Conforma Clad Case Study
Customer Experience - Eroding Fan Blades
One of the largest producers of telephone directory and lightweight coated papers in North America requires a sizable energy supply for its mill. Some of the power is produced internally with a hog-fueled steam power boiler. Induced draft (ID) fans pull erosive flue gases from the boiler through the precipitator, where fly ash and other damaging materials are removed. ID fans have a 10 ft. diameter fan wheel with inlets on both sides, as well as 10 forward-facing curved fan blades.
The outer portions of the blades experienced extreme wear caused by the highly erosive, high-velocity fly ash. Severe erosion creates unbalanced vibrations, which cause the fan to trip. A failure can result in boiler fuel costs of $80,000 per day and can slow down paper production.
The solution and reward:
When the mill installed fan blade liners protected with 0.06” of Conforma Clad, the fan maintained optimal capacity through 12 months of continuous operation. A year later, the mill coated the blades of their auxiliary fan with the same thickness of Conforma Clad and saw identical results. The year after that, they put cladding on fan rib plates and side plates. They now replace the boiler fan every other year instead of annually and anticipate saving $150,000 biannually in labor costs.
Customer Experience - Conveyance Line Failures
One of our customers in southeastern United States experienced unexpected conveyance line failures due to extreme abrasion and erosion. Multiple elbow and pipeline blowouts plagued the conveyance system, resulting in more than $200,000 of annual lost product. Each hour of undetected blowout cost approximately $4,000. In addition to the lost product, the daily blowouts created safety issues, and the plant spent $60,000 each year on repairs.
The company was already familiar with Conforma Clad because they successfully used it to coat their extruder barrels.
The plant experienced immediate positive results after applying our cladding to short-radius 45˚ and 90˚ elbows on dilute-phase conveyance lines. Elbows in the highest-wear areas lasted two to three years while others were still in operation after nine years of service. Calling Conforma Clad “the only walk-away-from solution,” plant coordinators ordered several other components to be fitted with our cladding. The reductions in lost product and the yield improvements allowed the plant to recoup their cladding expenses within four to five months of installation of Conforma Clad.