Rotary feeders, also known as rotary airlocks or rotary valves, are commonly used in industrial and agricultural applications as a component in a bulk or specialty material handling system. Rotary airlock feeders have wide application in industry wherever dry free-flowing powders, granules, crystals, or pellets are used including pollution control applications in wood, grain, food, textile, paper, tobacco, rubber, paint and other industries. Due to the vast amount of uses for rotary airlocks, manufacturers regularly seek to maximize the life of these rotary airlocks.
One effective way to extend the life of a rotary airlock is to have the correct coating applied to the interior bore of the housing for the specific product application. Many options are available depending on the abrasiveness of the product. Simple and inexpensive coatings such as chrome can be added to double the life of a rotary valve. More exotic coatings such as a ceramic lining are more expensive but offer superior protection and extend the use-able life of a rotary valve exponentially.
Rotor protection is another way to enhance the usable life of your rotary valve. By applying a coating to your rotor, you give it the same protection given to your housing bore and end plates. Providing your manufacturer with ample detail about your application process will ensure that your rotor is given proper protection.
Additional protection can be given to your rotor by adding a bolt-on wear bar. This supplement allows you the option of simply changing the wear bars on the rotor as they wear to restore their clearances to their original state. Having the rotor and/or bolt-on wear bars made out of the same abrasion resistant material will also provide superior protection.
To combat abrasive applications, it is best to utilize a combination of the solutions listed. Doing so will provide the utmost preservation of your valves, leading to less downtime, greater profitability and a safer work environment.
Brent McIntosh/Account Manager – Prater