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Flooding Packed Section



  • I'll see if I can dig something up tomorrow.
    Imagine a disk with a large 30 point star cut out of the middle. Then bend the points in a bit so it makes a bit of a finger trap.
    It retains rolls of packing and brings reflux into the middle of the column.
    Not sure how well I described that but the file will show it.
    The laser didn't leave a great finish on the SS though. Would a jet be better?

  • jezjez
    edited March 2016

    OK cool do you have the bent bits facing downwards or upwards. It should only have to .5 to 1mm thick and a laser cutter should leave it smooth and the cut should be shiny if you cut with a water cutter it should look like a sand blasted surface.

    this is what I'm using at the moment
    if you want anything made/cut just let me know I'm glad to help


    600 x 800 - 110K
  • Do you do wire EDM stuff as well? I might need some copper done.

  • no mate but I wish we did

  • edited March 2016

    @jez one of the better options is to use a flow drilled plate to spread the reflux evenly over the packing.

    Something like this - although obviously bigger as this is just 2".


    It really does depend on what sort of packing you use, as well as the vapour speeds. Some folks get issues and find they need to leave a void in the packing above each plate. Lots of variables in play.

    800 x 600 - 48K
  • Ok so do you use this on top of the packaging and below the rc

  • edited March 2016

    For you guys running packed sections - why aren't you just using a bit more height and using less dense packing? Is it a matter of being height constrained already?

  • jezjez
    edited March 2016

    @grim I find with 8 plates and 510 mm x2" loosely packed section works wonders for me and I couldn't be happier With the results I get. Just wish I had found SD 3 years ago.its just good to read what other users and doing and use.

  • Since I couldn't get a 5" filter disk for my rig, I used an empty ProCap plate below my scrubbies and have never had a problem. I line the openings up so that the liquid drains on the plate below, not down into the ProCap.

  • If you need to use reflux distributors, whether plates or centring rings, you will find that most folks tend to put one in at the 1/3 and 2/3 column height points.

    You don't usually need one right at the top of the packing as there is often a little pool of liquid right on top of the packing anyway.

    The idea of them is to prevent the reflux running down the walls of the column and get it back into the packing. Some packings really don't need it, and virtually all packings will wick quite well in the lower section of the column anyway.

    With bigger packed columns the intent is to ensure that the reflux is equally distributed and that you don't get channelling.

  • edited March 2016

    Why don't you guys with narrower packed columns just buy triclamp orifice plate gaskets and just either drill them out, or cut them up into centering rings?


    600 x 566 - 14K
  • They work fine. I use 35 mm holes in a 54 mm column. The distributor plates are really intended for bigger columns.

  • Here are the retainers I was talking about.


    They work OK but I can even get these to flood with SPP at less than 2kW depending on how dense it settles. They’re fine with Amphora.

    Here’s the flow director, they work OK for retaining rolls of packing like Amphora. They were also good in some of the offset designs I was working with.


    The standard filter plate are no good at all for retainers. That shouldn’t be surprising though as it was never their intended purpose.


    I have got them to work as a perf plate without a down comer but you still need a pressure difference along the plate. I turned them into a cone and inserted them into a sight tower.
    You can see from the photo that the reflux is shed in the middle and the vapour comes up the sides. This is because the liquid is deeper in the middle so you get the pressure imbalance that allows bidirectional flow.


    A flat plate with no way to shed liquid will just build up more and more reflux, creating a flood.

    Here are some other retainer ideas that worked to varying levels of success.


    I mucked around with valveless VM’s for a while too using these orifice plates.


    Jez, I still have a DXF for this stuff. It’s only 2” but you could scale it to be whatever. PM me your email if you want it but you could just as easy try your own design.
    If I was doing another round I’d make them even more open to suit amphora mesh, just a simple ring with a cross and a few nice fillets, as these one pictured were originally designed for SPP which I no longer use.

    600 x 800 - 121K
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  • The photo of the perf filter as a cone - wow really fantastic - that should be so obvious but to actually see it is a real surprise.

  • @jacksonbrown wow mate looks like you have given a few things a go. Thanks for the ideas I do a lot of cad/cam work so I can draw these up as needed. I have been thinking about building a glass section for my packaging just to see what's going on and learn more. Thanks again I really appreciate it

  • Seems a few liked the cone plate idea.
    Here's another one on a slower shutter speed.


    I have no idea how efficient they are and just like normal perf plates they have a limited power window but they're bloody cheap and easy to make plus they're self retaining from the spring in the metal.
    It would be great if someone else had a go to expand on the idea.

    800 x 600 - 44K
  • great photo, I might give the cone perf plate a go but with make a few up with different size hole in the centre

  • @Clickeral Did you find the cause of your flooding? Would be interesting to know what caused it.

  • @jacksonbrown , mate you've outdone yourself with those pics.

  • Blast from the past havent run my rig for vodka in ages and have it now setup with 8 plates (6procaps and two normal) could have used perf but trying for more copper. 510mm stainless packed section with a copper bubble plate (no caps) to hold it in. Will see if it floods but only using 1 element and going to run slow

  • edited September 2019

    Interesting topic and string of comments....I have a 3' packed 6" diameter section over plates and have had some of the same challenges. All in all, it works pretty well in lieu of additional plates. I have found that loosely packed scrubbies works better than tightly packed. I also recognized that standard bubble cap plates typically will flood excessively if they are immediately below a packed section of significant height. Procaps are a must have IMO.

  • edited September 2019

    Took awhile to dial in tonight heat up on 4800w with the super RC at decent flow then down to 2400w with the super rc running at a trickle. Let it stay in full reflux for about 30mins and then did a slow take off. Been collecting at 1.6lph at azo (temp corrected) seems pretty clean so far. Will let it breathe tonight and do cuts tomorrow.

    Have collected in 800ml lots as I may run it through again.

    Could have run more heat and faster but happy to have a clean run

  • edited October 2019

    Some variations.

    At the base of my 125mm diameter column and below packing, I have allowed for a copper catalyst of sorts for my crappy fermentations. :)

    Just playing with ideas and two samples just received with slightly different construction.

    Each one is 30mm thick and will be placed one on top of the other.


    800 x 345 - 97K
  • edited October 2019

    I originally was looking at something like this but my copper manufacturer tried something else.


    600 x 800 - 170K
  • @richard I made 100mm x 152mm and they worked a treat.

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