How to Prevent Interference Between the Fan Wheel and Inlet Cone
Industrial fan operations and safety depend on the proper alignment of each component, from before the inlet to beyond the outlet. That often includes an inlet cone, which serves to help route the process air into the fan. If not properly aligned, it can get in the way of the fan wheel (and vice versa) and ultimately lead to fan failure, which is costly and time-consuming.
How the Cone is Situated at the Inlet
The inlet cone bolts onto the housing, slightly overlapping the shroud lip on the fan wheel just inside the fan housing. The fan’s movement can cause the cone to shift, requiring an adjustment or replacement. That means you need to know how to line it up so that it doesn’t interfere with the fan wheel.
Checking Inlet Cone Alignment
Proper inlet cone alignment is very straightforward. It needs to be concentric inside the fan wheel. There are two simple ways to check that it’s correct and concentric.
First, do the touch test.
Simply run your fingers around the inside of the cone where it overlaps the shroud lip on the fan wheel. It should feel even all the way around, meaning that it’s exactly in the middle or concentric.
Second, double-check the gap between the inlet cone and the fan wheel.
The size of the gap depends on your specific fan and application. In the example we shared in the video above, the appropriate gap is ¼ inch. To check for accuracy, use a tape measure and measure at several points around the inlet to ensure that the gap is precisely the same ¼ inch all the way around.
Hear it from an Application Engineer
Chet White, Senior Application Engineer / Sales Manager, demonstrates the concentric alignment of the inlet cone in this 1-minute video. To ask questions, get more details, or discuss your application, reach out and connect with one of our application engineers.
Here are several related posts that might interest you as you think about your application.
- A Roadmap to Get Your Bearings
- RUSH Fan Parts (case study)
- The Long and Short of Centrifugal Fan Troubleshooting
- Why Go With the Flow? Take Control
- Inlet Box: Do You Need One in Your Centrifugal Fan Application?
- Inlet Air Density Calculations for Centrifugal Fan Applications