REVIEW THE CASE STUDY THAT LED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR NEW EXTENDED LIFE ELBOW
Our valued customers asked, and Ultra Tech engineers delivered! We are proud to announce the new Ultra Tech XLE (Extended Life Elbow).
Ultra Tech has been solving problems related to pipeline transport of abrasive materials for over 30 years. In that time, some of the best solutions have come from collaboration with our valued customers. We have consulted on pipeline design to lessen abrasion trouble spots and engineered our UT 600 AR pipe to be one of the best-performing solutions in the market. Our experience has taught us that some challenges require new solutions. Below is a case study that provides a quick snapshot of how Ultra Tech came to develop the new Ultra Tech XLE.
Valmet sand foundry in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has been an Ultra Tech customer for over five years. Pneumatic sand transport is one of the most difficult applications for any pipeline system. It involves abrasive material moving at high speed, which creates both sliding and impact wear. Ultra Tech has successfully converted numerous sections of their foundry sands pipeline to UT 600 AR steel pipes, resulting in significantly improved durability and cost savings.
Despite the overall successful pipe conversions, there remained a few short, 90-degree elbows where our UT 600 could not be installed. This is because it is not possible to form an induction-hardened pipe into a short, 90-degree bend.
The Ultra Tech R&D team, led by John Schantz, decided to tackle the problem with a new solution. Through research and internal testing in our state-of-the-art Metallurgical Lab, we identified a steel chemistry with high manganese content as the ideal starting material. The benefit of this steel chemistry is that it actually hardens over time as it absorbs impact! Our engineering team designed a 90-degree bend that fits within most existing Schedule 80 pipeline layouts, but it is cast with maximum wall thickness on the extrados of the pipe to improve durability where needed most. When paired with standard 150# split flanges for easy installation and reusability, the new 4” Ultra Tech XLE (extended life elbow) was ready for field testing.
Ultra Tech XLE was installed at Valmet at the top of their silo pipeline that receives sand deliveries. It was in place for a full year and transported over 4 million pounds of sand! When inspected at the one-year mark, it still had over half of its wall thickness in place.
Ultra Tech is excited to bring this product to market in 3”, 4”, 5” and 6”, Schedule 80 sizes. If you have an abrasive material pipeline challenge, please contact Ultra Tech to learn how we can solve it for you.