Periodically Check Your Rotary Kiln’s Gear and Pinion Alignment for Best Performance

Is the gear and pinion alignment in your rotary kiln up to spec?  If not, it could be doing damage to your kiln on every turn, as well as potentially throwing off the even application of heat within.

Rotary kilns are subject to incredible force and pressure, not to mention the huge weight of the kiln itself.  Entropy will inevitably take its toll, and elements will start to break down, or subtly shift in ways that will eventually cause problems.  Keeping a good stock of kiln spares on-hand can help facilitate repairs, but first, you need to identify the problem areas.

So, it’s critical to keep an eye on the gear and pinion alignment. Minor issues should be correctable with the kiln’s own adjustment screws, but if there are bigger problems, you need to know about them before they affect your workflow!

How To Inspect The Gear And Pinion System In Your Rotary Kiln

It is, of course, critical that the main gears run true, otherwise, they will throw off the operation of the entire kiln.  It’s a good idea to obtain a feeler gauge and check for uniform contact across all the teeth of the gears.

In many cases, this can also be checked visually – if the gears have pitch lines inscribed on them, which many kilns do have.  These pitch lines help you see how well-aligned each of the gears are.  When the kiln is cold, the pitch lines should be roughly 1/16″ apart, and when it is hot, they should either be even with each other or still very slightly separated.

However, they should never overlap.  Overlapping pitch lines means that the gears are out of alignment, so there will be unnecessary wear and strain on the gears with every rotation.  This could potentially even cause the gears to strip, in extreme cases.  If this occurs, it can sometimes be fixed by returning the kiln to its original position, then utilizing the adjusting screws to slightly change the alignment.

This could also be a symptom of the kiln itself having become misaligned, a topic we’ve covered previously for both horizontal and vertical kilns.

Need Kiln Spares?  Contact Kiln Technology Company

Kiln Technology Company is one of the world’s most trusted sources for kiln spares, sales, repairs, and decommissions.  Our decades in business gives us the experience edge.  Whatever your needs, contact us for help.