Beyond the sledgehammer: Using vibration to keep material flowing out of storage vessels
Ratholes, bridging, and other problems can keep dry bulk materials -- especially flow-resistant materials like fibers and flakes -- from flowing smoothly out of storage vessels. This article discusses vibration devices that facilitate continuous material discharge from bulk and intermediate storage vessels and that either replace the storage vessel's cone section or the entire vessel.
If you've had a fully loaded bin that suddenly stopped discharging, leaving several tons of material packed into an immovable mass inside, you know material flow problems can be costly. And lost production isn't the only cost: Breaking up the ratholes or bridges causing the problem takes labor and cleanup; sending workers inside your large storage vessel to unclog the stoppage can be dangerous; and using a sledgehammer or other device on your vessel's exterior can leave the vessel stressed and permanently deformed.