By Dr. Rob Berry, Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology
Problems with Powder Relating to Gravity Flow Behavior
A typical industrial powder processing line will include several storage vessels (e.g. bins, bunkers, silos, hoppers, Intermediate Bulk Containers or IBCs, sacks etc), feeding or handling steps (e.g. belt conveyor, screw conveyor, pneumatic conveyor, gravity chutes etc) and processing steps (e.g. milling, mixing, drying, bagging etc). A major industrial problem is getting the powder to discharge reliably from storage into the next process step. Therefore, to understand the application of powder flow measurements, it is useful to have some background knowledge of the flow patterns and flow obstructions that can occur inside the storage vessels on a processing line.