Industry: Oil Refining
Application: Fluid Catalytic Cracker Unit

Customer Requirement: Catalytic cracking converts heavy oils into wide boiling range material that can then be further refined by distillation. The catalyst is in the form of very small spherical particles that act as a fluid when aerated. The particles create a highly abrasive atmosphere.

This customer used a stellite coated temperature probe to monitor the catalytic process. Temperatures range from 500° to 1000°F (260° to 538°C). Due to damage caused by the highly abrasive flow, the probe needed to be replaced monthly. This procedure required three men in asbestos suits to pull out the hot probe. A Conax sales representative called on the customer, and as a result, the customer asked if Conax could provide a longer-lasting probe to reduce the frequency of probe replacement.

Conax Design Solution: Conax designed a temperature sensor assembly very similar to what the customer was using but welded a customized Conax fitting to the end of the pipe to mount an SaSIC (Hexoloy) protection tube. Hexoloy is one of the hardest high performance materials available, second only to diamond. Hexoloy is unaffected by most chemicals up to its operating temperature of 3000°F (1650°C). The unit can be rotated 180° to expose a “fresh” side of the Hexoloy tubewell to the catalyst flow, thereby doubling the operating life.