Processing Magazine

Elbow stops lime spills from spewing out of worn elbows

December 1, 2008

At the Upper Occoquan Water Reclamation Plant in Centreville, Va., Robert Forgione, P.E. replaced myriad failed elbows in the pneumatic conveying lines with the Smart Elbow® from HammerTek Corp., Landisville, Pa. and eliminated repeated pipe failures that were plaguing his wastewater treatment operation. As the director of the operations and maintenance division for the Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority (UOSA) responsible for providing clean drinking water to 300,000 people, Forgione had installed schedule 80 steel sweep elbows, short radius welded steel elbows, long radius welded steel elbows, ductile iron piping and 10-foot radius steel sweep elbows only to see each one fail in a matter of months due to constant impacts with the abrasive pebble lime being conveyed. Each failure spewed clouds of dust that created a hazardous slip and fall situation, threatened acceptable air quality levels and put sensitive electronic control systems at risk while triggering a line shutdown and diverting staffers away from their work to handle the cleanup. Since installing the Smart Elbows five years ago, Forgione has not had a single failure. While the traditional elbows were unable to survive the high velocity pounding from the pebble lime, the Smart Elbow features a unique shape and configuration that reduces particle contact with the elbow walls. Its savvy design causes particles to gather in a slowly-rotating, self-renewing, round deflection zone of material and air that prevents elbow wear and maintains particle shape and integrity. ³With the Smart Elbow, we¹ve eliminated the primary source of lime dust in our facility along with the hazardous conditions it creates,² said Forgione.