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BROWN FINTUBE® Tank Heating Products

  • Benefits of technology
  • Fintube advantages
  • Innovative construction
  • Unparalleled efficiency
  • Off the floor design

The Koch Heat Transfer Company Difference

After analyzing your design parameters/constraints, we’ll recommend an engineered solution including one or more heaters that are sized and fabricated to meet your needs, along with a firm price, timely delivery schedule and a guarantee of your satisfaction. We have provided heat transfer equipment to thousands of customers throughout the world for many years. Our integrated facilities ensure close coordination among research and engineering, sales, service and manufacturing functions.

Benefits of BROWN FINTUBE® Technology

All of our fintube heaters, including line and suction heaters, offer cost and operational benefits for tank fabricators and end users.

  • Fintubes minimize fouling.
  • Fintubes provide for a compact, durable and reliable design.
  • Fintube heaters minimize sediment accumulation.
  • Fintube heaters are less costly to install and maintain than other types.


To ensure the best implementation of the latest technology, Koch Heat Transfer Company uses quality materials, welding and fabrication procedures.



Suction Heater



Line Heater


A Spectrum of Styles for a Multitude of Applications

A wide selection

BROWN FINTUBE® tank heating products typically use steam or hot oil as the heating medium. They are available in a wide variety of styles that suit most applications either together or individually. Either solid or perforated longitudinal fintubes are used as dictated by the application. Various metals (C.S., S.S., nickel, etc.) are available. When standard materials, styles or sizes don’t meet your requirements, we’ll customize a product just for you.


Comparison of Thermal Siphon Effect in Tank

Compared to bare pipes, BROWN FINTUBE® tank heaters induce stronger thermal currents within the tank because of their concentrated fintube heating surface. Product adjacent to the fintube is heated and rises rapidly due to its lowered specific gravity, creating a thermal siphon effect. This in turn contributes to a higher rate of heat transfer. In addition, sedimentation is minimized because the tank contents are agitated and particles are kept in suspension. As a result, heating surfaces tend to be "self cleaning" and tank bottom sludge is reduced.

Up to 12 times the heat transfer area of bare pipe/tubes

  • Fewer fintubes are required for equivalent heat transfer.
  • Smaller and lighter package.

Low skin temperature

  • Reduces fouling due to coking, carbonization and polymerization.
  • Reduces corrosion and scaling.

Safe for product

  • Heater minimizes discoloration or degradation of product.
  • Can be used in heat-sensitive products such as light hydrocarbons, vegetable oils, syrups and lube oils.
  • Fewer welds inside the tank mean fewer potential leaks.



Less product displacement

  • Volume-to-heat transfer surface ratios are low.

Lower capital Cost

  • Extended (fin) surface is less expensive than equivalent primary (bare) surface.
  • Lighter weight and smaller size requires less support and eases installation.
  • Easy installation and less field welding required than bare coils.

Lower maintenance cost

  • More durable construction.
  • Off-the-floor design expedites tank cleaning.
  • Individual unit isolation possible with appropriate valving.
  • Reduced mean time between tank cleanings.



The strength of technology

Our proprietary resistance welding process produces a permanent fin-to-tube weld that actually is stronger than the fin metal itself. It ensures no air gaps, trapped dirt or flux that can diminish fin efficiency and durability. The expansion and contraction from repeated heating/cooling cycles will not separate fin from tube. The fins reinforce the tube giving strength, durability and long life to the entire assembly. Destructive “pull” tests have shown fins being destroyed before weld separation.

Design flexibility

Standard tube sizes range from 3/4” (19.05 mm.) to 3” (76 mm.) and fin height from 0.21” (5.3 mm.) to 1 1/4” (31.75 mm.). Design temperatures and pressures vary per customer’s needs. Materials are available in most weldable alloys.

Superior suction and line heater designs


  • Avoids necessity of heating entire tank contents. Only the flow rate or quantity of fluid, which is actually removed from the tank, is raised to temperatures suitable for pumping.
  • Use of longitudinal fintubes provides unobstructed long flow on the shellside with minimum pressure drop.
  • Use of fintubes means lower surface temperatures and less fouling.
  • Unique design enables the channel to be removed for tube inspection while maintaining containment.
  • Highest quality construction - built to the rigid standards of ASME code.


Tank suction type

This heater consists of a bundle of longitudinally finned U-tubes mounted in a shell. The shell is open at one end and furnished with a mounting flange, which can be bolted directly to the tank manway flange. Standard mounting flange sizes are normally one flange size larger than the shell pipe size and are drilled to match a 150 lb. ASA/ANSI flange of that size. Unlike the large circular heating coils (sometimes placed in bottoms of storage tanks that heat all the liquid in the tank) a BROWN FINTUBE® Tank Suction Heater heats only the liquid being pumped. Also, the heater is placed above the bottom and consequently does not lose efficiency in heating through a layer of sediment.

BROWN FINTUBE® line heaters are widely used on the suction side of the pump for heating extremely viscous fluids (e.g.Bunker C, fuel oils, asphalt, etc.) to reduce their viscosities so they can be readily pumped. Line heaters, which can be installed in a pipeline at any point, are used either to preheat liquids to proper temperature for further processing or to overcome temperature losses in a long line.

Special features - flange suction inlet nozzles

These nozzles can be furnished on our tank suction heaters for installing a long-stemmed, roof-operated shut-off valve. This allows removal of the heating element for cleaning or servicing without draining the tank. Our designation for this construction is TYPE L/S BEU, the dimensions of which are similar to the LBEU units.

The line heater

The line heater can serve the same functions as the suction heater, although it is separate from the tank and externally flanged on the inlet. A single heater can service multiple tanks and can also be used as a batch heater.

Internal tank heater design - BROWN FINTUBE® tank heaters feature an off-the-floor design which simplifies tank maintenance and cleaning during product changeover. The tank floor is free of piping and easily accessible.

Heater arrangement - The number, size and placement of tank heaters varies considerably with tank volume and product. Manifolds can be arranged inside or outside the tank in individual or collective configurations.

Custom tank heaters - We can custom design and manufacture tank heaters for special applications, specific operating requirements or unusual vessel or tank configurations. ASME Section VIII, Division 1 code stamped heaters are available when required.


Vertical tank heaters

The vertical design produces strong thermal currents and efficient heating in tanks of every description. Its header design insures uniform steam distribution and reduced impingement-erosion problems.

Portable steam immersion heaters - Easily handled, these heaters are designed to heat the contents of tank cars and trucks. The reduction of viscosity improves flow and greatly speeds up tank emptying.



Horizontal tank heaters

Serpentine heaters (HL-S) - The serpentine heater utilizes hot oil or other suitable heat transfer fluid as the heating medium. The series flow configuration increases the velocity of the liquid to affect higher heat transfer rates and provide a cleaner operation with no plugging.


HL heaters - Standing only 10” (254 mm.) high, these heaters are ideal for working day tanks or floating roof tanks where low liquid levels may be encountered. Their perforated longitudinal fintubes increase mixing action, maintain high heat transfer rates and prevent product stratification.


Bayonet (BTH) and Manway (MTH) heaters - The bayonet tank heater is provided with a mounting flange, which is bolted to the side of the tank for ease of insertion and removal. Heating medium connections are external to the tank.


Perforated fintubes - All horizontal tank heaters are designed with perforated fintubes. The perforations permit better heat distribution. Heated product rises through the perforations from beneath the heater so that maximum product agitation and heat transfer are achieved.