The FINFOAM Process Start to Finish - Thompson Industrial Services

The FINFOAM® Process Start to Finish

FINFOAM® cleans blocked and restricting external deposits from heat exchanger fins and tubes.

Dirty fins restrict air-flow through the exchanger unit causing a significant drop in cooling efficiency and a loss in production. An environmentally-friendly foam cleaner and low pressure rinse thoroughly removes dirt, oil and debris from the entire heat exchanger unit. FINFOAM®’s process has been tested and proven in industrial facilities throughout the world for over 15 years and is repeatedly employed to maintain equipment productivity and efficiency.


Our work begins with an inspection of your facility. Evaluating your equipment’s condition and access determines the appropriate cleaning formulation and procedure required. We clean “on-line” (except the fan is locked out during the brief process and limited scaffolding is occasionally required) so special safety requirements are noted along with any unique plant operating requirements. In addition, the if more information is needed regarding the environmental aspects of utilizing our environmentally-friendly foaming agent, that to will be covered with all appropriate personnel. We plan a safe and effective course of action prior to commencement.


FINFOAM®’s cleaning team works with your staff to move our self-contained equipment into place and prepare the perimeter as per your facility’s safety procedures. The plant water supply (fire hose or 1 ½” service water)  and our pumping equipment are inspected as the work area is barricaded. Fans are locked out just prior to beginning the foaming procedure. Plastic bags are put over the fan motors to prevent excessive water intrusion into the windings.


FINFOAM® technicians spray an environmentally safe foam mixture that thoroughly coats dirty finned tubes. As the foam saturates and expands it completely covers and penetrates all surface areas of the bundle. Cleaning formulas are carefully selected based on the type of debris and environmental requirements. Oil and dirt that has bonded to your equipment is broken down and gently removed from the delicate fin coil surface.


Low pressure water removes the cleaning agent and any remaining debris. Low pressure rinsing is safer for your equipment and any personnel in the area. It will not bend or damage the delicate fin coil surface and overspray is minimal. The waste water and debris are collected and disposed of as per your company’s requirements. Typically the effluent simply goes directly to your waste treatment facility (WTF). If a WTF is not available then Frac tanks and Vac trucks are typically utilized. Regardless, our cleaning solution will not hurt bug ponds and can be disposed of readily and easily.

Hydroblasting and other alternative methods

FINFOAM® has been tested and proven to be considerably more effective, faster and safer than traditional hydroblasting. Blasting water at high pressure damages the fragile cooling fins and compounds the situation by pushing debris into the center of the cooling unit. On first inspection, the surface areas may appear clean but compacted debris will interrupt the flow of air through the bundle and significantly reduce cooling efficiency. Having gone behind pressure washing/hydroblasting and CO2 blasting the FINFOAM® technique results were clearly superior. We achieved an average additional increase of 10 to 15 degrees or more in delta T. directly following these other methods.


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