How Thick is the Ceramic Coating in our Pneumatic Conveying Elbows?

When materials repeatedly impact or abrade your pneumatic conveying elbows, those components start to wear away. The faster this wear occurs, the more frequently you need to replace your elbows. This increases downtime and maintenance costs.

To extend the lifespan of your pneumatic conveying elbows as much as possible, it’s helpful to purchase models with added protection. For example, our proprietary Ceram-Back® elbows feature a ceramic compound jacket with a Mohs hardness of 9+, second only to diamond with a hardness of 10. This makes these components exceptionally durable and abrasion resistant while also ensuring they remain lightweight.

Excessive ceramic coating would significantly drive up component costs and provide far more protection than is actually useful. When experimenting with the thickness of ceramic coatings, we’ve found that the following thicknesses offer a perfect balance between affordability and superior resistance:

Elbow diameter

Ceramic coating thickness

Less than 1.75”


1.75” - 1.9”


2” - 2.9”


3” - 3.9”


4” - 5.9”


6” - 9”


More than 9”



A quick history of ceramic coating for pneumatic conveying elbows

Before the invention of ceramic coating, manufacturers typically used ceramic tile-lined elbows. But these early models came with a lot of problems. They:

  • Were very heavy and expensive
  • Required long lead times
  • Hard to get in small sizes
  • Were available in a limited selection of centerline radii
  • Required oversized flanges for installation

Manufacturers also tended to produce pre-tiled elbows of specific sizes. That meant companies had to force those elbows into their system rather than buy custom elbows with suitable dimensions.

Bob Allison, the founder of Progressive Products Inc. and an industry expert, saw this as an opportunity to create a new type of ceramic protection. He was inspired by the ceramic tiles NASA used on the bottoms of space shuttles, and developed a ceramic coating with similar properties. This coating drastically improved elbow durability even when thinly applied and could be used on any fabricated metal materials of any geometric shape.

Bob’s invention led to the development of our Ceram-Back® elbow, which has become immensely popular in manufacturing plants worldwide. The ceramic coating offers incredible protection against wear and abrasion while still being lightweight and affordable. And rather than fabricate over it with metal, we wrap and seal the Ceram-Back elbow to further improve its durability while cutting costs for manufacturers.


What does a ceramic coating do?

Ceramic coating is a thin protective layer that can line or wrap around a wide variety of pneumatic conveying components. This increases their durability and wear resistance, letting you achieve maximum uptime and productivity.

Ceramic wraps or ceramic linings are often used to reinforce:

  • Elbows
  • Pipes
  • Tubes
  • Chutes
  • Hoppers
  • Cyclones
  • Bins
  • Target boxes
  • Certain types of valves

Pneumatic conveying elbows in particular benefit highly from ceramic. As major points of wear, they’re more prone to failure or blowouts. By protecting your components with a ceramic coating, you can reduce component turnover and maintenance costs.


Benefits of ceramic coatings for pneumatic conveying elbows

  • Superior abrasion resistance: Ceramic coating is highly resistant to abrasive wear. This extends the life of your pneumatic conveying elbows. Our Ceram-Back® compound, for example, can extend the life of a bare elbow or fitting by 8-10 times.
  • Saves money: The upfront cost of ceramic-coated elbows is higher than that of bare elbows. But since they last so much longer, you don’t need to replace them as often. Over time, this saves a lot of money.
  • Boosts productivity: The durability and longevity of ceramic-coated elbows means you’ll also require less maintenance downtime. This increases your total uptime, allowing you to reach peak productivity.
  • Versatile: A ceramic coating can be applied to any metal surface of any size or shape. Unlike older tile-lined elbows, you can get ceramic-coated elbows in any size or degree. They also don’t require any special connections to ensure they fit in your system.
  • Convenient: You can have your existing elbows and fittings ceramic coated. That means you don’t need to worry about the cost or inconvenience of replacing a huge number of components to get the benefits. Get in touch to find out more about our ceramic coating service.


When to use ceramic-coated elbows

If you convey highly abrasive products such as grain, plastics, pet foods, or chemicals, it’s highly recommended that you install ceramic-coated elbows. Doing so will protect against abrasive wear, helping you cut down on repairs and replacements and save lots of time and money.

It’s also very useful to install these elbows if your system has a lot of turns. When high-velocity particles change direction, they can create a lot of abrasive wear. Ceramic coating will protect your elbows as well as other fittings, chutes, hoppers, and more.


Our most popular ceramic-coated products


Ceram-Back® elbow

Our proprietary Ceram-Back® elbow features a ½” ceramic compound jacket across the back of a bare or core elbow. This compound is almost as hard as diamond, giving it unbeatable protection against abrasive wear. We also wrap the ceramic jacket and core elbow with an external material to maintain hoop strength.


Cast ceramic flat-back elbow

The key to our cast ceramic flat-back elbow is that it uses a pipe or tube for the inner core substrate to lessen the wear of outlet transition. This substrate is then reinforced with our ceramic compound and ½” cast ceramic tiles running across the back, all encased in steel. These qualities make this elbow an excellent choice for extremely abrasive applications.


Ceram-Back® fittings

We can coat or line any fittings or parts you need with our Ceram-Back® compound to give them additional protection. When used alongside Ceram-Back® elbows, this gives your pneumatic conveying system phenomenal resistance against abrasion and wear.


Need advice for ceramic-coated elbows?

Integrating ceramic-coated elbows into your pneumatic conveying system helps protect against abrasive wear, reduce maintenance costs, and increase uptime. To discuss how you can use these components in your system, get in touch with us today.

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