Support plates are provided to physically support the cumulative weight of the random/structured packings and the operating “liquid hold-up” in the packed bed. Support plates are shaped and designed to provide maximum open area and minimal pressure drop. Factors that influence the choice and design of the support plate include the column diameter, design loads (mechanical and hydraulic), packing type, liquid hold-up and system corrosivity.
Gas injection support plates used extensively in random packed beds, provide separate pathways for gas and liquid, thus reducing pressure drop across the support plate. These are the preferred type of random packing support plate and are used in majority of process applications. An available light duty support plate is used only for very small columns and where mechanical and hydraulic loading is not severe.
All support plates rest directly on a ledge/support ring since the weight of the packing is usually sufficient to keep the support plate in place. If required however, they can be clamped to the support ring. This is typically done for services where pressure surges may dislodge a packed bed. We can supply support plates in metal or thermo-plastic materials.
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