A cement facility in the eastern United States had almost given up on flapper-style diverters in its crushed limestone process. In the past, it had ordered diverters with bodies made of abrasive resistant steel with a 400 BNH. Over time, it experienced material wear to the leading edge of the blade, to the blade shaft, and to the diverter body. Due to the plant’s design, it was almost impossible for maintenance to inspect the diverter when needed. When material was identified escaping to the off leg, or a wear hole appeared on the diverter body, the process had to be shut down while the diverter was removed for inspection and maintenance.
Features of the Vortex Titan Lined Diverter (TLD), which is essentially a flapper-style diverter on steroids, caught the attention of this facility. The TLD is designed for gravity flow applications handling larger-sized material used to make cement (e.g. sand, limestone). Finished cement is a bit fine for this style of diverter where fine material has a tendency to blow past the blade seals. Air assists used to start material flow exaggerate this ‘blow by’.
This diverter is typically specified with replaceable liners made of abrasive resistant plate or chromium carbide. The TLD incorporates a unique flow design where the leading edge of the blade is positioned into a recess area to protect it from wear. The tapered blade design protects the blade shaft from wear and eliminates the ‘ski jump’ inherent with this type of diverter from material caroming off the blade to create additional wear to the diverter body. A ‘live-loaded’ shaft seal prevents material from migrating to the off leg or packing into an internal cavity – creating potential blade actuation problems.
These features, plus the fact that Vortex diverters are manufactured with an external access panel for inspection or maintenance was the deciding factor in the maintenance department’s decision to order Vortex to replace the traditional diverters they had fought for so many years.
Pivoting chute diverter
The Pivoting Chute Diverter (PCD) is another gravity flow diverter designed for larger abrasive materials (sand, limestone). However, many cement companies have experienced success with this diverter in handling cement where some leakage to the off leg is not critical.
One cement company in Peru replaced their gravity diverters with Vortex PCDs for three main reasons:
- They liked the idea of a chute addressing material wear, as opposed to lining the entire interior of the diverter.
- They liked the fact that this diverter allowed the conveyance of material to be split to two destinations at one time.
- The diverter is designed to be accessible via the external access panels would provide huge savings through limited process shut down and limited maintenance time.
The Vortex Pivoting Chute Diverter is basically a diverter housing that contains an internal chute that directs material flow. The chute can be made of abrasive resistant steel or lined to address material abrasiveness. There are no internal seals to maintain and the design lends itself to only the chute itself having to address material abrasion.
After installation, the cement company’s maintenance director commented, “in our industry, from the day we install this equipment it begins to wear. At some point in time, my crew will be working on it. It’s refreshing when companies like Vortex add features to their products that make my job easier.”
Through assessing each individual situation, Vortex was able to provide the solution best suited to the manufacturer. In all three cases depicted here, the development of suitable diverters meant that extreme abrasion was successfully combatted and the companyies also benefitted from good life-cycle costs and easier maintenance.
This is part two of a two-part article written for World Cement’s May issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full May issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the May 2016 issue here.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/special-reports/30052016/new-solution-part-two-vortex/