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I'm trying to come up with a design that would allow the use of StillDragon bubble caps in a 12" column. I'm going for a semi-modular design that would allow the plates to be removed if absolutely necessary. Due to the cost of 12" ferrules and clamps, I don't want to put one at every stage. My idea is to use 1" internally welded rings that the plates can bolt to. The problem is; I need a way to insert the plates, so I have come up with two options:
Split the plate into two pieces and insert them from the top. I have measured this and there is room to rotate the plates into place with a plate spacing of 8". I would then use the 4" sight glasses to complete the installation (bolt the plates, screw in the downcomer, etc.)
Keep the plate whole, but increase the plate spacing to 12". Again, I could slide in the plates from the top, but there would have to be a gap in the holder ring.
I like option 1, but my concern is that the gap in the plate could decrease performance, but I guess it could also act as a "weep-hole" to allow for full draining of the plate.
A picture is worth a thousand words:
Also feel free to leave feedback on other aspects of this design.