Dried distillers grain and many other materials have a tendency to draw moisture and clump together in storage. This can make it very difficult to move the material, which affects productivity and even the material’s integrity and safety.
AirSweep is particularly effective for damp materials that have a tendency to clump, bridge, or rathole. In this material flow test, the dried distillers grain was mixed with one cup of water, packed down, and left in the hopper for five days. By then, it had formed clumps and begun to adhere to itself.
AirSweep resolved all of these material blocks – breaking up the clumps and flushing all the dried distiller’s grain out of the hopper. It is the proven solution for tough flow problems.
For very difficult materials that sit in the hopper for long periods of time, AirSweep standard units can also be combined with the AirSweep straight shooter, which emits a concentrated column of air.
Pine wood chips (PWC) are used for making paper and composite wood products and are a sustainable source of biofuels. However, it has challenging flow properties and needs a reliable flow aid to prevent material blocks.
This material flow test demonstrates AirSweep’s efficiency and control. At the start of the test, a hopper was filled with half a cubic foot of PWC. The hopper had a 28” diameter and a 4” diameter outlet.
Four AirSweep VA-06 units were installed on the vessel and were programmed to release short air pulses every three seconds.
Without the use of any flow aid, the PWC dropped in slow clumps through the discharge. But from the moment the AirSweep unit released its first pulse, the material began to flow steadily until the hopper was completely emptied.
Recycled PVC plastic is 100% recyclable. It is a sustainable material with a lower carbon footprint than fresh raw materials.
However, recycled PVC plastic can have challenging flow properties. It is dry, lightweight and has a tendency to leave particles on all the surfaces that it touches.
AirSweep is the best flow aid for recycled materials. In this material flow test, a hopper was filled with approximately 0.668 cubic feet of recycled plastic. The material was compacted into the outlet with a 6×6 piece of wood.
Then, two AirSweep VA-06 units were activated. After just seven pulses, the AirSweep swept all the material out of the hopper.
While a thin layer remained because of the material’s stickiness, the flow test proves how AirSweep can effectively solve bridging, ratholing, and other stubborn material blocks. Check out our video library for more material flow test videos.
Cedar wood chips, a byproduct of the wood industry, are often used in gardening, mulching, smoking meats, and making crafts. It is very light and has a tendency to clump when it is stored or processed.
Wood Chips respond to aeration, but fluidizers don’t have enough power to break apart clumps. It needs a powerful pneumatic flow aid like AirSweep.
In this material flow test, a hopper was filled with .668 cubic feet of cedar wood chips. Four AirSweep VA-06 units were strategically installed at various points of the vessel and set to pulse every four seconds.
At the start of the test, the material was allowed to flow “naturally” without the use of any flow aid. It fell in slow clumps and, in time, would have clogged the discharge completely.
Once the AirSweep units were turned on, it took just a few pulses to move the material completely out of the vessel.
Like many fine powders, coffee grounds have a tendency to clump or flow unevenly when it is transferred or processed. However, vibrators will make it more compact and may produce dust.
AirSweep is the best flow aid for powders that need gentle but effective handling. To demonstrate this, five gallons or 134 cubic feet of coffee grounds were poured into a hopper. After just one pulse, the coffee flowed like a fluid.
AirSweep is trusted by some of the world’s largest food manufacturers to get fast, on-demand material flow. Read more about AirSweep in the food industry.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a versatile thermoplastic polymer that is used to make a variety of products. This includes pipes, tubes, roofing, flooring, cables, wires, bottles and other containers, and even shoes.
PVC powder can exhibit poor flow properties and may even form bridges or arches in storage or feeding equipment. AirSweep can resolve these issues – while using less plant air and energy than other flow aids.
In this material flow test, two AirSweep VA-06 units were installed on a hopper at approximately 4” and 10” above the outlet.
The hopper was then filled with 10 gallons or .267 cubic feet of material. Without the AirSweep, the material flowed slowly, dropping in clumps. Once the AirSweep units started to pulse, the flow dramatically increased.
Potato flakes are a very light, dry material with very challenging flow properties. Without external activation, it tends to settle in the vessel and plug up the outlet. However, it breaks down into a fine powder if it is aggressively handled.
AirSweep is the best flow aid for this type of material. The nozzles release carefully timed, high-pressure air pulses that can move the potato flakes in seconds – without damaging the product consistency.
The material flow test demonstrates AirSweep’s efficiency and control. At the start of the test, the hopper was filled with 5 cubic feet of potato flakes. Note how the material did not flow even after the discharge was opened.
The vessel had one AirSweep unit installed 4 inches above the discharge. The material began to flow from the very first pulse until the vessel was completely emptied.
Polypropylene Homopolymer (PPH) is a thermoplastic resin with a wide range of applications.
PPH is durable and resistant to chemicals and retains its shape even after a lot of bending and flexing. It is often used to make packaging and commodity plastics, textiles, or construction materials such as pipes, sheets, and moldings.
Since PPH has a high electrical resistance, it is also used to manufacture electronics, household appliances, and automobile components.
However, shredded polypropylene shavings will not flow readily. It is lightweight, airy, and becomes spongey when compressed. Even with minimal handling, it produces small amounts of dust.
Polypropylene responds to aeration, so pneumatic flow aids like AirSweep can prevent it from bridging, arching, and interlocking in hoppers and other vessels.
In this material flow test, about 10 pounds of polypropylene shavings were placed in a 28” diameter hopper with a 60-degree cone and a 4” diameter outlet. Two AirSweep VA-06 units were installed 180 degrees apart at approx. 8” and 10” above the outlet.
The AirSweep system was set at the operating pressure of 40 PSI, with a sequence rate of one pulse every 3 seconds, each pulse lasting for 0.25 seconds. The material started flowing immediately with the first pulse and continued to steadily flow until the hopper was completely emptied.
AirSweep is an effective flow aid for polypropylene homopolymers and other thermoplastic resins used to make packaging, construction materials, and components.
The AirSweep system uses powerful air pulses to break apart material blocks without damaging the vessel. This has many practical applications in the plant, from improving material flow to cleaning bins, chutes and ducts of any debris.
This video shows how AirSweep can be used to clean dirty air ducts (represented by a 21” x 33” diameter oval drum). One AirSweep VA-06 unit was centered at the bottom. The drum was filled with recycled carpet materials, which have a tendency to stick together
To collect the dust, a vacuum was set at 179 CFM.
Without the AirSweep, the dust particles clumped or settled along the vessel walls. This would eventually block the air duct.
The AirSweep breaks the clumps and sweeps the dust back into the flow stream.
Contact us to find out more about how the AirSweep can be integrated into your plant for better flow and faster cleaning.
AirSweep is the best pneumatic flow aid for tough material flow problems. It can handle challenging powders like titanium dioxide and bulk solids like sticky liquid cheese. In this video, we’ll show you how it deals with dry, caked compounds too.
Half a gallon of water was added to corn grits (DDC) and sprayed along the vessel walls. The mixture was left in the hopper, which was sealed for three days. The plant environment had an average temperature of 73°F and humidity levels of 61%.
After three days, the mixture had caked into a hard and moldy block.
Four AirSweep VA-06 units were mounted on the hopper, at 90 degrees apart. The operating pressure was set to 60 PSI. The air pulses broke the hardened corn grit mixture into fine powders, and cleared the vessel.