Damper Application and News 

Edition 1

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Welcome to the first mailing of Damper Application and News.  This newsletter is for the users and suppliers of dampers for the flue and process gases.  With each mailing I will provide industry news and damper application information.  This edition has a little background on flue gas dampers.  The next mailing will cover some common failures in dampers.

If anyone has any ideas, or wish to contribute an article please send it to Damper Don.  Don Gladish of ACDC and Don Hager of DDI are the two original "Damper Don" of their time.  However, as they are retired, I don't think they will mind.  For Damper OEM's please check out www.damperdon.com as this page needs your input.

Please free free to forward this to anyone who might be interested in it.  There is a link at the end of the mailing that will allow you to unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive them.  This unsubscribe link will also let you subscribe to this mailing list.


Recent News

Clyde Bergemann Power Group Acquisition of Bachmann Industries Inc.

AUMA has New Larger Gearbox

AMF-Vulcan Seeks Expansion Joints and Damper Sales Engineer

Gabriel Engineering Celebrates 1st Year of Operation

If you have news to share, send information to Damper Don.


Ever wonder why a company will send more on dampers than the cost of your car, your house, or even every house on you block combined?  Let us give you a little background on flue gas dampers. 

Flue gas isolation and control equipment has progressed from simple fan control to critical process and man safe isolation applications.  With the increased importance of reliable damper equipment, the specifying Engineer is faced with no industry standards to evaluate equipment.  Failures of dampers have caused plant shutdowns, and many plants have invested hundreds of man-hours in their dampers to get them to work properly.   Buying heavy-duty dampers does not necessarily end problems as undersized actuators, binding, and seal failures are common on all types of dampers.  Many of the FGD dampers installed during the 70's have been replaced at great expenses. 

Failures of dampers can have a serious effect on station safety, on unit capacity or unit availability, and on plant environment.  In spite of clear evidence of this, dampers were until recently a neglected area of design.  Because dampers appeared to be part of sheet-metal ducting or breeching, their selection, construction details, and installation were often left to the contractor who was bidding on gas and air ducting.  These firms with structural and civil background had not developed the mechanical background necessary for dampers. 

Contracts for the ducting were frequently not let until late in the project at a time when effects of inflation, errors, and initial over optimism were forcing economics on the project.  In addition, low price dampers seemed to work and fail at about the same rates as misapplied high price ones.  Apparently few Engineers knew or cared about the basics or the intricacies of damper design and installation. 

Several operating factors in recent years have developed an even more serious situation for damper, however.  First, unit size increases, calling for larger dampers.  Second, the need to improve the poor availability record of large generating units indicated more on-line inspection and work on failed parallel equipment.  Third, the trend to coal, and to poorer grades of coal, meant more ash and corrosives in gas streams.  Fourth, flue-gas desulphurization required the addition of chemical plants to boilers, and required ducting and dampers that would resist corrosion, erosion, and heavy, sticky deposits. 

Under pressure of widespread damper failures, engineering and operating staffs have been forced to take more interest in damper technology.  A damper, consisting of light plate and sheet metal, will not in the foreseeable future be a true "machine" with rigid, machined elements and close tolerances.  Instead, analytic skill and application of lessons from field failures will be what will make dampers a cost-effective and reliable component. 

When considering who to buy your next damper from, look at their experience; as a company and the individuals working on your project.  Consider many firms have a niche and/or comfort zone.  Quality low price equipment that works is available and can be yours with some self education and proper evalutaion.