Preventing and solving powder flow problems was one of the main focuses of the second day of the International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.
Powder flow problems can lead to limited storage, caking, or agglomeration, or possibly even structural failure, according to Joe Marinelli, president of Solids Handling Technologies Inc.
Marinelli said he reads about silo failures in operations at least once a month. “You don’t want to be near one when it starts coming down,” Marinelli told an audience of nearly 50 industry professionals.
Marinelli, who writes the Powder Perspectives column for www.powderbulksolids.com, described the differences between funnel and mass flow bins and described how the industry can decide which type of flow device to use.
For instance, funnel flow is best suited for coarse particles, free-flowing materials, and non-degrading solids, while mass flow is best suited for cohesive solids, fine powders, and degradeable materials.
Marinelli went into further detail to provide his audience technical details on how to analyze their material to determine flow properties. One of the examples Marinelli provided was that material handling users may want to test various materials that line their silos and hoppers to better determine how powders will flow in a bin. For instance, certain types of stainless steel will provide the better flow than other material.
For more information about powder flow, check out Joe Marinelli’s Powder Perspectives