What is the Difference Between a 45-Degree & 90-Degree Elbow?

Pneumatic conveying elbows are responsible for changing the flow direction of materials within your dry bulk handling system. Pipe elbow dimensions – including degree, line size, and centerline radius – affect the speed and efficiency of product transfer as well as the effect your system has on that material. Making sure you choose the right components helps you improve your productivity while maintaining high quality. 

While the difference between a 45-degree elbow and a 90-degree elbow seems obvious, these two options have very different effects on conveying. Here, we explore the benefits and drawbacks of each component to help you optimize your pneumatic conveying system.


45-degree pneumatic conveying elbows


What is a 45-degree elbow?

A 45-degree elbow is a fitting that changes the direction of material flow within your pipelines by 45 degrees.


Benefits of a 45-degree elbow

The shallower angle of a 45-degree elbow reduces product impact against the pipe wall. This protects both your components and dry bulk material from damage. It also reduces the amount of energy and speed lost during transfer, lowering the energy requirements of your system.


Drawbacks of a 45-degree elbow

While a 45-degree elbow reduces impact damage, it’s more susceptible to abrasion. As well as contributing to plastic streamers or grain friability, this can cause your elbow to wear away more quickly. The shallow angle also means your system is likely to take up more space, which can be problematic for smaller factories.


90-degree pneumatic conveying elbows


What is a 90-degree elbow?

A 90-degree elbow creates a joint between two pneumatic conveying pipes at right angles to each other. For this reason, a 90-degree elbow is sometimes called a quarter bend.


Benefits of a 90-degree elbow

With its sharper angle, a 90-degree elbow allows less time for dry bulk material to scrape along the pipe interior. This reduces the risk of abrasive damage to the elbow and the material, helping you maintain high product quality and reducing maintenance time and costs. The ability to quickly change from horizontal to vertical movement (or vice-versa) also means you can design a smaller, more compact pneumatic conveying system.


Drawbacks of a 90-degree elbow

The quick change in direction in a 90-degree elbow puts it and your materials at greater risk of impact damage. As heavier materials slam into the pipe, they also lose energy and speed. To compensate, more power is required to keep dry bulk materials moving through the pipelines.


Is a 45-degree elbow better than a 90-degree elbow?

Which degree of pneumatic conveying elbow you choose for your system will depend on the kind of material you convey. Since a 45-degree elbow has greater impact resistance, it might be more suitable for heavier materials like coal or mining products. On the other hand, the abrasion-resistant qualities of a 90-degree elbow make it a good fit for plastics, foodstuffs, and fine powders.

But no matter what you convey, one of the most influential factors in your decision will be your available floor space. If you have room to spare, the greater spatial requirements of a 45-degree elbow won’t be a problem. If space is limited and you need a compact system, a 90-degree elbow might be better.


How to calculate pipe elbow dimensions

Purchasing a pipe elbow with the wrong dimensions can seriously disrupt your operations. You might experience greater abrasive wear, product degradation, and system downtime, all of which increase costs and reduce profitability.

That’s why we’ve prepared a handy elbow dimension calculator that can give you accurate measurements in seconds completely free. Simply input the measurements you already know and the calculator will confirm the rest.

And if you need help measuring a pneumatic conveying elbow, this short video will tell you everything you need to know:


Optimize your system with ultra-strong custom elbows from Progressive Products

For more than 40 years, we’ve been making durable, long-lasting, cost-effective pneumatic conveying elbows that help companies in all industries enhance their productive capabilities. Each one is highly abrasion resistant and can stay in place for a long time without being replaced. That means you can enjoy lower costs, greater uptime, and increased efficiency, all without changing line flow.

And the best part? Every elbow we manufacture is available in both 45 and 90 degrees!

Check out our range of elbows online now to find the best fit for your system and products, or contact our friendly expert team to arrange custom manufacturing for specialist components.

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