The plant utilizes a magnesium oxide-based scrubbing process to remove sulfur dioxide — a component in acid rain — from the coal-fired plant’s exhaust. Magnesium oxide powder is conveyed pneumatically from storage silos to a mixer that mixes it with water and sprays the solution into the plant’s exhaust stacks. The resulting slurry is recycled and used in plant processes.
The scrubbing process operates at 9 PSI, and the standard stainless steel pipe elbows being used wore out frequently. Exacerbating this problem was the fact that those elbows were located approximately 90 feet above ground near the top of storage silos.
Leaks were occurring every four to six months, causing a cloud of magnesium oxide dust to be released both inside and outside the plant, creating cleanup expenses on- and off-site, and regulatory concerns. Repairs often had to be made by hanging scaffolding near the top of the silo, an undertaking that was time consuming, expensive and hazardous. Plant engineers estimated that each repair cost about $4,000 in terms of labor alone. OSHA mandated that new platforms be designed and installed on the silos if the leaks continued on a frequent basis. Something had to be done, and the engineers started looking for options. It wasn’t long before they discovered HammerTek’s Smart Elbow deflection elbow.
The engineers replaced the standard stainless elbows with 3-inch carbon steel Smart Elbow models. After a year and a half, the Smart Elbow units were still going strong, preventing releases and cleanup costs. Each had already outlived the lifespan of its predecessor sweep elbow by several times.
Smart Elbow deflection elbows rely on deflection, not impact, to change flow direction, thereby eliminating the impact-related problems associated with virtually every other conveying elbow design. At system start-up, a gently rotating ball of suspended material forms in the patented vortex chamber of the Smart Elbow deflection elbow. As the main flow of material passes this ball, it is “deflected” through the desired change of direction without impact, friction or wear to the elbow’s interior surfaces.
Since its inception almost two decades ago, HammerTek Corporation has established a reputation as an innovative U.S. manufacturer of “problem-solving” conveying elbows. The Smart Elbow deflection elbow is patented in the United States and 15 other countries. For more information, call us at 800-505-9665 or email us at email@example.com.
To read the full case study, please visit the HammerTek website.