower furnaces, and is designed for both short term and long term use.  All of the Valmet custom plugs are kiln fired over a controlled temperature sequence prior to delivery and are available for immediate use, and are significantly easier, quicker and safer to both install and remove than using a rammable material.valmet handle

The product also includes a stainless steel locking handle integrated into the smelt spout hood enclosure which is designed to quickly install the plug at the proper elevation/alignment and to secure the plug in place to the micro-hood system.  The locking handle anchors the plug in the opening with the gasket compressed so it does not unexpectedly become dislodged.  It takes approximately 10-20 seconds to install and secure in place which is a significant reduction in time and improvement to operator safety by attempting alternative methods.  The locking handle is supported 100% by the micro-hood system to maintain alignment during changes in thermal growth of the boiler.

What are the Benefits of the Reliable Spout Plug?

With the ability to quickly and safely plug a smelt spout,  the ability to perform maintenance work or replace damaged shatter jet parts now becomes safer and more straightforward.  When the plug is in place it is now easier to inspect and clean hood internals while the unit is online.  It also allows for reducing the number of spouts in service to maintain normal smelt flow under lower operating loads.  Customers already using Valmet insertable smelt spouts can purchase these plugs and locking handles as a spare part by obtaining a Valmet “starter kit” which includes all parts needed to begin using the plug.

For more information about the Valmet custom Spout plug please contact our Smelt Spout Product Manager Dan Morrison

Valmet’s 4th Annual Recovery Boiler User Group Meeting

Valmet’s 4th annual Recovery Boiler User Group (RBUG) conference took place this year on January 24 and 25, 2017, in Charlotte, NC. The meeting was held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame located in downtown Charlotte for employees of pulp mills with Valmet Recovery Boilers or other Valmet equipment.  Twenty participants representing six major pulp & paper companies were in attendance, coming from the United-States, Canada and Chile. Valmet participants and other guest speakers also included people from the United-States, Canada, Chile and Finland, giving the meeting a true international flavor.  The theme of the meeting was performance and reliability and the agenda reflected this theme around the areas of safety, reliability and increased efficiency.

Recovery Boiler User Group Meeting Attendees

The meeting started with a review of the status of the industry in North-America and the rest of the world, including expansion projects in Europe where a real boom is being seen with the construction of new modernized mills designed to have a larger capacity. Benchmarking information was presented comparing the mill capacity, average age of the major equipment, wood yield and energy and water usage for those modern European mills as opposed to the average North-American mills. This was followed by an update on the bio-refinery development that are taking place that have the potential to help existing and new pulp mills diversify themselves with additional products offering.

Some of the topics discussed throughout the two day meeting included:Spout plug

  • Auxiliary products to improve safety around the recovery boiler.
  • Dissolving tank operation including a review of a recent dissolving tank explosion, discussions on current recommendations for recovery boiler and dissolving tank operation by BLRBAC and AF&PA to reduce the potential for dissolving tank explosions.
  • Outage experience mostly targeted at what to expect when the interval between major maintenance outages is extended from 12 months to potentially 18 or 24 months.
  • Outage services for the recovery boiler offered by Valmet under the concept Liquor to Liquor. This family of services includes outage planning, smelt bed extraction (Smelt-X), washing and removal from the floor of the water wash salt cake accumulations (Wash-X), inspections services including NDE testing (ATS) and boiler tube internal deposit thickness deposit measurements.
  • Presentation of the technology used to measure the thickness of the deposit and how it was validated against actual DWD from tube samples, as well as the experience using this technique.

Recovery Boiler User Group Meeting Session

The meeting also featured a Team Building / Networking dinner that took place at Victory Lane Karting.  This was a great opportunity for drivers and non-drivers to have a chance to share good food, drinks and entertainment, as well as some competitive spirit amongst the racers.  The meeting ended with a final Q & A session and wrap up discussion.  Overall this was a great event which received much positive feedback from the meeting attendees.

We look forward to next year’s Recovery Boiler User Group meeting on January 22-24, 2018 in Charlotte, NC.   To register please fill out this online form, and for more information on the event please contact Nancy Ries

Improving Safety Around Recovery Boiler Operations

The recovery boiler is a vital part of the pulp mill but also a source of potential safety hazards for its operators. One of the purposes of the recovery boiler is to recover the pulping chemicals from the black liquor which is done in the form of smelt from the bottom of the furnace. A potential hazard of this process is that if the smelt interacts or has contact with water, an explosion can potentially occur which could injure operators and cause damage to the boiler. Besides the risk of explosion, combustion in the recovery boiler creates very hot gases and highly corrosive molten ash which could be hazardous to operators who are performing physical tasks around the recovery boiler.

