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Impact Energy Calculation Method

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CEMA STANDARD NO. 575-2000

Discussion

During the 2010 CEMA Engineering conference, solicitation was made for help simplifying the rating

method used in CEMA standard 575-2000. The request was to eliminate the force capacity rating of the

bed classes and only use the impact (potential) energy of the falling material to rate the classes. One

challenge is that the current method calculates the flowing force of a homogeneous stream of material

in pounds while the impact energy of the large lumps is measured in ft-lbs. These units are not

equivalent. Equations for converting the flowing force into an equivalent hypothetical lump mass were

needed.

In addition, experience has suggested to some CEMA accessory members that the flowing force was not

a large contributor to the impact energy delivered to the bed. Once converted to equivalent units,

perhaps the calculations would show the flowing force contribution could be neglected.

Purpose

This document presents a mathematical method for converting flowing force into an equivalent

hypothetical lump mass. It also opens a discussion whether this factor is of continued need in the CEMA

575-2000 standard.

Method

In the idealized case of a conveyor transfer point, potential energy of the material is converted into

kinetic energy by the force of gravity, which is then transformed into spring energy at maximum

deflection upon impact with the impact bed. In real life, energy is also absorbed by impact with chute

walls, impact with the belt, impact within the flowing stream of material, and hysteresis losses within

the flexible bed elements. For this discussion, the idealized case will be considered in which no energy is

assumed lost to those other events. Not only is it computationally simpler, but it also results in worst

case numbers for the rating of the bed.

By conservation of energy, potential energy of the falling material equals spring energy of the bed and

the energy equation can be written as:

1 2

( + ) =

2

Where:

g=gravitational acceleration ( 32.2 ft/sec2)

h=drop height (ft)

=bed deflection (ft)

k=bed spring rate (lbf/ft)

However, since bed deflection is small compared to the drop height (h) in conveyor applications, for

simplicity it will be ignored in the potential energy equations for the remainder of the document.

Using the existing formula from CEMA 575-2000 figure 4 for the impact force of a stream of material,

(The existing force equation uses a constant value of .1389 based on gravitational acceleration equal to

32 ft/sec. The value .1385 is calculated using 32.2 ft/sec.)

1

=

2

2

=

2

Substituting the flowing force equation into the energy equation yields:

1

= . 13852 2

2

= .

This equation calculates the hypothetically equivalent mass representing the impact energy of the

homogeneous flowing stream. It could be added to the largest lump mass and together with the height

used to score the duty class needed using the Impact Energy ratings in Table 1 of the CEMA 575-2000

publication.

However, an examination of the equation reveals that unless k is quite small, this value may be

negligible. An examination of reasonable k values for impact beds and their effects on this equivalent

value follows below.

Application

If we use the existing impact bed rating chart (Table 1 from 575-2000) and the conservation of energy

equation:

1 2 1

= =

2 2

It is interesting to plug the maximum impact energy and the maximum force values from table 1 of the

575-2000 standard into these equations. Maximum impact energy from the table is substituted for mgh

and maximum impact force from the table is substituted for F.

Medium duty: max deflection = 2.00 inches; k = 6000 lbf/inch

Heavy duty: max deflection = 2.82 inches; k = 6020 lbf/inch

Ironically, the Table 1 forces the light duty bed to have the stiffest spring constant. This is probably the

opposite of standard practice. It is also surprising that including both maximum impact energy and

maximum impact force in the standard leads to these design constraints. CEMA should consider

dropping the maximum impact force from the rating chart since it is potentially dictating design.

However, the calculated k values could be used as a reasonable baseline for estimating a typical k value

for impact beds which can now be plugged into the conversion equation. For the sake of argument,

assume k values fall somewhere between 3000 lbf/inch and 9000lbf/inch. The following graph

illustrates the contribution various tons per hour at different k values contribute to the equivalent

hypothetical lump weight.

The X axis is Q in tons per hour, the Y-axis is k in pounds-force/inch, and the Z-axis is the calculated lump

mass equivalent to the flow rate. From the graph and chart, the maximum equivalent lump size is 9.65

pounds for 6000 tph flow rate and a k value equal to 3000lbf/inch. It can also be seen that this

calculated lump mass is very small for flow rates up to 3000 tph. It is also observed that the lump mass

decreases as the k of the bed increases for the same flow rate.

Conclusion

It seems viable that impact bed classes could be rated solely based on impact energy capacity. If

adopted, there are three methods this investigation suggests.

1. Eliminate the flow rate component in the capacity calculation for Impact beds. The

contribution to the overall impact energy is small and well within the error encountered when

estimating the maximum lump size. The impact energy calculation is also an idealized freefall

and conservative. Real systems will absorb energy and probably exceed what the flow rate

calculated contribution would make.

2. Include the conversion equation and state it is only necessary for tonnages above 3000 tph.

Consult a CEMA member for the k value for your application if needed. This method

demonstrates that CEMA is aware of the flowing force and provides a guideline and calculation

method which demonstrates technical authority. Downside to this method is that the k value

still needs to be obtained for higher tonnage applications. Also, it may be seen as an obstacle to

competition since measuring the actual k value for a particular bed is difficult and costly.

3. Establish a minimum k value for each duty class of impact bed. This allows the rating

calculation to be performed entirely from data contained within the standard. This is probably

not dictating design since the physics of the application seem to be requiring at least a minimum

level. However, this option could be objectionable to CEMA members because verifying k values

are above the minimum level on existing product may be seen as unnecessary.

Brett DeVries P.E.

Flexco

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