Fluidizers are a pneumatic flow aid that use a combination of aeration and gentle vibration to promote material flow. The discs force air to move along the vessel wall, which loosens the material and prevents it from plugging or becoming compact.
Fluidizers are often used in storage silos, hoppers, and dust control systems. They can be installed outside or inside the vessel, and are usually made of silicone or EPDM rubber.
Fluidizers work best with dry bulk materials that respond to gentle aeration, or have a moisture content that is less than 12 to 15 percent. There are models designed for either low-pressure/high-volume and high-pressure/low-volume air, but they generally have less power and a smaller activation radius than other flow aids.
Fluidizers are used to prevent ratholing and bridging in silos and other storage containers, or to promote discharge from transportation like dry bulk trailers.
Fluidizers are inexpensive and easy to install, since they only require a small hole for the discs. Some vessels already come with pre-fitted fluidizing systems.
But while the initial costs are low, fluidizers may not be as cost-effective as they seem.
|Functionality||High-pressure, high-volume air pulses lift stalled material back into the flow stream.||Air causes the rubber disks to flap and vibrate, activating material with a combination of gentle vibration and aeration.|
|Activation Radius||One nozzle can stimulate up to 2.44m (8 ft.) diameter circle of material||Small, clean radius. You may need to install many units to achieve adequate coverage.|
|Maintenance Costs||No damage, vibration, stress or wear to vessel walls |
Only needs inspection every 6 months, and replacement of parts after 1,000,000 cycles
Uses 10 cfm of compressed air or gas
|May cause vessel wall abrasion |
System accessories like hoses, valves, and regulators incur additional hidden costs
High energy consumption
|Sanitation||Only the nozzle tip comes in direct contact with material |
USDA-accepted models available
|Disc material may degrade, contaminating the product |
Not the best solution for food or abrasive materials.
|Worker Safety and Convenience||Reduces workload: can be used to provide on-demand flow or automatic cleaning/flushing of vessels |
Parts can be inspected and removed without tools for quick, easy cleaning
|Can present safety issues if workers have to access the inside of the vessel to install or maintain them|
|Noise Levels||Makes a quick, ear-friendly “psst” or “pop”||Can be noisy|
|Material Control||Effective for all materials, including moist, sticky, and heavy powders and bulk solids||Only effective for light powders like flour|
AirSweep works on almost any kind of material—from fine powders to moist, sticky or wet bulk solids.
Many plants that used fluidizers for these materials had to resort to manual cleaning. Eventually, they would shift to more powerful pneumatic flow aids like AirSweep.
AirSweep installation was easy, and the units have saved the company a lot of man hours. My experience totally exceeded my expectations – a 10 out of 10!
The AirSweep installation was pretty straightforward and I would absolutely recommend it. In fact, we are looking into expanding to use the system in other parts of our plant.
We are experiencing a 62.52% reduction in flour flush and 42.50% reduction in labor, all directly attributed to the AirSweeps…the flush material reduction alone is around $200K. Pretty awesome little devices!
Having sold thousands of Airsweep, to clients who sometimes buy 60 at a time, I can tell you this is the best piece of equipment out there to solve your material flow issues. We have repeat customers who just won’t buy anything else.
An AirSweep® system will pay for itself, in as little as two weeks with:
Control Concepts, Inc. provides a
7-year warranty on the Airsweep® unit.
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