In an effort to make operations in the recovery boiler safer, and minimize exposure to unsafe working conditions, Valmet has developed and perfected several auxiliary devices that serve to both automate as well as either remove the need for direct operator involvement or to minimize exposure to unsafe working conditions. Below are four inventions and innovations that have improved the working conditions around recovery boilers and made operation of the boiler more stable.

Smelt Spout Micro Hood Arrangement: One area considered the most dangerous for operators, and one of the leading causes of recordable injuries is the spout deck on a recovery boiler. To make smelts more accessible for cleaning and to improve safety, Valmet has developed mini or micro-hoods have to replace the old large hood systems. The benefits of these systems are:

• Easier access to spouts for manual cleaningSmelt Spout Micro Hood Arrangement
• Easier replacement of spouts
• Minimal hood shower water
• Minimal internal ledges
• Cooling water lines not exposed to smelt
• Minimizes tramp air intake
• Dual shatter jets (ShatterMax™)
• Externally mounted shower bar headers
• More reliable mounting interfaces for the smelt spouts.

Spout Cleaning Robot: The DeckHand™ is another new system designed to improve the safety of operators is the development of an independent robotic arm that performs repetitive tasks. The safety benefits of this robot are:

Spout Cleaning Robot

• Greatly reduces the risk of operators getting injured from splashes of green liquor or smelt
• Cleans spouts, hoods & shatter jets
• Robot camera that allows operators to visually inspect spouts from safe control room
• Safety gates designed to stop robot if any personnel enters the spout deck
• Less personnel at the smelt spouts

Liquor Station with Automated Port Rodder: Working around the liquor guns is another area where operators are at risk with large numbers of lifting and burn injuries being reported annually. To make this area safer, the GunnersMate™ liquor stations were developed. The safety benefits are:

Liquor Station with Automated Port Rodder

• Limited operator exposure to furnace
• Station retractable outside furnace
• Safety door protection from opening
• Ready signal for spraying to start
• Improved operator working conditions
• Auto-cleaning cutter reduces amount of manual cleaning required

Automated Port Rodders: The Roddingmaster™ was developed to limit operators from potential exposure to hot air (300 – 400 °F) and limit exposure to the furnace. The safety benefits of automated port rodders are:

Automated Port Rodders

• Improved operator working conditions
• Large observation port
• Control box easy access for remote isolation
• Ability to change the cutter on the run with minimum exposure time in front of opening


At Valmet we can help you with all your recovery boiler safety needs. Contact us for more information.

New Liquor to Liquor Lean Concept for Boiler Outages

Planning for a boiler outage can be a stressful and time-consuming process. At Valmet we understand the challenges you face, and have developed a new lean concept for liquor to liquor recovery boiler outages.  This streamlined process will make the boiler outage period easier for you by utilizing efficient techniques and steps that have proven successful.

In the past, the boiler shutdown process has been an incoherent operation with many of the necessary steps being performed without any sense of order or purpose.  With our new streamlined process we have created a Liquor to Liquor Lean Concept that organizes the boiler shutdown period in an ordered and economical fashion.  This is one bundle of services that will make the process simple and easy for you.

