5 Uses Of Flat Back Elbows

Flat back elbows are mainly used in pneumatic conveying systems in heavy industries, typically for conveying bulk materials that have highly abrasive properties, such as plastic pellets. This is why flat back elbows are designed to be highly durable, and are used in industries like grain processing.


What Are Flat Back Elbows?

Flat back elbows are components of pneumatic conveying systems that join tubes and pipes together, allowing them to have angular directions. These types of elbows typically have ceramic tiles or other abrasion-resistant coatings, that extend their wear life. This is important because flat back elbows need to withstand the impact and abrasion from particles that pass through them during the pneumatic conveying process.

Flat back elbows are specifically designed for heavy duty use, making them highly durable and low maintenance parts. This means that they’re a good option for use in hard-to-reach places, as you won’t need to replace or repair them so often. These factors combined means you’ll experience less system downtime, and therefore be more efficient and productive.


What Are The Main Industries Flat Back Elbows Are Used In?

The main industries that use flat back elbows are chemical, food processing, minerals, and plastics. However, flat back elbows can be used in any number of industries or by any manufacturer in their pneumatic conveying systems, especially if you see heavy duty use. This is because the handling of bulk materials exerts a lot of mechanical strain on the pneumatic system, so you need their wear life to be as long as possible in order to avoid regular, costly repairs. 

Some of the components, particularly the tubes, pipes, and fittings, are also exposed to abrasion during pneumatic conveying. This is a result of the abrasive particles that are transported in pneumatic systems. If pneumatic components aren’t well protected, these abrasive particles can damage the parts and cause work stoppages, breakdowns, or expensive servicing. 

Industries that heavily rely on pneumatic, automated and mechanized on-site transportation of materials can significantly benefit from using flat back elbows. Here’s a little bit more about the major industries that use or should use flat back elbows in their pneumatic conveying systems:


Food processing

In the food processing industry, flat back elbows are mainly used for processing grains which have abrasive hulls, such as corn, rice hulls, and soybeans.

Using flat back elbows, as opposed to any other type of elbow, helps to reinforce the integrity of these systems by ensuring strong, airtight connections.


Chemical manufacturing

A wide range of chemicals are handled and manufactured with the help of pneumatic conveying systems. However, many types of chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers, are hazardous if transported using open conveying systems, and some are also potentially combustible or even explosive when exposed to specific temperatures and oxygen concentrations.

Therefore, chemicals require an especially controlled environment when being manufactured. This is easy to do in a sealed pneumatic conveying system. Using flat back elbows means that the sealed or enclosed systems need to be seldom opened, reducing the risk of any unwanted reactions or sources of contamination.


Plastic manufacturing

Plastic or polymer companies manufacture everything from toys to industrial tools. The process of manufacturing plastic components involves plastic pellets, which are transported as bulk materials using pneumatic conveying systems.

The pellets are later mixed and melted for moulding and extruding processes. These pellets are highly abrasive, especially when transported as bulk material at high speeds and at angular directions. Flat back elbows are thus ideal for minimizing machine downtime for pneumatic systems.


3 Flat Back Elbow Uses

Determining whether you need flat back elbows for your pneumatic conveying system depends on several factors:

  • The type of bulk material being conveyed
  • The design of the pneumatic conveying system
  • The volume of materials to be conveyed


Here are some of the common uses for flat back elbows:

  • Hard-to-reach places: Flat back elbows are designed to be durable and low maintenance. This means they can be installed in hard-to-reach places because they won’t need to be replaced or repaired regularly. The less frequently they need to be changed, the better.
  • Highly abrasive bulk materials: If using a ceramic coating, flat back elbows are highly resistant to abrasions. These are ideal for pneumatic conveying systems that are designed for abrasive bulk materials.
  • Heavy duty pneumatic conveying systems: Since flat back elbows are meant to last, you can install them in heavy duty pneumatic systems. Your system will need less maintenance and should experience reduced periods of downtime.


Flat back elbow applications are mainly for heavy duty industrial use. Consult an expert to find out whether they’re compatible with your pneumatic conveying system.


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