In Prince George, British Columbia, Northwood Pulp and Timber Ltd. has applied the Smart Elbow deflection elbow to successfully remedy a problem common to the pulp and paper industry: moving wood chips, bark and sawdust — known in the industry as hog fuel — while eliminating the damaging effects of this material on the conveying line.
Wood particles are especially punishing on pneumatic lines. Their abrasive characteristics are well-known. In Northwood’s case, hog fuel was wearing out the wear-back sweep elbows in the plant’s 12-inch diameter conveying line every three months, requiring repair, cleanup work and associated expenses in addition to the unwanted expense of bringing production to a halt.
Maintenance Supervisor Mario Rezendes had heard about HammerTek’s Smart Elbow deflection elbow and decided to give it a try. He fitted a Smart Elbow unit at one location in the line’s three-elbow system. The Smart Elbow product is designed to change conveying direction through deflection instead of impact with elbow walls, resulting in smoother flow and elimination of elbow wear. Sure enough, this design provided the solution to the problem.
Rezendes’ original Smart Elbow model lasted four years — some 16 times longer than the wear-back sweep elbow it replaced. Based on this performance, he replaced the other two elbows in the line with Smart Elbow units. This modification proved so successful that the plant specified the installation of three 10-inch Smart Elbow models in its new chip handling system.