Tag Archives: corrugated metal hose

Three Affordable Ways to Upgrade Your Piping System

picture of piping system

Can I Afford to Upgrade my Piping System Now?

With everything going on in the world right now a lot of companies are prioritizing finding ways to reduce costs. Budgets are being cut, projects are getting canceled, and everyone is trying to find ways to do more with less. Given this context, it’s possible that piping system upgrades and routine maintenance may be overlooked depending on the extent of other repairs and maintenance needed in a facility. However, neglecting a piping system update can carry risks of failure and corresponding downtime, which can ultimately cost a facility. Luckily, there are a few ways to upgrade a piping system that can save time and labor and result in an overall gain for the customer. Let’s take a look at some of the options available when updating a piping system and how they can help a facility successfully balance budget and performance. Continue reading Three Affordable Ways to Upgrade Your Piping System

Can I Use a Metal Hose for Food Applications?

That’s a Tricky Question…

A question we are frequently asked by our customers is “Can I use a metal hose for food-related applications?” It’s a simple question, but the answer isn’t always so simple.

The quick answer is no, metal hose generally cannot be used for the transfer of food-grade materials. This has nothing to do with the capabilities of the manufacturer or the quality of materials used in the hose. On the contrary, while the steel used may indeed be “food-grade,” the corrugations in the hose can potentially trap food media and make it difficult to clean the hose to the proper standard. Instead, you typically see PTFE hoses in these types of applications. The only exception to this would be if the media is at a temperature high enough to kill off any bacteria, which may allow for a metal hose to be used in some cases.

However, just because metal hose generally cannot be used to transfer food-grade materials does not mean that there are not applications for metal hose elsewhere in production! You just have to know where to look for them…

Metal Hose for Food Industry Applications

Clean in Place Systems

A key component of food production that requires the use of metal hose is clean-in-place (CIP) systems. Clean-in-place systems serve as a way to clean and sanitize the internal surface of a piping system as part of the routine cleaning of the production line or when production is being changed over to a different product. These systems utilize steam and chemicals (such as sodium hydroxide) to clean the piping system, which can be hard on any non-metal hoses that are used in the system. Instead, non-metal hoses are removed to be cleaned separately and metal hoses are installed in their place during the cleaning process. These metal hoses are better suited to handle the high heat and caustic cleaning solution running through the system, making metal hose an optimal solution for this application. Continue reading Can I Use a Metal Hose for Food Applications?

Don’t Get Burned with the Wrong Hydraulic Hose

picture of hot cokeIn modern steelmaking, heat rules. Heat changes coal into coke, melts ore into liquid iron, and converts iron into steel. All of these products must be transported from one process to the next, and hydraulic power units (HPUs) are employed to provide that power. Hydraulic hoses provide flexible connections between the HPUs and the equipment they power, and this is where problems can arise. Heat and hydraulics do not mix, and hydraulic power systems can experience premature hose failures unless a proactive approach is taken.

Most steel is made using one of two processes. The first is an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF), which uses scrap steel as the main feedstock. The scrap is charged into the furnace, where huge electrodes create an arc of electricity that melts the charge so it can then be refined and processed into the desired alloy. The second process is an integrated mill, where Blast Furnaces supply liquid iron to a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF). Blast Furnaces primarily use coke, iron ore, and limestone as feedstock.

Worldwide, the Blast Furnace/Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF/BOF) process accounts for 3/4 of all steel produced, while in the U.S.A. this process only accounts for only about a third of steelmaking capacity. The majority of steel made in the U.S. is produced using EAFs, due to the economies they provide. Nevertheless, integrated mills won’t disappear any time soon, so it’s important to understand where hoses work…and where they can fail.

