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AirSweep in the Cement Industry

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The cement industry uses many raw materials that are prone to bridging, ratholing and caking. Unfortunately, slow or sluggish flow can have a huge impact on their productivity and product quality.

That’s why some of the world’s biggest cement companies rely on AirSweep for on-demand flow. Many of them switched from vibrators, air cannons, and air knockers–simply because AirSweep worked better.

Watch the video to find out why AirSweep is so effective for cement materials, and how it has helped companies improve revenue and lower costs.

Aside from the video, you can also visit the AirSweep cement industry page and read cement industry case studies.

Shredded Potato Material Flow Test

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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 Material Flow Test

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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.

AirSweep Return on Investment (ROI)

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Bridging, ratholing, and other material flow problems can lower productivity, increase costs, and even cause safety hazards.

Inefficient flow aids can also use more energy and are harder to maintain – costing more money in the long run.

That’s why many companies switched to AirSweep. They saw it was more powerful, cost-effective, and easier to maintain—for a higher return on investment.

Find out what AirSweep can do for your material flow, and your overall business efficiency and profit, with this video on the AirSweep return on investment (ROI). You will learn about:

  • Production savings and the true cost of downtime
  • Energy savings from electricity and plant air
  • Maintenance savings from vessel damage, and cleaning and flushing costs

To calculate your AirSweep ROI, contact our sales team ( for more information.

Recycled Carpet Material Flow Test

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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. 

De-germed, De-branned Corn Material Flow Test

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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.

Cleaning Vessel Walls with AirSweep Material Flow Test

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AirSweep can be used to quickly clean material residue from vessel walls. This can be done between batch runs, to improve plant productivity and product quality.

  • Reduce downtime from manual cleaning
  • Preserve product integrity and consistency, particularly when using the same vessel for different formulas
  • Prevent contamination and spoilage

This video demonstrates how the AirSweep system can sweep a vessel completely clean in just a few seconds.

Read more about what happened when companies replaced manual cleaning systems with AirSweep:

Cement Mix Material Flow Test

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The AirSweep Straight Shooter models deliver a focused column of air directly in front of the nozzle. It can be mounted with standard pipe elbows and fittings to point in any direction.

The Straight Shooter can be used to clear material from troughs, ducts, or any areas that are hard to reach.

Straight Shooter models can be used on any material

The powerful air pulses lift even heavy materials, and leave no residue on walls. In this video, two AirSweep Straight Shooter VA-12 models were attached to a trough. It was tested on two heavy bulk powders: leveling cement mix, and damp sand. After just a few pulses, the trough was completely cleared.

The AirSweep Straight Shooter is available in all standard AirSweep sizes (3/4″, 1-1/2″ and 2″). There are also USDA-accepted models for sanitary applications.

Should I get a standard AirSweep or a Straight Shooter?

Watch this video to find out more about the difference between the two products. You can also contact us and we’ll be happy to recommend the best system for your needs.

Wheat Gluten Powder Material Flow Test

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Wheat gluten is used in many industries: food and beverage, health and personal care products, pharmaceuticals and animal feeds.

Wheat gluten has good water retention and texture stabilizing properties. It is often added to low-gluten or whole grain flours like rye or oat, or to food products like instant noodles. Because of the vitamins and minerals in wheat, it is also added to animal feed and skincare products.

However, wheat gluten can be prone to bridging, arching and other material flow problems. This video shows how it clogs up the mouth of the vessel, and has to be hammered free.

However, AirSweep pneumatic flow aids are particularly effective for these types of bulk powders. Four AirSweep VA-04 units were installed 4” and 10” above the discharge, and spaced 90 degrees apart. Once they were turned on, the wheat gluten powder flowed freely, even when the discharge size was shortened from 4” to 1.5”

AirSweep also has USDA-accepted models that meet the sanitary requirements of food and pharmaceutical industries. The air-tight nozzle also eliminates material feedback, so none of the powders fly back into the nozzle. This minimizes cleaning and maintenance, and prevents damage to the system.

While the AirSweep VA-06 units are meant for smaller vessels, there are models available for large silos, bins and cones.

USDA AirSweep: Simple, Sanitary Solution for Material Blocks

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The USDA-accepted AirSweep delivers powerful material activation and vessel cleaning performance, all in a design specifically made and approved for sanitary bulk material handling processes.

Its features include:

  • Air-tight design that guards against material retention and bacterial growth
  • Modular construction for easy cleaning and inspection
  • Tri-flange mount for tool-less removal

Watch the video to find out how the USDA-accepted AirSweep works, how to remove it for cleaning, possible applications, and the benefits to your business.