Boiler tube maintenance is a time-consuming process for many industries dependent upon extensive heating and cooling technologies. Some boilers contain thousands of boiler tube bends that must be separated, inspected and, where necessary, replaced to ensure energy efficiency while preventing downtime. Industries affected by this issue include mining and energy, primary processing and manufacture, oil and gas processing as well as food, beverage and chemical industries.
The inflatable Pronal flexible lifting cushions from Air Springs Supply are used to part the pipes to replace defective components during programmed maintenance to maintain optimum system reliability.
In a specific instance, Pronal cushions measuring 1020mm x 320m and exerting up to 24 tons of initial force at a maximum of 7 bar were quickly deployed to repair in-service problems in boilers, each incorporating extensive piping with 2000 bends. Routine maintenance established that at least 10% of the bends needed replacement. This major undertaking benefitted greatly from the increased efficiency and safety delivered by the Pronal cushions.
According to National Sales and Marketing Manager of Air Springs Supply, Mr James Maslin, the work simply involved inserting the Pronal bag in between the bends and inflating them to smoothly open up the gap required. Once inflated, maintenance staff inserted padding to secure the gap for safety, and went about their work. The new operation was completed with more safety and in about 20% of the time required previously.
Mr Maslin says the highly diversified range of lifting cushions provides an easily transported and cost-efficient alternative to hydraulic actuation and craneage across a wide range of industries.
The flexible lifting bags are used to perform various mechanical functions such as pushing, pressing, guiding, clamping, blocking, damping, lifting, moving, wedging and materials handling. Since they have no sliding seals, the lifting bags are ideal for high reliability applications in lightweight process lines or for mobile operations in construction, engineering, mining and maintenance.
Key features of Pronal flexible lifting bags:
- Manufactured from plastomer and elastomer coated fabrics vulcanized in a vacuum at 140ºC
- Designed for loads up to 70 tons to perform various mechanical functions
- Easy to integrate into mechanical systems such as presses, moulds, conveyors, handling robots, lifting tables and other machinery
- Compact when deflated for easy transport and storage
- Reduced overall dimensions allow use where small gaps (down to 20mm) are required
- Very easy to adapt to tasks, requiring minimal setup
- No costly additional equipment required where standard factory air or mobile compressed air is available
- Available in standard square and rectangular shapes (100 to 1000mm side dimension), one or more stages, and up to 7 bar inflation pressure (12 models)
- Customised rectangular, tubular or round shapes of diverse sizes available on order
- Multiple accessories available to adapt equipment to different industrial, engineering and physical requirements