Many bulk handling industries generally use screw conveyors. It’s an efficient and reliable mechanism used to convey materials horizontally, at an incline or vertically. It’s also a handy device that can handle a wide range of challenging materials and applications.
High-Temperature Applications of Screw Conveyors
Since screw conveyors are versatile and relatively simple to use, they can also manage high-temperature applications such as feeding lime to a kiln or removing ash from a boiler. However, there are factors to consider before using screw conveyors for high-temperature applications because some conveyors cannot handle extreme heat. If a poor quality conveyor is forced in extreme heat and improper management is applied, it can lead to premature failure of its structural and mechanical components, thermal expansion, and, worst, a delicate risk for workers.
In this article, we have listed down some of the screw conveyor considerations before using it for high-temperature applications to ensure that the conveyor will successfully carry and transfer hot material for many years and avoid any incidents or failures. Read on for our tips!
1. Consider the Construction Material
While most conveyors’ screws and troughs are typically made of steel, it’s still crucial to look for the right steel that can handle high temperatures; not all steel alloys can last in extreme heat. If you don’t have the right steel exposed to high temperatures, the mechanical strength of your steel will be affected. The temperature will also affect the steel’s mechanical creep tendency, corrosion rate, and economic viability.
2. Factor in the Steel’s Yield Strength
Although we’ve mentioned that screw conveyors can handle challenging materials and applications, it’s still best to consider the steel’s yield strength before using it for high-temperature applications. Make sure that the screw conveyor’s structural components are designed based on the steel’s yield strength; the steel’s yield strength decreases while the operating temperature increases. It’s recommended to use larger structural components instead since they can survive more when used in high temperatures.
3. Choose Components That Can Accommodate Thermal Expansion
When choosing a screw conveyor for high-temperature applications, make sure to select components that can accommodate thermal expansion. If you’re not aware, the screw and trough of the screw conveyor will expand lengthwise when hot material enters. The thermal expansion will vary depending on the steel and trough’s material, the temperature change, and the conveyor’s length. Since the thermal expansion is immeasurable, the only thing you can do to ensure your screw conveyor will operate adequately is choosing components, particularly the conveyor supports, bearing, and material inlet and discharge correctly. Don’t forget about the thermal expansion when selecting screw conveyors for hot applications.
4. Prioritize Safety
One of the most important things to consider when using a screw conveyor for hot applications is the safety of your workers. It’s important to note that temperatures above and below 200°F are already hazardous to workers. To avoid any incidents, install proper guarding around your conveyor and follow the best practices for maximum safety.
Screw conveyors can help industries move semi-solid materials and even high-temperature materials efficiently, productively, and quickly. However, before you apply screw conveyors in high temperatures, make sure to consider these factors first, as they will help operate the conveyor successfully and ensure your workers’ safety.
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