From the fly ash of heavy industry to plastic resin powder, abrasive wear is a major challenge in conveying many types of dry bulk materials. For manufacturers who have to manage abrasive wear, it’s necessary to install pneumatic conveying components specifically designed to resist it.

Due to their angle of change, pneumatic conveying bends are at particular risk of abrasive wear. But you can actually improve the abrasion resistance of your system by using bends with different characteristics. In particular, changing the radius of curvature or the material your bends are made from can help you protect against abrasive wear.

Radius of curvature

Most pneumatic conveying bends fall into one of two categories depending on their radius of curvature: short-radius bends and long-radius bends.

Short-radius bends typically have:

  • A radius of curvature of about 1.0x the nominal diameter of the pipe
  • A length of 3-7x the radius of curvature
  • A centerline radius (CLR) of 2.5-4x the outer diameter

In contrast, long-radius bends typically have:

  • A radius of curvature of about 1.5x the nominal diameter of the pipe
  • A length of 8-14x the radius of curvature
  • A CLR of 10x or greater than the outer diameter

As suggested by these measurements, short-radius bends offer a much sharper change in flow direction. However, this sudden change means short-radius bends often suffer a lot of abrasive damage in a single spot. This increases the rate at which the bend wears through.

On the other hand, the more gradual change in flow direction of long-radius bends spreads wear more evenly across a larger space. That means your components (and your products) suffer much less degradation. This makes long-radius bends much better at resisting abrasive wear.

Sometimes, whether you use a short-radius or long-radius bend is decided by your available space and system design. But installing long-radius bends wherever possible will improve your system’s abrasion resistance. Doing so will reduce component turnover, helping you minimize downtime and maintenance expenses.

Pneumatic conveying bend materials

Three of the most popular materials for pneumatic conveying bends are aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel.

Many manufacturers prefer to use aluminum bends because they’re very affordable and easy to replace. But while aluminum bends are exceptional for conveying corrosive or soft products, they offer very little protection against abrasive wear.

That leaves stainless steel and carbon steel bends.

Both of these materials are highly abrasion resistant due to the additional elements they contain. Of the two, carbon steel is more abrasion resistant. However, it’s also much more vulnerable to corrosion and rust compared to stainless steel.

Which pneumatic conveying bend material is best for you depends on the characteristics of your products. If your products are dry and non-corrosive, you’ll probably see the biggest benefits by installing carbon steel bends. But if they’re moist or corrosive, choose stainless steel bends for the greatest resistance and productivity.

What’s the best type of bend for abrasion resistance?

Ideally, installing long-radius carbon steel bends in your pneumatic conveying system will give you the best protection against abrasive wear. However, your decision must also match your budget, available space, and the characteristics of your conveyed materials. Making your decision with these factors in mind will help you achieve the most suitable balance between protection and practicality.

Order reliable bends online with PneuComponents

When abrasive wear is causing major problems in your system, you need high-quality replacement components fast. But most retailers still require you to go through lengthy sales calls and outdated ordering processes just to get the parts you need.

As the industry’s first online pneumatic conveying retailer, PneuComponents allows you to order premium abrasion-resistant bends in just a few clicks. You can even choose your preferred outer diameter, degree, and CLR before adding to cart to make sure your bends are right for your system. And if we don’t carry the sizes you need, we’re happy to custom manufacture original parts to your specifications.

Visit the PneuComponents online store today to order abrasion-resistant bends for your pneumatic conveying system.

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