What is Abrasion Resistance?

Abrasion resistance is simply a material’s ability to withstand abrasion, which is a process of wearing down by friction. Finding solutions that reduces abrasion to materials helps to maintain its original structure, use, and look.

As it relates to pneumatic conveying systems and more specifically elbows within those systems, abrasion resistance means the ability of a pipe or tube to limit frictional wear from the material being conveyed.

We must point out that abrasion and wear, while often used interchangeably, are actually two different things. Abrasion is actually the action - i.e. the material hitting the pipe’s interior surface - that causes the wear - i.e. the damage that occurs to the pipe from the abrasion.


Abrasion Resistance in Pneumatic Conveying Systems

Abrasive wear is one of the common problems in pneumatic conveying systems. Abrasion happens for a number of reasons:

  • The velocity at which material is conveyed
  • The subsequent friction this velocity causes
  • The change of direction in a pipe or a tube, e.g. a bend

Of these three reasons, it’s the change of direction that creates the most friction and therefore the most abrasion and the most wear. This is why selecting the right elbow for your pneumatic conveying system is one of the best ways of limiting abrasive wear.


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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