Dry bulk materials or powders require specific systems for successful transportation, particularly that of pneumatic conveying systems. Using gas and pressure, these materials and granules are moved through an enclosed conveying pipeline—similar to the way vacuum cleaners function. By changing the pressure and differential airflow, this system can transport materials over various distances!
While mechanical systems can also accomplish this, pneumatic conveying systems are more effective and affordable since they are easily controlled, completely enclosed, and can be modified. This system’s enclosed feature also prevents environmental pollution and keeps the materials themselves clean and free of contaminants.
Here’s exactly how a pneumatic conveying system works to aid in manufacturing modernization:
Types of Pneumatic Conveying Systems
There are two common types of pneumatic conveying systems used: dilute phase and dense phase. The main difference between the two is their operating principle, but both can convey materials through vacuum or pressure methods.
Dilute-Phase Pneumatic Conveying
This method uses pressure and vacuum processes that push or pull particles suspended in the air to different locations. These particles are continuously moved at low pressure and high velocity.
Dilute-phase pressure conveying is used for the conveying of dry materials over long distances. These are typically non-abrasive and resilient with light bulk densities, such as flour, grains, and sugar. An air mover is typically fixed at the start of the system and provides plenty of low-pressure air as materials are fed into the line, moving particles to their destination easily. This is most often done for particles coming from a single origin to multiple destinations.
Dilute-phase vacuum conveying differs from pressure conveying in that it deals with materials that compress under pressure, such as delicate fibers or wood shavings. These are typically used to transport materials from multiple pipes to a single collection point. It functions in the opposite manner from pressure conveying since a positive displacement vacuum supplies negative pressure to pull the material—essentially working as a suction to draw the material to its destination.
Dense-Phase Pneumatic Conveying
While dilute-phase transports materials suspended in conveying air, dense-phase pneumatic conveying pushes and pulls particles that aren’t suspended using high pressure and low speed.
Pressure conveying moves fragile or abrasive materials over great distances at very low speeds. It is used for materials such as glass particles, cocoa beans, hazelnuts, and cereal. The material is loaded into a pressure vessel until full, then compressed air moves it to its destination.
Dense-phase vacuum conveying is used in pharmaceutical and food applications as well as to unload materials from trucks in a fluid state. With vacuum pumps, materials are conveyed from a silo or hopper to a receiving vessel, which expels the material into a destination silo when full.
Pneumatic conveying systems are one example of bulk powder handling systems that are extremely effective in transporting materials across various industries. The different methods used in these systems ensure that products and other materials are safely transferred—staying free from damage and contaminants.
Depending on the product specifications, pneumatic conveying systems can be designed and engineered accordingly, whether your business requires flour, wood chips, pieces of glass, or delicate hazelnuts for transport in bulk. Understanding which conveying system works best for your requirements can help your solutions provider design one based on your specific needs as dictated by your business.
At Gough Econ, we focus on integrating the concept, solution, and installation of bulk material handling plants to fit your specifications. Whether you require a new system or the integration into an existing one, our designs safely and efficiently move your products to achieve the results you want. Give us a call today for integrated systems and product solutions for your industry!