Is a Thicker Elbow Wall the Best Abrasion Resistant Solution for Pneumatic Conveying Systems?

If the elbows in your pneumatic conveying system suffer from abrasion, it may seem logical that simply replacing them with a thicker wall thickness would be your best abrasion resistant solution. 

While simply changing the wall thickness won’t help against tough abrasion problems, it can be an easy way to make a difference in certain applications. But is it always the best way?


What is abrasion resistance?

Abrasion resistance is a war of attrition. Abrasion can be an expensive problem for companies using pneumatic conveying systems, both in terms of cost for replacement parts and in labor costs during system downtime. This is especially the case for the bends and elbows within these systems. There are various things you can do to combat abrasion, including:

  • Changing the elbow radius
  • Adjusting the velocity in your system
  • Using elbows with abrasion-resistant linings or backings




Limiting Abrasive Wear in Elbows

While it isn’t possible to eliminate abrasion, there are several ways you can increase resistance to abrasion and reduce wear in pneumatic conveying elbows.

First, use elbows with the widest possible bending radius so that the material your system conveys doesn’t have to travel around tight bends. That way, you will reduce friction and the impact of the material on your elbow.

If you are conveying a highly abrasive material, consider using abrasion-resistant elbows. Elbows using abrasion-resistant linings are very effective, and there are multiple kinds of elbows for differing applications. This includes ceramic linings, cement linings, composite lining, AR alloys, replaceable backs, and more. This means your elbow will last longer than a bare pipe or tube that does not have any specialized coatings or backings.

The benefits of using elbows that have abrasion-resistant linings are that:

  • They are usually the most cost-effective solutions
  • They can reduce production downtime by extending the life of your elbow
  • Many of these special elbows will fit perfectly into your conveying system without making any alteration to the conveying lines


Ceramic Lined Elbows - A Solution for Abrasive Wear in Pneumatic Conveying Systems

Ceramic lined elbows are one of the most versatile abrasion-resistant elbows and are used in a variety of industries, from grain and plastics to pet food

Ceramic lining provides protection from abrasive materials. When the material wears through the pipe or tube, the thick outer ceramic lining maintains system pressure and prevents leakage. This means that your conveying system can continue to operate even while the material is wearing an elbow down, eliminating the need to frequently replace your elbows.

On average, ceramic linings provide a 30-40% longer elbow life than using a bare pipe or tube.


And finally...

Selecting the right elbow is critical to how well your pneumatic conveying system operates. It can increase your system’s efficiency, reduce downtime, and save money.

There isn’t one elbow solution that’s right for all pneumatic conveying systems. It really depends on the material you’re conveying, how much you convey, how quickly you’re convey it, and at what temperature, are some factors to consider amongst others. 

It’s important to look for a solution that’s right for your needs and speak to companies with knowledge, expertise, and experience and who can offer a range of solutions to choose from.


At Progressive Products, we won’t sell you something you don’t need – we’ll sell you the best elbow that’s right for your individual system. Contact us today to find the right solution for you.

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