How Does an Airsweep Material Flow System Work?

Each powerful pulse of an Airsweep nozzle directs a high-pressure / high-volume burst of compressed air between the material and vessel wall to lift and sweep stalled material back into the flow stream. The nozzle design (U.S. Patent 6,237,893) ensures an immediate reseal after each pulse, preventing clogging or material feedback. Properly sequenced firing of strategically positioned Airsweep units will maintain positive and controlled outflow with a minimum expenditure of air.

Please visit our Airsweep video page to see how they will work with your materials.

Where Can Airsweep Systems Be Used?

Airsweep Systems are currently being used to fix material flow issues in thousands of applications. Hoppers, bins, silos, chutes, conveyor transfer points, screens, feeders, centrifuges – virtually any place where material builds up or bridges – can be retrofitted to keep material moving. If you don’t find your problem material on the list of Airsweep Materials, please Contact Us for a FREE test.

In most cases, Airsweep units can be installed from the outside of a metal, concrete, wood or fiberglass vessel.  They can operate in temperatures above 900°F, and can be manufactured to operate in corrosive environments.

Airsweep units are typically installed around the bottom section of the vessel to stimulate material flow.  You may also want to consider an AcoustiClean Sonic Horn for large vessel applications which experience material hanging on to the top section of the vessel.

Could an Airsweep System Help Avoid the Cost of a New Vessel?

Plants are often challenged with having to utilize a vessel that has not been designed for the materials being used in it, which often results in flow problems and / or inefficient utilization of a vessel that can never be filled to capacity. An Airsweep System, designed specifically for your vessel and material usage, will likely fix your flow problems and negate the need to invest in a new hopper.  It will also stop the spread of bin rash caused by employees using sledgehammers to break bridges and ratholes.

Please submit an Application Data Sheet to receive a free Airsweep System proposal.

Is the Airsweep System Cost Effective?

An average system uses less than 10 CFM of plant air – significantly less than air pads, blasters, rubber disk / jet fluidizers, lances or pneumatic vibrators. Vessel walls will not be damaged by vibration, stress or wear (although highly abrasive materials may require special installation). Typical installations will not require the vessel to be empty, or production to be stopped. Airsweep Systems eliminate labor-intensive, costly and often dangerous rodding, air lancing, sledge hammering and shutdowns for bin cleanout. An Airsweep System is cost and energy efficient.

Is the System Durable?

Airsweep units are machined from high-grade carbon steel, 304/316 stainless steel, Titanium, Inconel or Hasteloy, depending on the needs of your application environment. With only one moving part, the valve features a dust-tight nozzle that quickly re-closes and reseals after each firing, which eliminates the possibility of clogging and jamming. Strict quality control ensures reliable, trouble-free performance

Describe Maintenance Requirements?

Inspection of all Airsweep components for signs of wear or fatigue is recommended every six months. Repair Kits, which include all the inside components of an Airsweep Assembly and/or Solenoid Valve, are available for all models, and should be installed after approximately 1 million firing cycles. Failure to perform inspections and install repair kits may result in sudden failure and possible contamination of material and/or damage to production equipment.

Please click to learn about Critical Preventative Maintenance Items and Recommended Replacement Time Frames, as well as Section 6 of the Airsweep Installation & Maintenance Manual for additional information.

Is an Airsweep System Suitable for Food & Pharmaceutical Applications with Special Sanitary Requirements?

Tri-Tri-modelsYes! The sanitary-style Airsweep nozzle incorporates a tri-clover flange & clamp connection on both the mounting (front) end and the air inlet(back end), allowing quick, easy and tool-free installation and removal of the nozzle from either the process vessel or compressed air source. Nozzle removal on either end is accomplished in seconds, making this design a perfect fit for any manufacturing process requiring regular equipment change-out for cleaning or to avoid cross contamination. By incorporating standard tri-clover flange sizes, users can easily utilize the Airsweep nozzle or mounting port to connect other equipment, or to cap off when not in use. Sanitary-style Airsweep units are currently available in 3/4″ (VA-06) and 1.5″ (VA-12) nozzle sizes. Standard construction material for the sanitary-style Airsweep unit is 316 stainless steel, however other materials of construction are available by special order. Raw material certifications are available upon request when placing an order.

Please visit the News page on this website to learn about a newly announced USDA Accepted Airsweep unit which extends the benefits of this proven flow aid device to industries with strict sanitary requirements.

Will an Airsweep System Improve the Flushing & Cleaning Process?

Major ingredient manufacturers have significantly reduced flushing time, water consumption, wasted material and labor by using Airsweeps at the end of a batch to evacuate ribbon blenders prior to starting the flushing and cleaning process. Sanitary-style Airsweeps are also well suited for spray dryers, batch and weigh hoppers, feeders, day hoppers, storage bins and virtually any vessel containing powdered or bulk granular material.

If you didn’t find the answer you were looking for in this Airsweep FAQ section, please contact us so that we can do our very best to identify the appropriate Airsweep and/or AcoustiClean Sonic Horn Material Flow System solution to address your specific production issues.