Before Coke, There Was Coal

In an integrated steel mill, liquid iron is the precursor of refined steel. Liquid iron is made in a blast furnace, using iron ore, limestone, and coke. This coke is produced using a special grade of coal called metallurgical coal, or coking coal. Metallurgical coal is usually a blend of coal from various sources, in order to achieve the correct content of energy, ash, and moisture. This coal is then conditioned and put into coke ovens, where multiple ovens are typically positioned side-by-side, forming a coke oven battery. The coal is then heated without consuming it completely by controlling the air intake. This converts the coal into hard, porous, carbon-rich coke.
The doors to the coke ovens, the dampers controlling air intake, and the mechanism that pushes the coke out of the oven are typically operated using hydraulics, and if the hot coke falls onto a rubber or thermoplastic hydraulic hose, bad things can happen. Corrugated metal hydraulic hoses are great for this application, as they resist the effects of orange-hot coke, and provide the best combination of high working pressures and great flexibility, all at a great value.

Quench Your Thirst

Once this coke is ready for use, it is pushed out of the coke oven and taken to a quenching tower for cooling. Special rail cars called quench cars are used to take the hot coke to the quench tower, where it is cooled using water or an inert gas, such as nitrogen. The cooled coke is then released from the quench car using hydraulically actuated dumping mechanisms, where hose damage can occur if hot coke drops onto the hydraulic hoses. Some systems use mechanical conveying systems to transfer the coke to the quenching mechanism, and high ambient heat conditions may be present here as well. Metal hoses provide rugged resistance to these extreme operating environments.

When It’s Hot

Moving on to the steelmaking side of things, there are many more applications where metal hoses outperform non-metallic options, from the conversion furnaces to the casters to hot strip mills. Whether conveying water, steam, or hydraulic fluid, corrugated metal hose provides long-lasting, worry-free service in hot, corrosive conditions. Metal hoses do not suffer from cracking or blistered covers like rubber hoses can, and don’t have any permeation issues. Metal hose assemblies feature a welded construction, providing fire resistance and positive fitting retention. External covers can be added to protect metal hose from molten splash. Insulating sleeves can be used to protect the media being conveyed from high ambient heat radiating from newly-cast steel. Metal expansion joints can replace cooling hoses on the EAF roof, reducing failures and leaks. High-pressure hoses like our PressureMax HP are great for hydraulic electrode clamping systems, pinch rolls, and descaling hoses. The list goes on and on.

Hose Master is the industry expert in solving the toughest applications in the harshest environments. We can help you identify problems in the field, but we don’t stop there. Our application expertise, engineering assistance, and expansive product line maximize service life, reliability, and safety. When the heat is on, let Hose Master help you by providing the best products with unbeatable service. Give us a call today.

The original article was written by Frank Caprio, Corporate Trainer – Major Market Specialist at Hose Master.

For more information about metal hose products or to see which metal hose may be a good fit for your application, please contact Gallagher Fluid Seals today.

How Would you Handle Corrosion in your Steel Mill?

Addressing New Issues

Steel mill operators don’t like to have downtime problems, in fact they can’t afford to.  They want to run as much as possible, and as efficiently as possible.  Production equals dollars.  As problems pop up that cause unplanned downtime or upset production (and subsequently get addressed) over the years, they’ve driven the industry to continue to change and evolve as a whole.  So the mills of today don’t have the same issues that mills did in the past.  You can’t as easily say “Hey, we saw this exact same problem up the street on their furnace!” the way you may have been able to 50 years ago.

That doesn’t mean that mills still don’t run into issues, they just tend to be a bit more personalized. And when you have a unique issue, you tend to get a unique solution.  A mill will do its best to solve its own problems, yet each mill has their own idiosyncrasies.  When these “little” problems pop up, the mill has to find a way to deal with it.  When it comes to problem solving in mills, there are two main schools of thought: get to the real core of the problem and fix it as completely as possible for a lasting solution, or stabilize the issue and control it through regular coordinated maintenance.  Both strategies have the same end goal: avoid as much unplanned downtime as possible by solving the problem.  But which strategy is correct?

2 Schools of Thought

We see this all the time with hoses and expansion joints.  To illustrate this issue, let’s use two real-life examples: Mill A and Mill B were both using Hose Master’s Annuflex hose assemblies to transfer cooling water on the caster and experiencing similar hose failures due to corrosion from an unknown source. Both Mills had seen unplanned downtime due to the failure of these hoses, but each had a different philosophy on how to solve to the problem.

