CR3 Decoking Technology (Mechanical Decoking & Pigging) - CR3 Group


The build-up of coke and scale in furnace and fired heater tubes is a major concern for operators. As these deposits impact operational efficiencies, it is important to clean the tubes thoroughly, quickly and safely; first time, every time.

Traditionally, Steam Air Decoking (SAD) was used. However, there are several drawbacks with SAD, such as:

  • Incomplete removal of coke
  • Increased risk of tube erosion
  • Heat damage to tubes
  • Potential fire hazard
  • Environmental emissions
  • Longer shutdown times
  • Shorter run lengths and, as a result, higher cleaning frequencies


These issues are all resolved with our proprietary CR3 Decoking Technology (CDT), which is proven to be safe, efficient and cost-effective. CDT does not require high temperatures, high pressures or toxic chemicals. Instead, water is applied at near ambient temperature and low pressure, typically 150 psi, to drive a pigg containing metal studs along the tube so that all the coke and scale is scraped clean from the tube wall.

By permitting water to flow around the pigg and through the cleaning studs, the loosened deposits are flushed ahead of the pigg and into a collection tank. This process is repeated several times, with slightly larger diameter piggs each time, until the tube is completely clean.

The piggs traverse 180 degrees, negotiating short radius elbows and U-bends and, by using various sizes of pigg with different configurations of studs, we also clean tubes with reducers and changing diameters.

CDT is normally used to clean furnace and fired heater tubes in a number of process units including Delayed Coking, Residual Desulphurization, Visbreaking and Cogeneration Units plus Vacuum Heaters, Naphtha Heaters and Crude Heaters.

In addition, we provide fired heater revamps incorporating a full turnkey package covering all phases of the project from engineering through to commissioning and ongoing maintenance to help customers improve the scale and efficiency of their operations.


Ultimately, the CDT system provides a safer, quicker and more environmentally friendly cleaning technology that leaves you assured of a total cleaning service in all tubes.

To complement our in-house technology, we work closely with Intelligent Pigging providers. Our strategic partners support us with ultrasonic technology to check the integrity of the tubes. As ultrasonic inspections are only possible when the tubes are completely clean, this approach guarantees all coke and scale is removed.

In addition, we can also provide proprietary tube inspection (NDT) services for fired heaters, which includes a full 360° coverage for creep and crack detection on both the internal and outside surfaces of your fired heater tubes.

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  • Furnace / fired heater / HRSG / pipeline decoking and descaling
  • Furnace / fired heater decoking for refineries
  • Pipeline cleaning / descaling
  • Intelligent pigging of the furnace / fired heater tubes and pipelines
  • Tube inspections (NDT) of fired heater tubes
  • Fired heater revamps

Over 30 Years of Innovative Solutions

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