Pulp and paper plants in the future may operate at lower energy levels as the result of a new joint technology developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Swagelok Company of Solon, Ohio.
ORNL researchers Vinod Sikka, Dane Wilson, Jun Qu and Peter Blau of the laboratory's Industrial Technologies Program have conducted collaborative research on the durability of stainless steel alloys that were treated with the Swagelok- developed low-temperature colossal supersaturation method -- a process that has hardened surfaces four and five times the normal level while not compromising their resistance to corrosion.
This hardened surface has been implemented in pump impellers undergoing severe wear operation at the Sonoco paperboard plant in Newport, Tenn.
The impellers in the plant are working at three times the life of regular impellers with an annual energy savings of 56 million BTUs. The funding source is DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Industrial Technologies.
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