Liquor to Liquor Lean Concept for Boiler Outages

  • Step 1: Boiler Outage Planning: During the planning process we can handle technical coordination and spare-parts support. We can identify the maintenance needs, and work on the distribution of tasks with the mill team.
  • Step 2: Smelt-X: The Smelt-X boiler cleaning process uses custom designed ejectors made for each furnace arrangement to extend from spouts to the lowest point in floor for max extraction. With it smelt bed cooling time can be reduced to 4-6 hours from 15-35 hours, while allowing for the recovery of chemicals in the smelt bed, and minimization of wash water volume and alkalinity.
  • Step 3: Wash-X: With our Wash-X process the floor is washed simultaneously with the rest of the boiler using low pressure water sprays and mixing devices installed on the furnace floor. This allows for time spent in recovery to be reduced by 10-30 hours.
  • Step 4: Inspection, Maintenance, Examination: With a full range of inspection and maintenance capabilities, Valmet can manage the maintenance throughout the outage. This includes coordinating and managing a complete portfolio of NDE services including all standard inspections such as ultrasonic thickness surveys, liquid penetrant & magnetic particle inspections, and weld examinations. We also offer a host of advanced inspection capabilities like phased array ultrasonics, near drum inspections, and IRIS tube inspections. To enhance safety and production we can also provide low-energy radiography solutions including conventional, digital, and computed radiography services.
  • Step 5: Chemical Cleaning, Boiler Tube Deposit Inspection: Chemical cleaning services including steam blows, high pressure chemical blasting, hydrolasing and vapor phase cleaning. Also we do boiler tube scale deposit inspection and evaluation.
  • Step 6: Post Maintenance Tests: After the cleaning process is complete we can perform full maintenance tests to evaluate the process, and offer support and information on how to plan and budget future outage work.
  • Step 7: Startup Tuning: With our recovery boiler tuning camera we can inspect the boiler for plugging, tune liquor sprays, emissions troubleshooting, and burner optimization.

Liquor to Liquor Lean concept

The Valmet Liquor to Liquor Lean concept works with a service agreement where a bank of hours can be used in any matter from field service, maintenance management, engineering, emergency call outs and troubleshooting among other areas on an as needed basis.  With multi-year agreement discounts and full transparency on service rates this process is the best value on the market.  We also offer free internet training packages and spare parts discounts along with our lean concept package. For more information about our services and to arrange an in person meeting to discuss how our Liquor to Liquor Lean Concept can work for you, please contact Mike Ward, or speak with us at the BLRBAC Fall 2016 Meeting.

3 Reasons to Choose Wash-X When Cleaning Your Boiler

Each year when it comes time to prepare for a boiler outage, concerns about downtime and potential damage are common.  At Valmet we understand these concerns, and have developed our Wash-X service to make your boiler cleaning process easier and efficient.  Below are three reasons why using Wash-X will change the way you view the boiler cleaning process.

1) Limited Downtime: The timespan of the boiler cleaning process all depends on how long it takes for the smelt bed to cool down.   Wash-X processTypical smelt bed cooling times can be anywhere from 15-35 hours. By using the Wash-X process the smelt bed cooling time can be reduced greatly to 4-6 hours.  This reduced time is accomplished by simultaneously washing the floor with the rest of the boiler using low pressure water sprays and mixing devices installed on the furnace floor.

2) Reduced Risk of Damage: During the boiler cleaning process there is always the risk of damage due to large falling deposits and from mechanical cleaning.  The Wash-X process works with water being sprayed to the flood as soon as safe bed temperatures have been reached.  Then eductors are inserted to start floor washing in parallel with superheater washing.   By using hot water, faster washing occurs and it also is used to dissolve large ash deposits which fall to the floor.   The wash pool that forms also creates a barrier that protects the floor from large deposits which may fall off the wall during the cleaning process.  When the water is drained at the end the remaining deposits can easily be cleaned out, avoiding the need for mechanical cleaning that can cause damage to boiler floor.

3) Unique and Effective: Our Wash-X recovery boiler floor washing service is unique in its ability to wash the floor simultaneously with the rest of the boiler while using low pressure water sprays and mixing devices.   The ability to limit downtime and reduce potential damage is unmatched in the industry.  With successful jobs completed in North America, the Wash-X service will save a huge amount of time and money for companies who need their recovery boiler systems cleaned.

Valmet has over 40 years of experience providing full service in the boiler chemical cleaning industry.  Our boiler cleaning services including Smelt-X and Wash-X will save companies time and money and have your boiler operating at full strength much faster than any other process on the market.  For more information about our services and to arrange an in person meeting to discuss how our Wash-X service can work for you, please contact Mike Ward.


Valmet – Prepared for your Emergency

At Valmet, we are North America’s top tube shield and tubing Boiler Tubes - for all your tubing requirementsprovider.  We stock an extensive range of stainless steel sheets in varying gauge sizes for tube shield fabrication, as well as boiler tubing and membrane bars in a wide range of material grades and sizes to support both tubing and pressure part manufacturing demand.  All of this material is stocked at our Lancaster, SC Service Center where a team of engineering and manufacturing experts are based and ready to respond to meet your tube and tubing needs.  What really sets us apart and makes Valmet unique though is our commitment to customer service, and our fast response to emergency situations.

