Tube Tracing Comparison

Heat Tracing Systems

Maximize heat transfer from conventional tube tracing

Heat tracing systems vary in complexity depending upon the application. Historically, process heating can be separated into three groups:

  • Process Freeze Prevention: Winterization - Typically uses a form of tube tracing - from bare tube to CSI TraceBOOST®
  • Maintain Process Temperature: Thermal Maintenance - Depending upon the maintain temperature, typically use some type of applied or bolt-on tracing solution such as CSI TraceBOOST or CSI ControTrace®.
  • Change Process Temperature: Heat Exchanger - Applications often using jacketed piping.

This comparison of available technologies covers the lower end of the spectrum to mid-range requirements.

Freeze Protection         
Degradation Resistance N/A       
Energy Efficiency        
Infrastructure Cost Savings        
Operational Cost        
Performance & Predictability        
Installation Durability         

TraceBOOST Tube Tracing

If one bare tracer is enough, use it.  If the application requires more than one tubing run, adding TraceBOOST® will reduce the number of runs needed, which reduces the number of steam traps and manifolds required – saving money in upfront capital investment and long term operational costs. CSI’s TraceBOOST delivers the technical and commercial value you’ve come to expect from CSI for over 50 years.


BARE Tube Trace
  • Best suited for applications with low performance demands.
  • Freeze protection is the most common application. 
  • Provides minimal contact with the pipe and thus has a low heat transfer rate.
  • Installation variables and thermal expansion make consistent direct contact impossible.
Bare tube tracing with HTC
  • Bare tube tracing with HTC ‘fillet’ added on either side.
  • HTC improves heat transfer with conductive path.
  • But, HTC is not adhesive and does not maintain long-term adhesion to the tube or the pipe. 
  • After a short time, the HTC degrades and breaks away leaving the bare tubing by itself. 
Tube Trace with HTC & Channel
  • In this case, a channel is installed to contain the HTC and prevent loss. 
  • The channel helps, but with time, the HTC shrinks, cracks, and loses conductive contact.
  • After the first 1 to 2 years, performance degradation becomes apparent. 

TraceBOOST Enhanced Tube Tracing Solution

TraceBOOST is best suited for applications with higher thermal demands, or applications in which more than a single run of bare tube tracing is required. A single TraceBOOST run can typically replace four bare tube tracing runs.

  • TraceBOOST creates a conductive path using an aluminum enhancer rather than HTC. 
  • The aluminum enhancer creates a wider contact area which further increases the heat transfer rate. 
  • Fewer steam trap stations, reduced capital cost by 30 - 70%.
  • Reduced installation time and improved reliability.
  • Increased contact area and lower steam consumption.