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  • Technology and Design
  • Applications & Reliability
  • Advantages
  • Special Dismantling Jig

Known worldwide as a leader in the design and fabrication of high-pressure heat exchangers, Koch Heat Transfer Company also offers technology for the most demanding and critical high-pressure applications with the LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger, which is designed, fabricated and supplied by Koch Heat Transfer Company S.r.l. under license from Lummus Technology Inc.


Successfully used for many years, the LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger features a special threaded ring to hold the channel cover and contain channel pressure. This unique and innovative technology eliminates the large channel cover flange and bolting of other conventional designs. The hydrostatic pressure load is taken by the channel body and not by heavy bolting (bolts are only sized for gasket compression loading). This allows for a relatively thin channel design (no edge bending due to bolting) with consequent reduction in the exchanger’s size and weight.

LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger is not just a common screw-plug closure system.

Our unique design of the LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger internals offers exceptional maintenance advantages over any competitor’s screw-plug closures:

  • Avoid deformation of the internal bolts
  • Avoid overstressing of internal push bolts
  • The seal gasket, confined into the diaphragm, follows the relative movement of the diaphragm with respect to the channel due to differential thermal expansion, thus guaranteeing the sealing even during transient conditions



Koch Heat Transfer Company S.r.l, has manufactured high-pressure LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger for many major oil companies. Most of these exchangers have been in successful operation for many years, and include the largest LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger ever built.


LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger is suitable for high-temperature, high-pressure applications with rich hydrogen steam for hydrocracking, hydrotreating, gas compression, ammonia/urea synthesis, methanol and other such processes. Koch Heat Transfer Company S.r.l. has supplied LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchangers for critical services with pressure and temperature up to 3200 PSI (225 Kg/cm2) and 840 °F (450 °C). More than half of the LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER®/screw-plug heat exchangers installed worldwide have been built by Koch Heat Transfer S.r.l.


Courtesy of Shell Pernis
  • The overall exchanger is lighter (thinner channel) and easier to handle
  • The internal tubesheet-to-shell gasket can be tightened from the outside during exchanger operation
  • No cutting of welded parts (i.e., channel diaphragm weld) is required to open the channel for maintenance and/or inspection
  • There is no need for hydraulic bolt tensioning devices to remove the channel cover and reassemble the exchanger, thus eliminating the number of tightening cycles and strain gauge measurements




These advantages allow for easy operation and maintenance of the LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchangers:they are easy to operate and comparatively easy to dismantle and reassemble, which results in more reliable operation and shorter shutdown time.

Easier mantenance + Shorter shutdown time = Higher efficiency


Koch Heat Transfer Company S.r.l. has developed a unique, proprietary jig assembly designed to facilitate dismantling and reassembling operations of LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchangers. With the IMB™ jig it is possible to open the channel, remove the internals, and then reassemble and reclose the LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchangers in a very short time without the need for heavy cranage.

The jig’s sophisticated design includes ball bearing supports, fine pitch adjustment screws, and perfectly machined mounting/contact surfaces. All of this, together with its ergonomic design, makes the IMB™ jig the best tool of its kind for LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger maintenance.


The jig is mounted on a machined surface on the channel of the exchanger. This allows autonomous operation with no need for other plant facilities, such as cranes, etc. Once the jig is lifted and positioned on the mounting surface, opening the channel and removing the threaded ring and cover takes approximately 10 minutes. The entire sequence of activities, from completion of shutdown to full disassembly of the internals, can usually be performed in one to three hours depending on the size of the exchanger.


A different version of the IMB™ jig is also available for use with vertical arrangement of the LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® heat exchanger

LUMMUS ADVANCED BREECH-LOCK EXCHANGER® is a registered trademark of Lummus Technology Inc.