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Why upgrade from hydraulic cylinders to pneumatic cylinders?
Older, hydraulic cylinders use a sophisticated hydro-pneumatic control system, which provides lubrication to the ram bearing, as well as providing a balanced pressure characteristic to the oil/gas interface.
The fact that a hydraulic ram, no matter how good the sealing, and/or wiping thereof, will always be wet, means that any ingress of dust to the extended, exposed portion of the ram, can adhere to the ram, allowing the possibility of grit being transported back into the front oil seal, resulting in premature wear, and subsequent oil leakage.
This becomes an environmental as well as a fire hazard.
Records obtained from various clients, show that repair frequencies on the older type Ball Mill Cylinders can vary between 9 and 18 months.
Comparative results, show an average life expectancy of 4 years between repairs for bag cylinders.
Based on 2010 repair costs, which would escalate to approx. $1,500.00 repair at to-day’s prices. The repair cost over an 8-year period, assuming a life cycle of 12 months’ average/cylinder, would amount to $85,000.00 for an 8 Cylinder Mill.
If Bag Cylinders were to be installed, at to-day’s cost of approx. $1,000.00/repair, repair costs would amount to $16,000.00 for an 8-cylinder mill, assuming that each Bag Cylinder would require repair every 4 years.
It can be seen, that the price of one mill installation of eight cylinders, one control panel and new reticulation, would be recouped in a matter of 1,9 8 year cycles, in repair costs alone.
Another benefit of the bag cylinder installation, is the fact that the larger effective operating area, achieved by the configuration of the bag cylinder itself, allows for lower operating pressures in the system, thus reducing the stresses in the pipe work, panel and other components.
As an aside to the above, we have had instances of cylinders working for 8 and even as many as 10 years without maintenance, although we admit that this is nowhere near the expected norm, but it makes for interesting conjecture.
Upgrading is easy!
The operation of the pneumatic cylinders is, to all intents and purposes, similar to that of the older hydraulic cylinders. It is simply a case of removing the old cylinders, the old pipe work and control cabinet, and replacing the bag cylinders, new pipe work and new control cabinet.
All the Babcock & Wilcox mill in the UK have been converted from hydraulic cylinders to pneumatic cylinders.