Updated Application Page on Process Heating Fans
If your manufacturing process involves applications like ovens, furnaces, boilers, and dryers, there’s a fan involved in the heating process. Industries like food processing, energy, paper, pulp, plastics, metals, and glass rely on combustion for heating and drying purposes.
Protecting and optimizing operations, maintenance, and life of the fan and bearings are critical components of the design and specification process. Proximity to high temperatures and possibly corrosive gasses may require customizing process heating fans to the extremes, including temperature variations.
Fan Design and Maintenance Considerations for the Industrial Heating Process
Protecting the fans used in any industrial application, like the heating process, starts in the design phase and never stops. Proximity to high temperatures and possibly corrosive gasses means designing for the extremes, including vibration and temperature variations. Fans and blowers not properly designed for high temperatures may catastrophically fail when used at temperatures above their design. Be sure to get it right.
Here are a few common considerations for applications that involve a heating process.
Rapid Temperature Change
Process heating applications can involve rapid temperature change, both in the heating process and the cooling process. Rapid heating or cooling can lead to expansion or shifting in materials and parts, which can lead to alignment or vibration issues. This often calls for custom materials of construction, heat treating, and special considerations in the final assembly process. Additionally, we often recommend expansion joints between the fan and ductwork to accommodate any movement and protect the fan.
Extreme conditions like high temperatures often lead to other issues like vibration. Vibration management accessories like spring vibration isolators and installed vibration monitors can protect the bearings and fan from dangerous imbalances and help avoid costly outages.
We always recommend protecting and consistently maintaining the fan bearings, as it is the most common cause of fan failure. The design should keep bearings and motors isolated from the process heating and high-temperature applications using shaft seals with ceramic felt elements.
The post was just a preview – there is much more information about fans for the heating process and the adjacent high-temperature and process cooling applications. We’ve written about them in other blog posts and case studies too. Here are links to some of the other resources available:
- Copper Smelter (Case Study)
- Dryer Supply Fan for Cement Plant (Case Study)
- Video: High-Temperature Fan Bearing Protection (Blog Post)
- RTD Temperature Sensors Help Prevent Bearing Failure (Blog Post)
- High-Temperature Centrifugal Fans (Application Page)
- Process Cooling (Application Page)
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