Why your ceramic lined steel piping

When rubber lined steel piping isn’t lasting the distance, we often see maintenance teams try ceramic lined steel pipe as an alternative.

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The ceramic tiles are 95% high alumina, and the bonding is high temperature epoxy adhesive up to 350oC. These kind of equipment with ceramic tiles lined in special structural shapes are suitable for the powder transport without tile falling off or aging working under 350oC for long time. The service life span is 4 to 5 times than normal steel equipment.

Equipment With Ceramic Tiles Lined In Special Structural Shapes Equipment With Ceramic Tiles Lined In Special Structural Shapes
Equipment With Ceramic Tiles Lined In Special Structural Shapes Equipment With Ceramic Tiles Lined In Special Structural Shapes Equipment With Ceramic Tiles Lined In Special Structural Shapes

Their thought process makes sense. Ceramic tiles give better sliding abrasion compared to rubber, so you should get longer wear life.

But, in practice, it doesn’t usually give them the performance increase they were looking for. In this article we’ll look at why that happens and show practical examples of how mining engineers have solved the problem.

Causes of ceramic tile failure

We have seen plenty of failed ceramic lined steel spools in our customer’s plants. They tell us that the most common problem is dislodged and debonded tiles.

The remaining tiles typically have plenty of wear life left, they just don’t always remain bonded to the pipe. Once they start dislodging in one spot, it’s only a matter of time before the whole spool fails.

They tell us that when the first tile lifts and peels away, the slurry erodes the remaining grout and works its way under the neighbouring tiles. This can then peel away whole sections of tiles, which exposes the bare steel, causing pipe failure.

Once a tile falls out, it leaves a hard edge. These ridges create turbulence, which can cause more problems downstream. Our customers also report that dislodged tiles can then get stuck in equipment like cyclones and pumps.

We received this photo from a site recently that clearly shows all of these issues. You can see that slurry has ripped entire sections of tiles away leaving the rest of the grout and steel pipe exposed.

Why does ceramic lined steel pipe fail like this?

In our experience, there are two main reasons why ceramic-lined steel fails like this:

  1. How it is manufactured
  2. Rigid steel pipe combined with rigid steel tiles can’t absorb impact and vibration

The manufacturing process & consistency

Manufacturing ceramic-line steel spools is a labour intensive, manual process.  As a result, our customers tell us that they find the quality of gluing and grouting varies significantly. The tiles in ceramic lined steel are glued in as individual tiles or strips. This can create ridges in the lining that chip or peel the tile and give the slurry openings to work its way under the tiles.

You can see that in this photo. One tile has already dislodged, and the grout around it is being eaten away. It is only a matter of time before more tiles go.

Slurry impact and absorption

Ceramic tiles have excellent wear resistance but they’re poor at absorbing impact. Rigid steel pipe also has no give. So, when slurry hits the pipe walls, (such as when there’s a change in fluid direction, tight bends, or turbulence) over time you get hot spots that bear the brunt. Vibration around pumps can also cause problems with the rigid combination of ceramic tiles and steel piping.

Applicable scope

These equipment with ceramic tiles lined in special structural shapes used for Pneumatic and Hydraulic Systems are suffering from high wear, high sliding and high impact, especially for the elbows. We can also design the custom pipe fittings and equipments to meet different working applications.

【H】 Ceramic lined pipe

Ceramic lined pipe is made through self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) technique.

【H】 Cast basalt lined steel pipe

Cast basalt lined steel pipe is composed by lined with cast basalt pipe, outside steel pipe and cement mortar filling between the two layers.

【H】 Ceramic Tile Lined Pipes

Ceramic tile lined pipes have very uniform coating of specially formulated ceramic material that is affixed to the inner of the pipe.

【H】 Rare earth alloy wear-resistant pipe

The material of the rare earth alloy wear-resistant pipe is ZG40CrMnMoNiSiRe, which is also the grade of rare earth alloy steel.

【H】 Tubes Erosion Shields

Tubes Erosion Shields are used to protect boiler tubing from the highly erosive effects of high temperatures and pressures thereby greatly extending tube life.

【H】 ASTM A213 T91 Alloy Tube

The ASTM A213 T91 seamless tubes are primarily used for boiler, superheater, and heat-exchanger.