Sometimes really cool projects fall your way. This giant stainless-steel air separator was one of them. A customer called asking if Taco made “custom” tanks, air separators, etc. Of course, Taco is capable of building virtually anything made of metal / steel that can be fabricated, and everything is ASTM certified. The customer needed a VERY large, custom air separator for a process application and the system required that the air separator be constructed entirely of stainless-steel.
Removing air and dirt from any hydronic system is critical to maximizing system efficiency and most importantly, for prolonging the life of the pumps and the rest of the equipment in the system. The project was a tall order, literally, but Taco was up to the task!
The design was based on Taco’s top-of-the-line 4900 series air and dirt separator with some very unusual dimensions; 132” (11 feet) tall and 66” (5.5 feet) in diameter. Flow requirements necessitated the tank to be 30” in diameter!
Once we had the requirements from the customer, we asked Taco engineering to provide design and full submittals, including drawings, pressure drop calculation and minimum / maximum conditions of the unit. After the submittals comments and design were finalized, the unit was released for fabrication using ½” wall, 304 stainless-steel. All work was performed in-house by Taco craftsman, using Taco equipment, including rolling the ½” wall steel on their own rolling equipment. Taco’s fabrication shop, certified welders and capabilities are second to none in the industry!
A Small COVID-19 Setback
The project began, just as the COVID-19 virus hit, requiring Taco to shut down briefly, then adjust to local (Massachusetts) state ordered production rules. This reduced the total weekly operating hours, limiting them to four-day shifts, and requiring sanitization of the entire facility at the end of each week to ensure the safety of their employees.
Despite this, Taco’s Fall River Massachusetts facility (the pumps and drives are made in Rhode Island) completed the fabrication, pressure tested the unit and shot-blasted it prior to shipping it. According to Anthony DeMoura, Taco’s Vice President of the Fabricated Products Division & PIFA Foundry Operations, this was the largest stainless-steel vessel they have ever made.
A specialized cartage company had to be used because the air separator weighed four tons! As you can see from the photos, the design, transportation, and install was a tremendous success! Everyone involved in the project pulled together in order to make this custom air separator and the unit was featured in this month’s Taco newsletter.
Need a custom piece of equipment for your project? Trust us to handle it successfully for you. Give us a call at 800-355-7061 to talk through your needs and get ideas on how to tackle it.