The Rennselaer, Indiana company, which produces PVC piping products for the plumbing trade, utilizes a pneumatic conveying system to transfer plastic resin beads and pellets from outdoor storage hoppers to its pipe extruders. While the company had the whole process state-of-the-art and finely tuned, there was one area that left engineers scratching their heads — and their wallets.
Even using long-radius sweep elbows, the abrasive nature of the product was taking its toll on the conveying system. The elbows wore out in a matter of two to four months, said L.E. Koehler, assistant plant manager. Plant downtime for elbow replacement was eating into profits.
“I had been reading about a new elbow design called the Smart Elbow deflection elbow,” Koehler said. But HammerTek was doing more than putting words on paper. HammerTek offered Koehler a guarantee.
“(HammerTek) guaranteed a minimum of three times the life of conventional elbows. So we put a test elbow in the system, replacing a long-radius elbow that had worn out within two months.”
After more than a year in service, the test Smart Elbow unit had lasted six times as long as the conventional elbow it replaced, and perhaps more astoundingly, it showed no signs of wear.
Based on the test results, Rensselaer upgraded its pneumatic system, replacing a dozen conventional elbows with Smart Elbow models in the 3- and 4-inch lines that carry materials between resin silos, compound silos, mixers and extruders. Additionally, the plant is replacing long-radius sweep elbows with Smart Elbow deflection elbows as they wear out. Across the board, the newer replacements are performing similarly to the test elbow.
Wear performance is one of several areas where the Smart Elbow deflection elbow shines, Koehler said. The HammerTek product has also eliminated unwanted “angel hair” that formed in conventional elbows. There is no surging or plugging of lines with the new elbows. And Smart Elbow products eliminate the need for sweep elbows, allowing pneumatic lines to bend at 90 degrees and follow the contours of silos and buildings, greatly simplifying installation and upkeep.
Smart Elbow models are available in 45 and 90° angles, and in diameters from 1-1/2 to 16 inches. They are furnished with plain or flanged ends in carbon steel, cast iron, stainless steel, HammerLoy™, or aluminum.
Make the smart move to Smart Elbow deflection elbows now, and put an end to your pipe elbow woes. We’ll be more than happy to provide further information about our product and the warranty that stands behind it.