Valmet understands the nature of our clients business and the urgency that comes during outages regardless of whether it’s a planned or unplanned situation.  With delivery services ranging from licensed drivers on staff for hot shot services with our local customers, to the capacity for air shipments in responding to unforeseen forced outages due to tube failures in any region of the country, we’ve proven time and again how we deliver results.  Our management team provides the support to Valmet’s 24/7 emergency call service to ensure our clients receive the required response to resolve the emergency.  Where there’s a need, Valmet will “find a way” to get it done.  Quite simply, expect results because we care about you, our customer.  Valmet also accepts credit card payments to cut down on paperwork delays, making it easier for you to do business – regardless of the circumstances!

At Valmet we offer multiple options of custom tube shields to fit all of our customers’ needs in both emergency situations and for routine maintenance.  A few of our options are:

Custom tube shields

Custom Straight Shields – Available with angles of wrap between 90° to 240° and can be manufactured with straight ends, belled ends and flared legs.

Custom Curved Shields – Can be manufactured to cover both outside and inside curves of tubing.

Custom Economizer Shields – Special design that provides effective protection for finned tubes and can be manufactured to accommodate tube OD, angle of wrap and fin height.

370° Tube Shields – Allows for complete coverage of tube surfaces without the need for overlapping two shields.

When it comes to erosion control methods of boiler tubes, our tube shields are the least expensive method for tube protection.  They are only a fraction of the cost of competing methods to extend the lives of boiler tubes.  With our local North American manufacturing facilities, we offer lightning speed service that can have tube shields quickly made and delivered to you. Tubing for airplane

At Valmet we can work with you to forecast how many tube shields you would need for the year, and then manufacture them up front at a discount to you.  We can then store the inventory for you and ship them to you as needed.  This planning ahead and stocking program will make sure to limit your boiler shutdown time and have you ready to deal with any emergency situation.

Please contact Jimmy Simms at (304) 518-1114 to learn more about how our custom tube shields can meet all your tube protection needs and discover how Valmet is prepared for your emergency.

ChemClean Advisory Services – Boiler Chemical Cleaning

Performing a chemical cleaning of a boiler can be a time-consuming and difficult job.  To make this job easier, Valmet offers Chemical Cleaning Advisory Services which will provide you with a safe and time saving chemical cleaning plan for your boiler.  Valmet can handle the complete job from start to finish, making sure the results are what you are looking for.  With a solid track record of successful projects, and nearly 40 years expertise and experience, Valmet will help you make sure your boiler is chemically cleaned safely and efficiently.

Valmet People

While other companies will only consult and explain to you how you can clean your boiler, Valmet can go further by performing full turn-key services for you.  We will derive the cleaning procedure for any system to be cleaned with reactive chemistry as well as determine deposit weight loading and perform solubility testing.  Our services will provide shorter shutdowns of your boiler, and cleaner boilers when we are finished.

Our expertise include planning, procurement, mechanical preparation, cleaning execution, inspection and reinstatement and startup.  Our thorough up-front planning for safety, technical, mechanical and environmental concerns will prevent time consuming last minute changes.  While working closing with all parties, our planning will allow for other jobs to be performed in the work area while the chemical cleaning is being performed, keeping the outage as short and economical as possible.  Our proven chemical processes are time saving and sludge minimizing and our final passivation  process will limit the amount of time for boiler water cleanup on startup to 24 hours or less.

Based on the job requirements we can provide other services including isometric pipe route drawings, chemical cleaning vendor via subcontract and mechanical contractor for mechanical preparation and reinstatement via subcontract.  As we will be onsite monitoring the entire process, we also provide the post-cleaning inspection of drums, headers, tubes, lines and piping, and a final report of the entire project.

When it comes to boiler chemical cleaning, no company can match the full service job that Valmet does.  Our total project supply and nearly 40 years of experience make us the best option to execute your boiler cleaning project.  Our expertise are not just limited to boilers though, contact us here to learn how Valmet can advise you on the chemical cleaning of other systems including steam systems including superheaters, black liquor evaporators and concentrators and green liquor piping.  We will do the total job for you and will have your system clean and running efficiently.

