Colored silica aggregate, a component of an industrial and commercial flooring product manufactured at Stonhard Inc., travels pneumatically across the plant at a rate of 82,000 pounds a day. At that rate, Plant Manager Sosenheimer explains, the abrasive action of the silica was causing the pneumatic system’s ceramic pipe elbows to fail within three months of installation. The plant tried a more robust elbow but only achieved one additional month of service before they failed.
“The company needed pipe elbows that could withstand the abrasive action so that production downtime and maintenance costs could be reduced,” Sosenheimer said.
They found it in the form of HammerTek’s Smart Elbow deflection elbow after a local distributor offered them a free sample of the product, which works on an entirely different principle than conventional pneumatic elbows.
In the Smart Elbow deflection elbow, the spherical shape of the chamber allows the formation of a soft, rotating ball of conveyed particles mixed with air. This ball is self-renewing and gently deflects particles away from the outer wall and into the intended direction of travel. This design is what solved the problem for Stonhard, whose former, more conventional pipe elbows used their walls to deflect the silica and suffered short life spans as a result.
Stonhard purchased and installed Smart Elbow units to replace its existing pipe elbows. After more than 18 months of use – six times the life of the former product — these original Smart Elbow models are still in service, and their wear to date is considered “insignificant.”
For more information on the HammerTek Smart Elbow deflection elbow, please visit www.hammertek.com.