Avoid rotary valve jams with adjustable shear protectors

Posted by Paul Bowman on
ACS Valves September Blog Header

When your grandma makes jam, you get delicious toast for breakfast. When your rotary valve jams, you lose time.

When the Hulk smashes stuff, you get a great comic book. When your material gets smashed, you waste money.

Shear protectors don’t make jam or write comics, but they do keep your valve from jamming up and prevent material from getting crushed in the clearances. Adjustable shear protectors do you one better: they give you the flexibility to adjust material flow as needed.

To understand how that benefits your material processing operation, let’s back up for a moment and talk about fill capacity.

Don’t overstuff your pockets

Material jams can damage the rotor or break it altogether — not to mention the costly downtime as you clean up the mess. While a variety of situations can lead to jams, they tend to happen more often when the material has a uniform shape and flows smoothly, almost like water.

For instance, if you quickly convey lots of tiny pellets through a valve with a large inlet, you’ll have a bad time — the pellets will accumulate, overfill the valve and jam up in the space between the rotor and housing (i.e. the clearances).

That’s why we always recommend paying attention to fill capacity in your valve. You should maintain a specific fill capacity based on factors such as material shape and size, equipment and conveying speed. Keep monitoring the fill to make sure everything flows smoothly.

Keep material in good shape

Fine-tuning the fill capacity is pretty simple: just limit the amount of material that flows into the valve and you’re set. It’s also important to make sure your setup isn’t crushing, shearing or otherwise deforming your material. That’s where a shear protector comes in handy.

Shear protectors are optional accessories on ACS rotary valves, and we recommend them in any application that’s prone to jamming. We see this mainly in the plastics industry, but it also works well with sawdust and similar materials.

The shear protector comes in different shapes and sizes to fit standard valves. It restricts the inlet size and uses a wiper blade to keep material away from the rotor tips.

Adjust inlet size on the fly

Then you have the adjustable shear protector. While the standard accessory gives you a fixed inlet size, its adjustable counterpart lets you manually control the size as you see fit.

Let’s say you process the same material in one conveying line, but in different shapes or sizes. In cases like these, adjust the fasteners to make the opening bigger or smaller.

When we hear about manufacturers overfilling rotor pockets, causing jams and damaging the product, we get it — it’s an easy mistake to make. It’s also easy to prevent with an adjustable shear protector and a bit more knowledge about the proper fill capacities for your application.

We’ll get you out of a jam

Ask our team about adjustable shear protectors and add flexibility to your operation. If you need fast technical support or recommendations to improve your rotary valve’s efficiency, we’re just a phone call away.

Categories: Difficult Products , Technical Support