“Mill A” takes the long-term calculated approach.  They analyze it, looking at everything regarding the application to isolate the underlying issue.  Surrounding piping, surrounding equipment, the hose construction, the media inside the hose…and discover that the mold powder being used during the casting is mixing with cooling water spray, and floating down onto the outside of the hoses, causing them to corrode.  In the short term, they made piping adjustments and redesigned their Annuflex hose assemblies to be made out of ChemKing which uses a nobler alloy (Hastelloy C276) to resist the corrosion, and add an external guard to help prevent particulate from coming into contact with the hose in the first place.  They then plan to install a metal shield around the casting segment where the mold powder is originating to prevent it from escaping and damaging the surrounding equipment in the future.  This solution is more time consuming and more expensive, but the issue is solved for good and removes the need for regular maintenance!

“Mill B” sees the same problem for what it is at face value: just a hose failure.  Because the hoses have been allowed to stay in service for an extended period of time, they seek to remedy the maintenance issue of hoses failing unexpectedly. Because the mill has a planned maintenance outage every 6 months, scheduling the hoses to be replaced regularly at this time will remove the issue of unplanned failures.  In order to increase the service life and guarantee performance in-between the planned maintenance outages, they make the lateral switch from Annuflex to Masterflex.  The added flexibility ensures that all the assemblies they use on the caster will be flexible enough regardless of the slight differences in piping configuration,  and that the hoses will not fail due to fatigue. The standard alloy construction can withstand the corrosion long enough to survive between outages, so by replacing them all at once they now have taken control of the service life issue.  Because of the more economical construction, they can easily afford to replace the hoses at their planned intervals and avoid any further lost production!

So, Which Solution is Right?

picture of steel mill

Well…they both are! Both mills found a way to keep their production up-and-running that makes sense to them!  The hose issue plays a very small part in the overall production flow of the mill, and how they strategize and organize their overall approach to maximizing production and uptime takes into account a huge number of variables.  When helping to solve these problems, manufacturers like Hose Master and our distributors have to take these differences into account.  There’s more than one way to skin a cat; and what may work for one mill, may be an unacceptable solution in another. How do you handle your corrosion issues?

For those that do, Hose Master has continued to be a trusted partner in this industry and helped countless mills with their hose applications for decades.  If you need assistance for metal hoses or expansion joints in a steel mill, contact us at insidesales@hosemaster.com or 216-481-2020 and we will be happy to assist you!

The original article was written by Erik Kane and can be found on Hosemaster’s website.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is a preferred distributor of HoseMaster. To learn more about how we can help with your MRO solutions, contact Gallagher today.

PTFE Liner for Corrugated Metal Hose

Gallagher Fluid Seals is a distributor of Hose Master corrugated metal hose and expansion joints.  With the largest in-house fabrication footprint in the U.S. of any metal hose manufacturer (350,000 square feet of manufacturing space) and 80+ ASME IX Certified welders on staff,  Hose Master delivers the highest quality products for the most demanding applications.

The following article can be found on Hose Master’s Insights Blog.

Should I Install a PTFE Liner Inside a Corrugated Metal Hose?

by Frank Caprio, Dean of Hose Master University
Corrugated Metal Hose
See the hose peeking out between the collars? Me neither.

We get various requests from our customers for non-traditional hose assembly constructions that they believe will help them solve tough application problems. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of these, and some are pretty inventive, even if they’re not the best solution. Some other proposed solutions … not so good!

One especially challenging application that can drive people to consider specialized solutions is when the hose is exposed to corrosive media or environments. Typically, corrosion can be avoided simply by selecting an alloy that is resistant to chemical attack. However, certain refinery applications (such as those found in Cokers or FCCUs) entail operating conditions where some manufacturers recommend a special corrugated metal hose assembly which has been fitted with a liner made from smooth PTFE tubing. While this special construction sounds good in theory, it can create more problems than it solves. Let’s take a closer look at PTFE-lined corrugated hoses.

Continue reading PTFE Liner for Corrugated Metal Hose