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Aeration advantages

Published by , Editor
World Cement,

Austin Anderson, Vortex, walks through the maintenance-friendly features of loading and aerated conveying systems, and their promise in the cement industry.

When designing systems for the handling of dry bulk materials, such as cement, it is important to consider the challenges associated with the material being handled and how to plan for future maintenance. Maintenance of these systems can be costly, time consuming, and dirty. Manufacturers of these systems must consider several key principles. These include: minimising wear and abrasion to limit maintenance, decreasing production downtime, and extending product service life.

By sourcing and implementing products that can be both repaired and maintained in-line without being removed from the system, the consumer will benefit by saving in both upfront and future costs in terms of repairs and production downtime.

Loading spouts

Loading spouts provide fast and steady material flow during the loading of dry bulk materials such as cement into open and/or enclosed trucks, railcars, or stockpiles. When equipped with proper components, a loading system can be designed to capture fugitive dust, prevent material waste, ensure plant and environmental safety, and require minimal maintenance.

Loading systems are placed under an immense amount of pressure by the materials they handle. Problems, such as cable fraying can naturally occur from wear and tear. To eliminate cable fraying, a loading spout can be equipped with an CNC-machined three-piece pulley with rounded edges and precision cable grooves. This design eliminates cable failure and other costly downtime for cable repair.

Many traditional spouts utilise eyebolts to guide the sleeve support rings during spout extension/retraction. The primary disadvantage of the eyebolts is their maintainability. If either the lifting cables or the outer sleeve need to be replaced, the eyebolts must either be removed from the sleeve or physically distorted (opened) to free the sleeve from the lifting cables.

To solve this maintainability issue, a spout can incorporate four spiral-shaped cable guides along the circumference of each outer support ring. The main advantage of spiral guides over eyebolts is that the lifting cables and/or the outer sleeve can be removed without having to manipulate the spiral guides. The lifting cables can be extracted from the spiral guides while the guides stay connected to the sleeve support rings.

Most loading spouts feature a two or three-cable design. If one cable of a two or three-cable spout should break from wear or premature trucker pull away, it is inoperable until a repair is made. Vortex Global’s four-cable lifting design provides stability and more lifting torque compared with some standard loading spouts. Should one cable on the Vortex four-cable spout break, the spout can be raised and lowered for maintenance, but it should be taken out of operation until the cable is replaced.

A cable can be easily replaced in the specially machined pocket within the Vortex drive hub.

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