Taking the lumps out of your stored material — Part II
Lumps can create a range of problems in bulk solids handling and processing operations: Small lumps can produce inconsistent mixtures, and large falling lumps can create safety hazards and cause structural damage in storage vessels. This two-part article takes a closer look at lumps and how to prevent them. Part I, which appeared in the November 1998 issue, examines how lumps cause flow blockages and other problems and how lumps are formed. Part II explains how lump formation can be prevented with various retrofit equipment and other solutions. The article introduces these topics by exploring how lump problems stopped flow in a food processing plant's sugar silo.
Nonflowing regions in a storage vessel allow time for lump-forming mechanisms to act. So preventing lump formation means eliminating nonflowing regions, either by periodically emptying the vessel or creating flow at the walls.