Radial Fan: A Complete Overview & its Industrial Applications

Over the years, various types of industrial fans have gained immense torque across industries. Radial fans are one of the important types of industrial fans to have received wide acceptance. These fans are used in factories, mines, and commercial buildings. Widely known as centrifugal fans, the radial fans are also used to move gases, moisture, and dust in the direction of incoming fluid. These fans are also known as paddle wheel fans or radial plate fans, air blower fans, squirrel cage fans, and squirrel fans depending on their construction and operation. Owing to their distinct advantages, today, it is easy to find these fans in different designs. Are you intrigued to know what makes these fans popular? If so, this post answers everything you want to know about these fans.

radial fan

What is Radial Fan?

A radial fan is a mechanical device that features an impeller, which is powered by an electrical motor. The impeller rotates on its own and provides direction to the air. This air that it lends works upon is usually sucked from the sides of the fan and it is blown through the outlet of the fan.

What are the components of Radial Fan?

A radial fan mainly comprises the following:

  • Impellers
  • Fan Housing
  • Inlet and Outlet Duct
  • Drive Mechanism
  • Drive Shaft

How does a Radial Fan Work?

In radial fan, the air hits the fan wheel, turns at the right angle, and is accelerated by radial flat blades on the impeller. The accelerated air is discharged radially, thus, the name. The airflow is induced by the centrifugal force, which is produced in a rotating column. These fans may be belt-driven or motor-driven.

Radial Fans and other Centrifugal Fans

There are several types of centrifugal fans, which are distinguished based on their designs. Of these, the forward curve, backward curve, airfoil fans, and radial fans are the most popular ones. Let’s see the other three fans, in brief, to understand how they differ from radial fans.

Airfoil Fans:

Centrifugal fans are named so owing to their airfoil-profiled blades. Airfoil fans are used in applications where ambient or elevated temperatures are involved such as chemical, power generation, metals, resource recovery industries, and so on. These fans assure high efficiency as well as quiet operations. Dust buildup is one of the drawbacks of this fan. Thus, they are more appropriate for clean air applications.

Forward Curve Fans:

These fans have squirrel cage impellers, which generate the highest airflow volume. Forward curve fans are most commonly used in high-temperature furnace applications, and ventilation applications where there is a low chance of dust loading. This fan requires a large number of blades to drive forward curve wheels. This is why they cannot be used in applications where there is a chance for high dust loading. If dust settles on blades, then the volume of air supply will be impacted.

Backward Curve Fans:

These fans possess the same efficiencies as airfoil fans. They have curved plate blades, which can help avoid the possibility of dust buildup. This specific design makes them suitable for high-pressure applications.

Design Characteristics of Radial fans

The following design characteristics make them superior to the above-discussed fans.

  • The impeller of this fan possesses a simple design that comprises six to twelve flat blades which extend radially from the center of the fan hub.
  • The blades are narrower, heavier, and deeper than backward inclined and forward curve type centrifugal fans.
  • Simple, yet rugged impeller design helps avoid accumulation of sticky materials or dust on its blades, which makes it suitable for high-pressure, yet, dust-loading applications.
  • Impellers of these fans can be availed in various designs. You will find more variations in impellers than airfoil, forward curve, and backward curve fans. Some popular types include:

    1. Paddle Wheel
    2. Open Wheel (OW)
    3. Backplate Wheel (BW)
    4. Steel Plate

When compared to the airfoil, backward curve, and forward curve centrifugal fans, the radial fans are medium airflow fans. Owing to their high-pressure and non-dust build up designs, these fans are widely used in challenging industrial applications like mining facilities to move air at high pressure.

Benefits of Using Radial Blade Fans

Radial fans or radial blade fans possess one of the most robust structural designs in the field. This makes them an ideal choice for various industrial applications. The following features of these fans have helped increase their demand in recent years.

  • Fitted with flat radial blades, these fans are suited for heavy-duty and challenging applications.
  • Unlike several other centrifugal fans discussed here, radial fans possess a simple design and self-cleaning characteristics that contribute to easy maintenance. This is particularly beneficial for facilities that are concerned with high maintenance costs.
  • Self-cleaning characteristics not only help in reducing maintenance costs but also help in improving operational efficiency.
  • Rugged construction of these fans makes them an ideal choice for high-temperature, high static pressure, as well as corrosive and abusive environments.
  • Rugged construction combined with durability also makes them a perfect choice for handling air streams containing dust and a large number of particulates.
  • Radial fans are available at more affordable costs than other centrifugal fans, which make them a choice for various industry segments where the budget can be a main concern.

In short, radial blade fans are used in applications where a high degree of reliability and wear resistance is required. A blower is one of the brilliant examples of radial fans or centrifugal fans that are used to dry damp areas of buildings.

What are the Industrial Applications of Radial Fans?

Radial fans are used in various process plants to drive away acidic fumes and corrosive gases. The following pointers will help you understand various industrial applications of radial fans.

  • These fans are employed in cement plants during various phases of production. For instance, they are used in raw material preparation, material grinding, storage, and blending, as well as the removal of waste gases from filter systems.
  • Radial fans have been one of the integral features of steel plants, where they are used during applications such as de-dusting, sintering, and so on. These fans can withstand dusty conditions, high temperatures, and abusive environments in steel plants.
  • Power station boilers use one of the various types of centrifugal fans or radial fans. These fans assure smooth functioning and consistent operation of boilers and can withstand high temperatures released by these boilers. Radial fans are commonly used by power plants below 500 MW.
  • Heavy duty radial fans or centrifugal fans are used in chemical industries because they can meet the stringent safety requirements in the industry. These fans are usually used to exhaust hazardous gases from the facility.
  • Radial fans and other types of centrifugal fans are used in the textile industry for low-pressure drying.
  • Temperature management is one of the important requirements and concerns in the glass industry. Radial fans are used at various stages of glass preparation. They are used for cooling ovens at the beginning of the process. Also, they are used for driving hot gases within the oven.

Are you looking for a radial blade fan for your industrial facility? You must focus on their quality and operational characteristics before investing. Owing to their high demand, today, it is easy to find several cheap variants of branded radial blade fans, but that is not enough. Thus, you must partner with a trusted brand like Sofasco which not only produces an industry-leading brand of DC radial centrifugal fans but also provides them in custom configurations to meet client requirements. You can get in touch with their team of experts today to discuss your requirements.