According to Greg Sosenheimer, plant manager, 82,000 pounds of the material moves through the system each day, and the ceramic elbows Stonhard used to direct and funnel the flow of silica aggregate from blending vessels to holding silos just couldn’t hold up to the high-wear conditions. In fact, elbows were failing on average every three months, and replacement costs and productivity losses were rising to unacceptable levels.
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Sosenheimer was committed to seeking out alternatives to the ceramic elbows, but he needed a solution that would keep his lines running significantly longer than three months at a time.
A local distributor made an offer to try a new type of elbow — the Smart Elbow® deflection elbow by HammerTek — completely free of charge,
HammerTek’s Smart Elbow design — and the resultant vortex — was just the solution for Stonhard. Conventional pipe elbows use their interior walls to deflect material. When the material is as naturally abrasive as silica aggregate, the amount of wear to the pipe elbow requires frequent replacing. When parts in a conveyor system need to be replaced, the whole line needs to be shut down. Production downtimes can push back schedules and affect delivery timelines.
With the Smart Elbow model’s spherical chamber, the silica aggregrate forms a soft, rotating ball which doesn’t contact the interior walls of the elbow. The combination of the moving vortex and air flowing through the system deflect the material moving through, completely eliminating any abrasion-related wear.
Nearly two years — and several inspections — after Stonhard purchased and installed two 4″ Smart Elbow products, the amount of wear these elbows show is considered insignificant by Sosenheimer and his team.
For more information on the HammerTek Smart Elbow deflection elbow, please visit www.hammertek.com.