A drying system operates in a fast paced production environment where parts can wear out or be damaged. It is important to replace or repair worn or damaged parts before they become a bigger problem.  Dryer drums are large, heavy, rolling, metal objects and are subject to stresses that can lead to structural failures over time.  Drums subject to cyclic loading above the metal’s fatigue limit will typically start to crack within 5 years in a stainless steel drum and within 7 – 10 years in a carbon steel drum. Thompson has tried and true methods to reduce the effects of cyclic loading and repair a failing drums to extend the drum’s life. If you have a cracks in the head plate, shell, welds or internally, or any number of other issues that can go wrong in a rotary drum dryer, you need to get them repaired before the drum fails.  Repairing your drum now is far less expensive than replacing it in the future. Thompson can repair most rotary drum dryer types and models, from most manufacturers.

Why is this important? The dryer drum is usually the most expensive item in a dryer system to replace. Since it is also a rotating piece of equipment, it is more prone to maintenance issues than stationary equipment.  Catching problems and fixing them early is a must to keep maintenance costs down, keep the system running and reduce the chance of needing to replace the drum. With so many individual components making up the rotary drum, it is important to be familiar with each and what problems could occur, as well as making frequent inspections, inside and out. It is recommended to enter the drum every time the plant is shut down long enough for the drum to cool.


Problems commonly seen in industry


  • Head plate and shell cracks (link to main page Drum Crack Repair)
  • Flexing


  • Floating tire
  • Shim problems


  • Bent
  • Broken
  • Cracked


  • Bent
  • Broken
  • Cracked
  • Missing
  • Excessive buildup


  • Excessive wear
  • Frequent replacement schedule (anything <1 year)
  • Poor sealing/Letting too much air through
  • Gaps between seal and seal rings

Thompson’s Remedies

Repair drum cracks (link to main page Drum Crack Repair) to extend drum life

Stop flexing with Thompson Structural Enhancers to stop cracks from reoccuring

  • External TSE: Rings
  • Internal TSE: RATS

Reshim tires to stop them from walking – also extends drum life and reduces chances for cracking

Repair/replace Spokes


  • Flight repair
  • Flight replacement
    1. Choose from shell flights, center flights, fill flights, ball buster flights (DDGS), long strand board flights, and custom flights

Reflighting Whole Drum with High-Efficiency Flights for higher capacity, better flow throughput and more consistent final product

Replacement seals and brackets

  • Heat Shield installation to facilitate use of rubber belting seals
  • Switch to Rubber Belting Seals to greatly improve seal effectiveness, reduce transient air in the system, increased outlet temperature, decreased secondary cleanup load, and save money on seal purchase
  • Replacement Rubber Belting Seals every year or two

More On DryerU

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