Why Build a Seal Test Assembly?

Why Build a Seal Test Assembly?

When a customer requested our advice on the most effective long-lasting seal technology for steam tube dryers in petrochemical applications, our application engineers designed and ran a Seal Test Assembly to generate live test data to inform and confirm their recommendations.

To gather relevant data in a controlled environment, our engineers and fabricators built a scale-model steam tube dryer seal assembly in our own test lab.

a steam dryer being loaded onto a barge

For this test seal, we decided to use chevron V-packing in lieu of the traditional square packing. Whereas square-packing is made from woven PTFE and integrated graphite, the chevron V-packing is made of extruded polymer – which is optimally suited for maximal segregation of external oxygen from entering the internal dryer’s closed inert atmosphere. The V-packing is housed within a machined, cooling-jacketed, stuffing box.

an industrial dryer being transported down the river on a barge

To simulate a real processing environment, we mounted the test unit on a slew bearing, and allowed to float with the rotating seal surface using adjustable die springs.

an industrial dryer being transported down the river on a barge

Electrodes were attached to induce heat and ports were used to pressurize the system up to 1 PSIG, and gauges were installed and monitored.

a steam dryer in transport along a railway

The test unit operated continuously over the course of three years with only minimal tweaking such as bearing lubrication. The test data confirmed the effectiveness of using the longer life chevron V-packing on both the feed and discharge end of central discharge dryers in petrochemical applications. They significantly limit the leakage of ambient atmosphere or vapors and prevent the intake of external oxygen.

Why Central Discharge?

The Louisville Dryer “CS” Central Discharge Steam Tube Dryer design was developed for solvent extraction, and processing materials wetted with liquids other than water, which must be processed in an inert atmosphere and where the vapors must be captured and not allowed to escape to atmosphere.

replacement dryer being installed by louisville dryer company crew

Many materials at some point in their manufacture are volatile and reactive with O2 which can degrade the product, ignite, or explode. Some materials are processed with acids or volatile liquids where if leaked to atmosphere can cause injury to personnel, or damage to surrounding equipment or facilities.

The Louisville Dryer “CS” Central Discharge Steam Tube Dryer reduces the required sealing area by conveying the dried product through the center of the steam chest with helical discharge flights, into a very efficiently sealed discharge housing. The “CS” sealing mechanism is comprised of a machined mechanical seal and packing assembly which allows for static and dynamic purging with a variety of process gases and/or steam. Cooling water can be used in applications where required, as well as grease purge glands.

replacement dryer being installed by louisville dryer company crew

The Louisville Dryer “CS” seal design can be designed for process side pressures up to 1.5 PSIG, and in a number of carbon steel alloys and nickel alloys for highly corrosive applications. They are most effective when installed on both the feed end of the dryer and the discharge end.

Test Your Product in Louisville Dryer Company’s Test Lab

Curious how testing your product in our production-worthy scaled dryers in our own leading-edge research and development lab can benefit your company? We have manufactured coolers to help companies develop new products such as wood composite, airbag propellant, rocket fuel, algae-derived oils and others. Our test engineers can help determine best processes and equipment for your team. Call us today at 800-735-3163.

Reducing Costs and Harmful Emissions with Green Drying

Reducing Costs and Harmful Emissions with Green Drying

Some rotary dryer manufacturers specialize in green drying by incorporating low energy and ecological features into their designs. Such eco-friendly measures can significantly reduce the operating expenses of processing industry businesses. Using clean steam rather than products of combustion, steam tube dryers are one of the most ecological drying technologies.

Steam tube dryers are indirect-heat dryers utilizing the latent heat from clean low-temperature saturated steam rather than hot gases used in fossil fuel-fired combustion systems. This highly efficient heat-transfer design also makes steam tube dryers one of the most thermally efficient drying technologies.

a steam dryer being loaded onto a barge

Pictured Above – Another clean green drying machine, we custom-engineered and built this massive steam tube dryer for processing mass quantities of canola flakes for an oil seeds processor in central Canada.

Higher thermal efficiency means lower fuel consumption and lower operating costs

Many industrial processes now utilize waste heat boilers which are designed to use process waste streams, or biomass, as fuel. What was once a waste stream can now be a low cost environmentally-friendly energy source in a steam tube dryer, which are often used to replace less efficient, higher emission drying processes.

Some steam tube dryer designs use low temperatures which release fewer volatiles from organic compounds than other types of higher temperature, direct heat drying technologies. This eliminates the need for costly thermal oxidizers often required for other drying technologies.

Lower temperature operation also means lower thermal stresses on the equipment and longer intervals between major maintenance requirements. As a premier rotary dryer manufacturer of long-lasting steam tube dryers, some of our steam tube dryers in service today were commissioned over 75 years ago.

an industrial dryer being transported down the river on a barge

Pictured Above – Weighing 610,000 pounds (empty shell weight) and 12’-9” in diameter and 128’ long, our steam tube dryer journeyed to Canada via highways, railways and waterways (as shown here rollin’ on the river).

Louisville Dryer’s steam tube dryers do not use heated air as energy to drive the drying process. Only a very small volume of air is used to carry out the water vapor generated in the drying process of their units. With such a small exhaust volume discharged from their dryers, the size and horsepower requirements of the air handling equipment are normally 80% less than direct-heat dryers. And, in some processes, the small amount of exhaust gas is sent directly to the boiler as combustion air, completely eliminating air emissions.

