Lufthansa Technik has world first for heat exchanger cleaning
In a world first, Lufthansa Technik has begun operating an automated steam cleaning system for engine heat exchangers. The system is an in-house development that makes it possible to clean all heat exchangers found in common engine types without the use of chemical cleaning agents. The new system can be adjusted specifically to every type of heat exchanger and its condition. The process is fully automated and the cleaning takes around one hour, compared to the average 16 hours it took previously. After cleaning, the exchangers regain “as new” performance levels, irrespective of their state prior to cleaning.
The system can be linked to LHT’s Digital Shop Floor system and engineers at their workstations will be alerted through the system when the cleaning process is complete and the heat exchanger is ready to be reinstalled in the engine. Project manager Anna Balka said: “This new system not only demonstrates Lufthansa Technik’s innovative power; it also marks another milestone on the way to tomorrows digitally networked engine maintenance.”
Heat exchangers ensure the correct temperature of the air flow though compressor stages, combustor chamber as well as high- and low-pressure turbines and are located at different places in the engine.