PBE-News: Ask an Expert – Preventing Erosion in Pneumatic Conveying Lines
Powder and Bulk Engineering’s PBE-News’ Ask an Expert feature addressed options to mitigate erosion in pneumatic conveying lines. Ray Cocco from Particulate Solid Research Inc. mentions various methods of reducing erosion. One suggested method is replacing the type of elbow used in the system. The proper elbow could minimize impact and reduce, or eliminate, the erosion within a bend.
Preventing elbow erosion has been a top priority for many industries as elbow blow-outs can be quite costly. Facilities find themselves frequently needing to replace their worn-out elbows. Elbow erosion costs companies much more in money, time and energy than just the cost of a replacement elbow. The costs associated with elbow erosion can include maintenance expenses, replacement elbow costs, safety and environmental compliance costs, and installation equipment costs. More expenses that are indirectly incurred include lost production from downtime, cleanup costs, and lost product in addition to safety issues that could arise. Therefore, every time elbow erosion occurs, all these costs will be associated with it. Maintenance managers are actively looking for solutions to these issues so they can save money and improve production.
Cocco addresses specialty elbows that have a bulb which induces particle rotation. He mentions that these specialty elbows reduce erosion without the high pressure drop associated with blind tees.
The elbow associated with this special bulb, or chamber, is known as the Smart Elbow deflection elbow by HammerTek Corporation. In conveying lines fitted with Smart Elbow conveying elbows, when material flowing through the line approaches a turn, the change in direction is caused by a spherical chamber of air and material that deflects the incoming material around the bend. This rotational deflection zone eliminates impact against the elbow wall which virtually eliminates friction and erosion issues. To see how the Smart Elbow solves elbow erosion and other common conveying problems, check out the HammerTek website.