Choosing the right industrial dampers is critical for industrial applications

Louver Damper

Industries such as the manufacture of steel, cement, glass and electrical power require facilities capable of withstanding severe conditions, where raw materials are manipulated in processes that call for extreme heat, stress and pressure. Industrial ventilations systems demand industrial dampers capable of controlling waste heat, particulate matter discharge and other byproducts of these industrial processes. 

In these highly-regulated industries, FlexCom offers a variety of solutions to meet your industrial damper needs. FlexCom industrial dampers also have applications across petrochemical, mining, heat recovering and other fields.

Industrial dampers and pollution control

Butterfly DamperThe soot and smoke emitted during industrial processes contain particles so tiny that the largest of these is 30 times smaller than the width of the average human hair. U.S. environmental regulations require containment and management of these pollutants to prevent them from entering breathable air and leading to serious health problems. Dampers in industrial airflow systems regulate the transport of these VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, to an abatement device such as an oxidizer. These dampers are often named by the functions they perform such as fresh air damper, bypass damper and process diverter damper. The type of pollutants, volume, and exhaust temperatures all impact the size, construction materials and insulation for an industrial damper. Different actuators allow you to control airflow either automatically or manually when necessary.

FlexCom’s louver dampers are equipped  to handle heavy duty applications, including high-volume flow and exhaust from gas turbines. This type of damper can be supplied with seals to minimize leakage. They’re often used on fan inlets to aid fan performance. You can select electric, pneumatic, hydraulic or manual actuators to suit your unique needs. They’re built to withstand extreme operating temperatures up to 1500° F. They shut off to restrict airflow up to 99 percent. And, they’re versatile enough to handle less severe applications such as system balancing and industrial ventilation.

Energy efficiency and other applications

In addition to controlling pollution, properly functioning dampers regulate the level of air entering the oxidizer. The proper damper will minimize leakage and prevent the oxidizer from being overworked, which will reduce fuel usage and boost plant performance.

Industrial dampers also assist in recovery of waste heat from industrial processes. Recovering heat increases a plant’s efficiency, reduces the consumption of fuel and reduces waste. It repurposes heat that would be otherwise lost. These heat recovery systems secure energy from hot exhaust and gases exiting turbines and incinerators, then reuse that energy to heat other materials such as oil or asphalt. Industrial dampers are crucial in these systems, and they’re as varied as the systems themselves.

FlexCom’s butterfly dampers are suited for heavy duty heat recovery as well as air quenching applications. Air quenching is used in metal heat treatment where a stream of air is directed over metal to cool it down from above its critical temperature. The metal must be cooled at a uniform rate to prevent cracking or deformation and the air stream must also be kept moisture free, so the type and composition of the damper regulating the air is significant. Butterfly dampers can control or isolate heat as needed. Like the louver dampers, the butterfly dampers come with a variety of actuators: electric, pneumatic, hydraulic or manual. They’re designed to withstand temperatures up to 2000° F and seal off air flow to 99.75%.

Usage in cement, asphalt industries

LouverIndustrial dampers in conjunction with proper ventilation systems can regulate air performance control and perform isolation/shutdown operations. This is necessary to maximize efficiency by trapping hot or cool air in a particular zone of a ventilation system. A shutdown damper can cut off the air flow to a part of a system to allow that system to be overhauled or cleaned. These dampers work with air dilution systems or local exhaust systems, depending on the needs of the manufacturer.

Side gate dampers are ideally suited to isolate portions of industrial ventilation systems for maintenance or for system performance. Their stainless steel or inconel gate seals are capable of shutting off flow up to 99.5% These industrial dampers operate at temperatures up to 1000° F

Industrial dampers can control the flow of dust and pollutants into baghouses, as in the cement or asphalt industries. These are receptacles of industrial by-products such as dust. The release of overheated discharge into baghouses is among the top reasons for their failure. It’s paramount for industrial facilities to select the proper dampers to prevent long overages of undue heat. Over time baghouse air filters degrade, fail and lead to costly shutdowns. Flexcon’s butterfly dampers can maintain the life of a baghouse. They also regulate draft from smokestacks by allowing for automatic airflow in just one direction while preventing air from flowing back to its source.

The importance of industrial dampers

The importance of reliable industrial dampers can’t be overstated. Damper malfunction can result in unplanned expenses, loss of production, and even catastrophic failure at industrial plants. A damper used to prevent combustion of potentially explosive compounds must perform its function or the consequences can be dire. Malfunctioning dampers can negatively impact multiple aspects of plant environment and operational safety. Care must be taken to select the proper damper and to make sure the damper is properly installed and maintained. These steps will help avoid corrosion, erosion, or material deposits on the damper.

The functionality, durability and maintenance needs of industrial dampers are as varied as the industries that rely on them. Contact FlexCom to explore the various applications as pertains to your field. You can expect on-time delivery, superior service and precision-engineered components of industrial dampers from FlexCom.