New Composite Custom Fan Beats Standard Tip Speed, Improves Efficiency

The Horton Thermoset Engineered Composite (HTEC) 1800 fan, a “perfect scale” diminution of the predecessor 2500, is engineered to be customizable for specific mining trucks, remote radiator packages, generator sets and fracking units, the company reported at its November media summit where the fan was unveiled and demoed. Available in diameters of 48 to 72 inches (in.), and weighing a minimum of 30 pounds (lb), it has a maximum tip speed of 22,000 feet per minute (fpm), as well as other advantages over steel, aluminum or plastic equivalents.

Manish Virmani, vice president, global market development, said the fans are configurable and were designed to “obsolete” metal predecessor fans used in the industry. “You can form it into just the optimal shape so you can get much higher efficiencies” than you would with comparable metal or plastic fans, he said. “Also, you have the best-in-class durability and corrosion resistance.”

The fan’s tip speed reportedly is 20-25% faster than the current industry standard of roughly 18,000 fpm, said Neal Shawaluk, lead sales engineer, off-highway. “High strength-to-weight ratio is what allows us to run these fans so fast,” he said.

According to Shawaluk, the compression-molded blades contain glass fibers that orient themselves and provide part of the structural strength of the material. Compared to a plastic blade, with an average structural integrity of 78 megapascals (MPa), HTEC blades are rated at 186 MPa, he added.

“That is more than twice the tensile strength,” he said. “That translates into a more durable and robust product.”

HTEC 1800 Fan.


Blade shape was engineered to maximize airflow per unit of power. “We went through probably 50 iterations of this blade, running computational fluid dynamics to optimize it,” Shawaluk said. “It is very difficult to get that kind of geometry in a metal blade.”

Blade shape can be modified to be application-specific and to meet the requirements of the customer, Virmani said.

Additionally, blade count and fan size can be customized. “You have the same blade, but you can adjust the center disc size to get a different size fan with very good performance,” he said.

With the advent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 (emissions) requirements, “everyone is trying to package more in with the same or less space. Heat rejection is higher; everything is hotter. You’ve got to get more airflow. You’ve got to have quieter equipment, and you want to be more fuel efficient,” Shawaluk said. “Higher efficiency means more airflow per unit of power. We typically see 10 percentage points higher efficiency versus a metal fan. If you can get 40% efficiency with a metal fan, we can get to 50% static efficiency.” The fan runs quieter than a steel equivalent, he added.

The HTEC 1800 is designed to last, the company reported. “From a fatigue standpoint, from a structural standpoint, they are designed for infinite life,” Shawaluk said. The blade is “anti-spark” and “has 15% less deflection” at standard temperatures than a plastic equivalent, he said.

Being a molded composite, a thermoset glass-reinforced resin, it is corrosion-resistant, which adds to its longevity. In many mines, “a harsh chemical environment exists where metal fans may see significant corrosion,” Shawaluk said. Free of lamination and rivets, the HTEC fan “eliminates that potential failure in a corrosive environment,” he added. “The material is inert to salt, phosphorus and sulfur, so it will have a superior life.”

Being lightweight, the HTEC 1800 reduces wear on supporting equipment parts, such as drive line components, belts, pullies and bearings.

Abuse testing has revealed the fan has a higher “stress safety factor” than its metal equivalent, Shawaluk said. “We do what is called in-vehicle stress testing,” he said. “For a given application, the HTEC would almost always have a higher stress reserve value.”

The fans are offered in a range of colors and are “competitively priced against what is on the market today,” Shawaluk said.

Outside the North American market, third-party licensees, OEMs and radiator manufacturers receive tools and training from Horton, and then market, build, service and represent the product. “The only thing they need to source from us is the blade,” he said. “It is a lot more cost-effective for them to assemble fans.”


Shareholders Approve Joy Buyout

Stockholders overwhelmingly voted to approve Joy Global’s pending $3.7 billion acquisition by Komatsu America Corp., (Komatsu), a subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd.

Joy Global stockholders will receive $28.30 per share in cash for each share of common stock held at closing, which is reportedly anticipated for mid-2017 and is subject to certain conditions, including obtaining regulatory clearances.

The companies entered a merger agreement on July 21.

“We are confident that combining with Komatsu is the best way to exceed the needs of our customers, and look forward to expanding our offerings upon closing,” said Joy Global President and CEO Ted Doheny.


Fly Ash Product Company Buys Building Materials Maker

Australian construction materials supplier and fly ash product manufacturer Boral Ltd. will acquire building mater-
ials manufacturer Headwaters Inc. in a $2.6 billion merger announced November 20.

Boral will acquire Headwaters Inc. for $24.25 cash per share. This offer price represents a 21% premium to Headwaters’ closing stock price on November 18, and a 34% premium over Headwaters’ 30-day volume-weighted average closing stock price through November 18.

Headquartered in Sydney, Boral, with market capitalization of A$4.6 billion
and with revenues of A$4.3 billion for the 12 months ended June 30, is Australia’s largest building and construction materials supplier. Its North American operation has positions in bricks, concrete and clay roof tiles, manufactured stone and fly ash.

Boral subsidiary Boral Material Technologies markets fly ash and all coal combustion products to the concrete industry, the company reported. BMT also provides coal-fired power plants with complete on-site ash handling and management, environmental services and engineering services. It helps utility plants utilize all of their coal combustion products through innovative marketing and product development.

Headwaters’ Construction Materials focuses on the sale of high-quality fly ash as a partial replacement for portland cement when making concrete. It is a leading manufacturer of building products for the residential construction, residential remodeling, commercial and institutional construction industries.

The acquisition, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is subject to closing conditions, including Headwaters’ stockholder approval and regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in mid-year 2017.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. is acting as the financial advisor to Headwaters, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is serving as legal counsel.


TF Hudgins Announces Merger With Allied Reliability

Energy sector engineering and solutions company T.F. Hudgins Inc. announced October 21 a merger with Allied Reliability Inc., an operational reliability solutions company that serves the mining, energy, metals and chemicals sectors.

T.F. Hudgins CEO Jay Burnette will lead the combined company.

The merger combines the domain expertise and resources of leading companies focused on improving the reliability and performance of a broad range of high-value assets operating in a variety of applications, T.F. Hudgins reported. By providing unique and integrated asset reliability and protection solutions, customers will benefit from an expanded portfolio of hardware, software and value-added services.

“This combination will accelerate our growth in the expanding equipment reliability space, particularly with a much broader condition-based monitoring and advanced diagnostics offering,” Burnette said. “We believe this will create significant value for our customers.”

T.F. Hudgins provides maintenance services and solutions for the coal industry and is a portfolio company of Houston firm The CapStreet Group (CapStreet). Allied Reliability, a supplier for a number of miners, is a portfolio company of Chicago firm Pfingsten Partners (Pfingsten).

Third-party licensees, OEMs and radiator manufacturers will soon be able to use Horton software to determine fan configuration and specifications based on site- and application-specific requirements.

As early as the first quarter of 2017, Horton will release software to allow customers to generate performance estimates based on fan design, site constraints and application specifics. “It allows our customers, as they are designing their cooling system, to select a fan based on the performance characteristics they need,” said Manish Virmani, vice president, global market development. “The fans are very configurable. You can configure something that has never been built before and we will be able to calculate the performance.”