Turn Waste into Profit

The larger volumes of dryer discharge gas from Louisville Dryer steam tube dryers are used in many industries to convert process waste streams into valuable secondary products.

a steam dryer in transport along a railway

Pictured Above – Our jumbo steam tube dryer custom built for a Canada-based oils seeds processor made part of its journey north via 18-axle trailer and railway.

Some examples include:

The residual spent grains from the fermentation process in both beverage alcohol and ethanol production are dried in steam tube dryers and sold as high nutrient animal feed.

In the manufacture of soda ash, steam tube dryers are used to convert sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate – where CO2 is generated, captured in the dryer, and returned to the process to make more feedstock. Direct heat drying technologies would contaminate the valuable CO2 by-product.

Waste paper sludge which for decades had been sent to landfill is now being dried in Louisville Dryer’s steam tube dryers and returned to the boiler as fuel.

View our extensive list of customer products which our steam tube dryers and our other types of drying systems have heated, dried and processed over the years.

replacement dryer being installed by louisville dryer company crew

Pictured Above – Louisville Dryer Company steam tube dryers are frequently selected by distilleries and other grain processors across the country.

SECURE YOUR GREEN DRYING SOLUTION

To learn how your company can benefit from the green technologies of a steam tube dryer, watch our video series here and call our applications engineers today at 800-735-3163.

Five Important Questions From the Petrochemical Industry

Five Important Questions From the Petrochemical Industry

When it comes to rotary drying equipment in the petrochemical industry, versatility is key. Such a substantial investment requires research and careful consideration. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons, as well as heed advice from experts on the subject. 

Louisville Dryers have been a production asset for the petrochemical industry for over 130 years. As the industry has changed and evolved over that time, Louisville Dryers have changed right along with it. Always improving aspects of our design and equipment, we focus on meeting the ever-changing needs of petrochemical production.

Industries considering the investment and commitment of a petrochemical product dryer can glean wisdom and knowledge from our Senior Applications Engineer, John Robertson. John has worked in the industry for over 35 years and is an outstanding asset to the Louisville Dryer team and our customers. 

Recently we asked John to answer five top questions customers often have about our company and petrochemicals. John offers the answers to these questions with simplicity and expertise.

  

The Petrochemical Industry’s Five Questions 

As answered by Senior Applications Engineer, John Robertson

What role does Louisville Dryer play in the production of petrochemicals?

Louisville Dryers have been synonymous with rotary drying equipment for over a century. We do everything from the designing, manufacturing, and installation of a variety of rotary process equipment for the petrochemical industry. 

Our expansive areas of expertise include: 

Each piece of equipment is specifically and uniquely designed to accommodate the mechanics and the processes of the product application.

What makes our Steam Tube Dryer, in particular, well-equipped for the petrochemical industry?

When it comes to longevity and saving money over the life of the equipment, it all comes back to precision and efficiency. 

Our Steam Tube Dryer is the most efficient type of rotary dryer because of its steam-filled tube heating source. The steam is only replaced when heat is transferred to the product itself, so the amount of heat loss from the system is very minimal. Our Steam Tube Dryer allows for slow gentle drying, so the moisture that’s physically held within the particles of the product can move to the surface and dry. 

The sheer versatility of our Steam Tube Dryer makes it a home run for the vast operations of the petrochemical industry. It can be used in many different applications and can be modified to suit specific plant or product needs. 

 

What unique capabilities make Louisville Dryer a good fit for working within the petrochemical industry?

Louisville Dryer designs and manufactures all of its equipment in various alloys to suit the nature and product of the plant. Standard stainless steel, 304 and 316, duplex stainless steel, super stainless steel, as well as corrosion and heat resistant nickel alloys can be incorporated into our equipment. 

If a product needs an inert atmosphere or if a solvent is being driven off and needs to be recovered, we can design special seals for the feed and discharge hoods that limit the leakage of the ambient atmosphere or the loss of solvent. 

We can also design the dryer to use a steam pressure of up to 450 PSIG if a chemical reaction needs to take place. Our Steam Tube Dryer can also purely be used as a heat source to bring a product from one temperature to another.

 

How can companies in the petrochemical industry save money by going with Louisville Dryer?

Our exceptional quality. 

Louisville Dryer’s commitment to quality control is the number one factor that saves companies money over going with another brand of dryers. 

Our clients demand reliability, and we give it to them. All of our equipment is designed and manufactured with extreme precision and robust components. Our goal is to run continuous operations that meet or exceed our clients’ production needs. We are focused on less maintenance, less loss of production, and less equipment replacement. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Look at our proven record. Louisville Dryer has equipment in the field that has been in operation for 50 years, and we will continue to uphold our reputation of reliability for years to come. 

 

How can someone get the best insights and information about their specific petrochemical needs?

 

Contact us. The Louisville Dryer team is open and willing to share our knowledge with you. This is a substantial investment, so we want to feel confident about your decision and make sure you get it right. 

Our employees have hundreds of years of combined experience in mechanical design, process design, manufacturing, application, and service of industrial rotary processing equipment, especially dryers. You can speak with us directly and even schedule a site visit. It starts with making a phone call to us at (800) 735-3163 or by taking a moment to fill out our online contact form.

 

See Our Petrochemical Case Study: