What Is The Best Wear Resistant Material For Flat Back Elbows?

Murphy’s Law always puts your biggest challenges in difficult areas with limited access. They are never at ground level, and the repairs are always expensive.

These paper mill flat back elbows are located 90 feet off the ground.

This area is at the top of the boiler house where wood bark is added to the coal fired boiler to create steam and electricity for the paper mill. After going to the 4th floor, you must now climb two exterior ladders to get to the bark blow line elbows.


BEFORE: Notice the amount of bark fines covering the area due to flat back elbow leaks. The cost to clean-up ejected bark materials at this large Midwest paper mill was $2,000 per week.

Environmental oversight means this is a problem you cannot ignore. It must be dealt with promptly.


Clean up costs for 4 men and a vac truck was $2,000 each week before replacing the wear back.

On any pneumatic system, air leaks create loss of pressure, resulting in ineffective transport of the materials.

Elbows are a constant challenge in any wood handling industry. Pneumatic blow lines are effective, but when the material must change direction, the elbow has continual wear.

To effectively battle the Severe Fine Particle Abrasion you find in wood industries, JADCO developed Chromeweld ™ Nb PLUS.

How Does Chromeweld ™ Nb PLUS Differ From Other CCO Plates?


AFTER: The same location three weeks after installing Chromeweld Nb Plus. Zero bark leaks mean no expensive cleanup. This project paid for itself in a few weeks including labor and crane rental.

Chromeweld ™ Nb PLUS, adds smaller, dense Niobium Carbides locked into the matrix between the larger Chromium Carbides. This provides you with a superior abrasion resistant product to combat high velocity, fine material wear.


The Blue Arrows Point To The Larger Chrome Carbides. The Yellow Arrows Point To The Smaller Round Niobium Carbides. The Photo Was Taken At 50 Microns. One Inch = 24,500 Microns.

Why Use Niobium Carbides With Chrome Carbides?

Carbides rarely wear out. What happens is the matrix holding the carbides wears away and the carbides simply fall out.

To make it easier to understand, think of a Chrome Carbide Overlay (CCO) plate like a chocolate chip cookie. The chocolate chips are the carbides, and the cookie is the matrix.


The more chocolate chips, the better the cookie tastes. The more carbides, the longer your plate will last.

When you dunk a chocolate chip cookie into milk or coffee, the cookie (matrix) goes away and the chocolate chips fall to the bottom of the cup. Abrasion works the same way on most carbide plates.

With fine materials such as wood bark in a high velocity blow line, the matrix steel is rapidly worn away. The Carbides are not worn away, but fall out after the surrounding matrix is gone.

JADCO’s Chromeweld ™ Nb PLUS adds smaller, harder Niobium Carbides between the larger Chrome Carbides.

By locking in the larger Chrome Carbides, we are significantly delaying the effects of wear.

This is how you can double your wear plate life in high stress abrasion applications by using Chromeweld ™ Nb PLUS.

How Much Difference Is There Between The Wear Resistant Materials?


This chart shows the comparison in wear life different manufacturers use in flat back elbows. Here we compare mild steel, AR400, standard CCO, Chromeweld ™ 600 and Chromeweld ™ Nb PLUS to show you how you can increase the longevity with your elbows.

You can reduce your material and labor costs if the rest of the elbow is in good shape, by just replacing your failed wear backs with Chromeweld ™ Nb PLUS.


Your replaceable wear back takes 95% of the abrasion wear. This is where to upgrade your equipment without having to buy an entire new elbow.

Does it make any sense to use anything else when lost production, downtime, labor and equipment rental costs make the difference in price insignificant compared to your improved results?

When you have focused exclusively on delivering longer life for our customer for the last 40 years; you understand why JADCO is able to deliver greater performance for your applications than what you have used previously.

Allow us to help you by calling (724) 452-5252, or email today. We will schedule a meeting with one of our local wear plate specialists for a day and time that best fits your schedule.

Remember, the only thing you have to lose by not working with JADCO, are your profits.

When your flat back elbows gives out, give JADCO a shout!