The risk of combustible dust explosions in the powder and bulk solids industry is sometimes part of the job. However, steps can be taken to reduce those risks, including implementing explosion safety technology into your processing system. This article describes the smart technology available to help reduce the explosion risks in processes involving combustible dust.
For food manufacturers processing high-value end-products that are susceptible to damage, material breakage and loss can harm the bottom line. This article discusses how tubular cable conveyors can help reduce some of that damage compared to air-powered conveyors when processing those fragile bulk solid food materials.
A public water utility in Colorado was having fluoride powder delivered to its silos via self-unloading, pressure-differential trucks and pneumatic conveying lines. After switching powder suppliers, the fluoride powder was delivered in bulk bags, so the utility had to figure out a new way to transport the powder to the silos. An engineer from Golden Eagle Technologies and bulk solids equipment supplier Vibra Screw came up with a portable solution.
In this column, Jim Davis discusses how sample size, particle size, and scale of scrutiny are critical to evaluating whether a powder has a random mix. In some cases, a good random mix might not be statistically achievable with the ingredients and sample size you’ve planned to use. If that’s the case, then you need to adjust to make the mixture statistically achievable. Using examples, Jim explains how to do that.
This article describes how to use a loss-in-weight feeder's trending capabilities to help determine the cause of feeder performance problems.
There are several aspects to consider when choosing between a horizontal or vertical dryer for dynamic contact drying. What material are you using? Does it have specific process parameters? Is your process a batch or a continuous one? This article describes how horizontal and vertical contact dryers work and the applications for which each dryer is best suited.
Each component in a dilute-phase pneumatic conveying system — the air mover, solids feeder, pipeline, and separator — plays an important role in the system’s operation. The air mover provides the proper airflow rate required for material transport at the right velocity and pressure. This article focuses on estimating the pneumatic conveying line’s total pressure drop, which is vital in selecting a suitable air mover for your system and application.
Vibratory fluid-bed dryer-coolers are gaining popularity in a large number of applications thanks to their rapid drying times and suitability for heat-sensitive materials. This article discusses the differences between circular and rectangular vibratory fluid-bed dryer-coolers and the situations in which each would be a good fit.
In this column, authors Jack D. Hilbert and Colin Barbeau answer some of the questions they’ve been asked recently that pertain to problems with a pneumatic conveying system’s five main elements. These elements include the system’s material feed, the line charger, the gas mover, the conveying line, and the material receiver.
Vacuum conveying systems transport powders and bulk solids throughout a plant, but these systems also can help achieve other benefits such as making the environment safer, reclaiming material from dust collectors, making mixer loading easier, and reducing costs. This article discusses how different vacuum conveying systems can accomplish benefits like these in your plant.
The design of an effective and safe dust capture exhaust system needs to address many factors. To make sure that occurs, you and your staff need to be very familiar with your plant’s production process. In this article, columnist John A. Constance details several steps that will help you get an effective dust capture exhaust system up and running on time and on budget.
For flooring manufacturer Forpac of Haines City, FL, keeping cement powder and calcium carbonate for thin-set flowing from 144-ton silos was proving difficult. Even hammers didn’t help, and the company was losing 7 hours of production time each week. The company called Solimar Pneumatics, which recommended installing disk-type pneumatic fluidizers at the bottom of each silo. The increased production and reduced cleaning time allowed Forpac to justify costs in just one week.
Aside from trial and error and pilot-scale studies, manufacturers tend not to have concrete methods of deciding what process equipment works best for their application. Identifying a powder’s relevant properties helps to narrow the equipment design choices because equipment differs in its suitability for different powders. This article describes three case studies where multifaceted powder characterization was critical to determining the right process equipment.
This article describes the sieving, classifying, and other types of testing that Elcan offers in its test center. A customer who needed titanium powder for 3D printing analyzed sent the company a sample. Test center staff used a variety of equipment to determine particle shape, size, and distribution, which allowed the customer to properly layer the titanium powder in its 3D printer for the best result.
This article outlines how seals work and discusses application examples of seals and bearings used with mechanical conveyors.
A cyclone’s service life is unpredictable — especially in certain applications. Erosion is one of the reasons. In this article, columnist Ray Cocco describes how to measure and reduce erosion in cyclones. He also discusses how things such as dust collection efficiency and pressure drop can be affected by erosion and other cyclone issues.
Every participant along the bulk solids production line, from raw material supplier to processor, must work to ensure that foreign contaminants aren’t present in products that reach consumers. This article discusses incorporating magnetic separators and metal detectors, as well as other best practices, to achieve the highest product purity possible and avoid costly equipment damage from tramp metals.
A water treatment plant was using pebble lime to process and reclaim more than 30 million gallons of water a day. When pneumatically conveying the lime to silos during off-loading, the abrasive material was causing frequent elbow wall failure, causing plant downtime and other issues. In search of a fix, the plant contacted HammerTek, which replaced five existing elbows with deflection elbows. The change resulted in reduced labor and maintenance costs and safer air quality in the plant.
Mixing expandable polystyrene (polystyrene beads) with additives gives them particular characteristics that are useful in a wide variety of industries. The additives typically used are often needed in very small quantities, yet achieving a homogenous bead and additive mixture is essential. This article describes how a plow-type mixer can be used to achieve the necessary bead and additive blend.
One factor that can greatly influence your dryer selection is the need to maintain or reduce your material’s particle size and shape during drying. In this article, columnist John J. Walsh describes a variety of dryers and how they can either help or hinder those efforts.
Vacuum pneumatic conveying provides safe transfer of bulk dry materials and can help maintain tight industry standards for sanitation and environmental safety.
Understanding the strengths and limitations of different types of pneumatic conveying systems can help you choose the one best suited to your application.
In this column, author Greg Mehos offers details on how particle size enlargement is often used to reduce the likelihood of unwanted powder agglomeration. This is because the likelihood of caking generally decreases when particle size increases due to the decrease in a powder’s overall cohesive strength and why he often recommends intentional agglomeration when the objective is to prevent it.
When conveying material, controlling material flow is important for many reasons, including precise measuring. Slide gates controlled by pneumatic actuators are one way to control that material flow, and a variety of control options can be added to these actuators to help with precision. This article discusses the options.