An Expert's View on Flow Aids and Their Applications

An Expert's View on Flow Aids and Their Applications

17 July 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Flow aids are systems that aid in the movement of materials in various systems. You'll commonly find them in conveyors or continuous flow processes. This post discusses the three main types of flow aids, as well as their applications. Read on for more.

Chemical Flow Aids

Various chemicals are useful flow aids and help in altering the flow of bulk materials. Such additives function by guarding the host particles against bonding together through surface coating particles. They are mostly in powder forms, including stearates or phosphates, and their effectiveness can be determined by running a strength test on lab samples. 

Some considerations when using chemical flow aids are the compatibility with the material and processes involved. Besides, the additives and additional equipment costs required for the mixing process is of great importance. However, chemical flow aids should be your last resort when fixing flow problems.

Mechanical Flow Aids

Most industrial methods use flow aids to achieve straight-laced material flow. They work through the application of physical force — generated by mechanical vibrations — to the bin equipment. Consequently, vibrators exert constant pressure on containing materials via the equipment's walls. You can often find them mounted on a silo's hopper section or transfer chute walls. 

In some situations, mechanical flow aids help revive flow in a plugged silo but most of the time are less helpful and can even worsen the flow issue. Moreover, vibrating dischargers can overwhelm various flow problems. But before using them, you must have a clear perception of the flow pattern and materials used to achieve the desired results. If the discharger isn't enough to conquer ratholing, flow inconsistency intricacies may occur.

Pneumatic Flow Aids 

These types of flow aids have air cannons that work by releasing high-velocity air into the silo. Besides the position, the number of air cannons and size you'll need will generally depend on the material and size of the silo, as well as the cohesive strength of the material.

The correct installation and pneumatic flow aid's use can assist in boosting the efficient flow of materials. However, there are some cases where you'll need to redesign or replace the original equipment as well. It may be challenging to find out if there is any deficiency in the flow aids' setups. As a result, you may end up installing more canons than necessary on one bin. As such, you can end up with losses trying to achieve a decent flow.

Proper installation and use of pneumatic flow aids help spur efficient material flow. But there are certain instances where you need to redesign or replace existing equipment too. It can be challenging to determine whether flow aids are deficient in various setups, and you may end up installing too many air cannons on a single bin. Hence, this is not an economical and efficient way to achieve decent flow. 

For more information, contact a flow aid supplier.