Smelt-X and Wash-X Services for Chemical Recovery Boilers

When it comes to cleaning and emptying chemical recovery boilers, Valmet has the services required to do it swiftly and safely.  If the recovery boiler cleaning process starts too quickly, the water being used in the washing process may cause an explosion when it comes into contact with the molten smelt.  In the past, this potential threat has been avoided by waiting 15-35 hours to make sure the smelt bed is frozen and safe to clean.  To speed up and improve this procedure, Valmet has developed the Smelt-X and Wash-X processes which change the way recovery boiler cleaning is executed.


The Smelt-X process has been specifically designed to alleviate the recovery boiler cleaning process.  The bottom section of the recovery boiler furnace is heated during load reduction so that the whole smelt bed becomes molten, and the smelt is extracted from the floor to the dissolving tank using air-operated ejectors.  Our custom designed ejectors for each furnace arrangement are made to extend from spouts to lowest point in floor for max extraction.  This custom design is unique in the industry, and can’t be matched by our competitors.  Our typical extraction time is 1-3 hours and smelt does not touch spouts during the extraction process.  The Smelt-X process also allows for chemicals in the smelt bed to be recovered and the amount of strongly alkaline waste water is minimized resulting in savings in both make-up and neutralization chemicals.  Due to these features, Smelt-X can be carried out safely in the middle of the operation cycle as well, and the operation can continue with the same spouts without any additional risk of spout failures during the rest of the cycle.

The Smelt-X process








Other benefits include:

  • faster cooling – boiler bank and superheater washing can begin sooner
  • recovery of chemicals in the smelt bed
  • minimisation of wash water volume and alkalinity
  • savings in makeup chemicals for black liquor
  • savings in neutralization chemicals in waste water plant
  • faster floor cleaning for inspection and repairs
  • safer floor cleaning – reduced need for mechanical cleaning and/or high pressure washing
  • shorter mill shutdown – increase in pulp production



Valmet has also developed a washing service for recovery boilers called Wash-X in which the floor is washed simultaneously with the rest of the boiler using low pressure water sprays and mixing devices installed on the furnace floor.  Once the super heaters are clean, the mixing devices are removed and floor is emptied of wash water using smelt ejectors.

The typical Wash-X arrangement for mixing devices and wash water sprays:

Wash-X arrangement for mixing devices and wash water sprays

  • 1 or 2 mixing devices in each spout (operated with pressurized air)
  • 8 – 18 primary air port sp rays connected to feedwater or warm water system (depending on floor size)
  • black liquor sprays (at least) in front wall (not shown here) spraying warm wash water




The Smelt-X and Wash-X services will save a huge amount of time for companies who need their recovery boiler systems cleaned.  Our process will do no damage to your boiler and have you back operating at full strength much faster than any other process on the market.  Please contact Mike Ward to arrange an in person meeting to discuss how our Smelt-X and Wash-X services can work for you.

Boiler Tube Scale Deposit Measurement Program

Does your mill/plant monitor boiler tube waterside deposition using Deposit Weight Density (DWD) testing?  Where do you take this tube sample from?  Are you taking the sample from the best location? Valmet has a new tool designed to measure and record the thickness of internal boiler tube deposit layers and the remaining tube wall thickness in waterwall tubing.  This hardware utilizes existing ultrasonic technology and proprietary software to accurately measure the tube thickness and the thickness of the deposit layer.  This system allows for a more accurate chemical cleaning strategy, therefore reducing chemical cleanings and helping to extend the lifespan of your boiler. This technology can also monitor the removal of the deposit layer during the cleaning cycle.

Picture4 UPDATE

There are numerous benefits to this approach, most notably the ability to measure tube scale deposit thickness with a direct correlation to the standard Deposit Weight Density method.  In addition, tube samples are taken only when they are needed, where they are needed; when scale growth is monitored regularly, corrective actions can be taken before corrosion risks increase.

This equipment can be used to monitor the effectiveness of cleanings and can minimize the damage that can occur from excessive cleaning. Using the results from the Ultrasonic testing, boiler operators can replace the tubes that have issues, rather than acid cleaning the entire boiler. Acid cleaning would result in longer downtime and could damage otherwise good tubes.

Picture1For more information contact Mike Ward, mike.ward@valmet.com, 980-228-6659.