Why Air Flow Aids May Be Better Than Chemical Flow Aids


Material handling equipment, such as discharge bins, can frequently clog when the materials being transported attach to the walls of the vessel and constrict subsequent movements. This article discusses how pneumatic flow aids may be a better way to remove those blockages instead of using chemical flow aids.

Ease of Installation

Pneumatic flow aids, such as air cannons, can easily be integrated into the existing material flow system. This is in contrast to chemical flow aids that may require you to redesign the flow system. That system redesign may be necessary because additional stations must be created so that the chemical flow aids, such as phosphates, can be mixed into the material that is being transported. These additional stations can be very expensive to retrofit on an existing material flow system.

Ease of Use

Pneumatic flow aids are easy to use. This is because the supplier of the equipment installs equipment that has been programmed to fire off at preset intervals so that material caking is prevented from taking place. Chemical flow aids are not so easy to use. They require a skilled person to compute how much of the substance should be added to a given volume of the material flowing through the channel. This calculation is conducted after the chemical flow aid has been confirmed to be compatible with the material being transported. The confirmation is obtained after comprehensive tests are done. All these technical requirements make using chemical flow aids very challenging.

Minimal Ongoing Maintenance

Pneumatic/air flow aids require very little maintenance. A technician just has to check the air-discharge devices periodically to confirm that they are working as expected. Equipment parts that are worn can then be replaced before they fail. Chemical flow aids are more costly to maintain. This is because the system relies on consumable products, such as silicates, that have to be purchased on an ongoing basis in order to mix them in the substance that is being transported. Furthermore, the equipment that mixes the chemical substance into the material that shouldn't form clogs also requires frequent maintenance so that it does not break down.

As you can see, it may be better for you to choose a pneumatic flow aid instead of a chemical one. However, it is also helpful to seek for the opinion of a flow aid professional, like one from VSS - Vibration Systems & Solutions (Australia), so that you are sure that the method you have chosen is suitable for your specific application.


2 August 2016

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