It’s no secret that some of the first parts to wear out in a pneumatic conveying system are often the elbows. They are the part of the system exposed to the most impact and friction as materials travel through the lines, and frequently replacing them is costly in terms of both time and money.
One way to extend the life of a pneumatic conveying elbow is to use one with a ceramic coating. These elbows have a longer life expectancy than regular ones because once the abrasive material has worn through the metal layer, it will rub against the much harder, abrasion-resistant outer ceramic coating instead of blowing out.
Let’s examine what a ceramic coating is, how long it lasts, and if there are any additional benefits to using a ceramic coating in your pneumatic conveying system.
What is a Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coatings in pneumatic conveying systems refer to a protective covering applied to the internal or external part of an elbow, fitting, pipe, or tube to protect them from impact and abrasion. For pneumatic conveying elbows, the ceramic coating is roughly a half-inch layer on the outside that either lines or wraps around the elbow. This coating is usually on the back where the greatest amount of abrasion occurs. Occasionally, some applications will see more wear on the sides or even on the belly of the elbow. In these cases, we can just do a belly coating or even a 360 degree coating around the entire elbow if warranted.v
Silicon carbide, boron nitride, cerium oxide, aluminum oxide, titanium oxide, and silicon dioxide are some of the most commonly used ceramic coatings in pneumatic conveying systems. All are rated high on the Mohs hardness scale and help protect pneumatic conveying elbows by providing excellent corrosion, moisture, and abrasion resistance.
One great example of how tough ceramic coatings can be is found on our proprietary Ceram-Back® elbow. With a Mohs hardness rating of 9+, this ceramic lining is almost as hard as a diamond (Mohs rating 10). Conversely, your average steel elbow is less durable, with a Mohs hardness of only around 5.7. As you can imagine, anything that can wear through a steel pipe or elbow will have a much tougher time getting through an almost diamond-like ceramic coating.
How Long Does Ceramic Coating Last?
The life expectancy of a ceramic-coated elbow will depend on how long a non-coated elbow typically lasts in your pneumatic conveying system. Generally, a ceramic-coated elbow will last anywhere from eight to ten times longer than a regular elbow. So if you’re regularly changing out an elbow every two months, a ceramic-coated version would last between 16 to 20 months instead.
Other Advantages of Ceramic-Lined Elbows
While ceramic-lined elbows offer superior protection from abrasion and corrosion, other cost-effective benefits also exist. For example, the ceramic lining can be applied to any type of elbow already in your system, regardless of size, degree, or pipe radius. This way, the ceramic-lined elbow fits within your line’s existing space, and you avoid paying for costly elbows that require oversized flanges or special connections to work. And because the construction on ceramic-lined elbows is so simple, the lead time is short, limiting downtime and increasing productivity.
As you can see, ceramic-lined elbows can be an excellent investment if you find yourself replacing the elbows in your pneumatic conveying system often. They are strong and reliable and extend the life of your elbows in spite of abrasion, impact, and corrosion.
If you need help selecting the right elbows for your pneumatic conveying system, contact us at Progressive Products to help you find the right solution.