Cylinder Heat-Transfer Units Sometimes called "can" dryers or drying rolls, these devices are differentiated from drum dryers in that they are used for solids in flexible continuous-sheet form, whereas drum dryers are used for liquid or paste forms. The construction of the individual cylinders, or drums, is similar in most respects to that of drum dryers. Special designs are used to obtain uniform distribution of steam within large drums when uniform heating across the drum surface is critical.
A cylinder dryer may consist of one large cylindrical drum, such as the so-called Yankee dryer, but more often it comprises a number of drums arranged so that a continuous sheet of material may pass over them in series. Typical of this arrangement are Fourdrinier-paper-machine dryers, cellophane dryers, slashers for textile piece goods and fibers, etc. The multiple cylinders are arranged in various ways. Generally they are staggered in two horizontal rows. In any one row, the cylinders are placed close together. The sheet material contacts the undersurface of the lower rolls and passes over the upper rolls, contacting 60 to 70 percent of the cylinder surface. The cylinders may also be arranged in a single horizontal row, in more than two horizontal rows, or in one or more vertical rows. When it is desired to contact only one side of the sheet with the cylinder surface, unheated guide rolls are used to conduct the sheeting from one cylinder to the next. For sheet materials that shrink on processing, it is frequently necessary to drive the cylinders at progressively slower speeds through the dryer. This requires elaborate individual electric drives on each cylinder.
Cylinder dryers usually operate at atmospheric pressure. However, the Minton paper dryer is designed for operation under vacuum. The drying cylinders are usually heated by steam, but occasionally single cylinders may be gas-heated, as in the case of the Pease blueprinting machine. Upon contacting the cylinder surface, wet sheet material is first heated to an equilibrium temperature somewhere between the wet-bulb temperature of the surrounding air and the boiling point of the liquid under the prevailing total pressure. The heat-transfer resistance of the vapor layer between the sheet and the cylinder surface may be significant.
These cylinder units are applicable to almost any form of sheet material that is not injuriously affected by contact with steam-heated metal surfaces. They are used chiefly when the sheet possesses certain properties such as a tendency to shrink or lacks the mechanical strength necessary for most types of continuous-sheeting air dryers. Applications are to dry films of various sorts, paper pulp in sheet form, paper sheets, paperboard, textile piece goods and fibers, etc. In some cases, imparting a special finish to the surface of the sheet may be an objective.
The heat-transfer performance capacity of cylinder dryers is not easy to estimate without a knowledge of the sheet temperature, which, in turn, is difficult to predict. According to published data, steam temperature is the largest single factor affecting capacity. Overall evaporation rates based on the total surface area of the dryers cover a range of 3.4 to 23 kg water/(h-m2) [0.7 to 4.8 lb water/(hft2)].
The value of the coefficient of heat transfer from steam to sheet is determined by the conditions prevailing on the inside and on the surface of the dryers. Low coefficients may be caused by (1) poor removal of air or other noncondensables from the steam in the cylinders, (2) poor removal of condensate, (3) accumulation of oil or rust on the interior of the drums, and (4) accumulation of a fiber lint on the outer surface of the drums. In a test reported by Lewis et al. [Pulp Pap. Mag. Can., 22 (February 1927)] on a sulfite-paper dryer, in which the actual sheet temperatures were measured, a value of 187 W/(m2 °C) [33 Btu/(hft2°F)] was obtained for the coefficient of heat flow between the steam and the paper sheet.
Operating-cost data for these units are meager. Power costs may be estimated by assuming 1 hp per cylinder for diameters of 1.2 to 1.8 m (4 to 6 ft). Data on labor and maintenance costs are also lacking.
The size of commercial cylinder dryers covers a wide range. The individual rolls may vary in diameter from 0.6 to 1.8 m (2 to 6 ft) and up to 8.5 m (28 ft) in width. In some cases, the width of rolls decreases throughout the dryer in order to conform to the shrinkage of the sheet. A single-cylinder dryer, such as the Yankee dryer, generally has a diameter between 2.7 and 4.6 m (9 and 15 ft).
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