Pneumatic conveying systems are the most efficient way of transporting large quantities of powders, pellets, granules and dust from one place to another. They use airstreams to propel the substance along piping that can be horizontal or vertical.
There are several inherent dangers in moving large quantities of dust from one location to another. According to the Health and Safety Executive, explosion is one of these dangers. Any combustible material dust can explode if the concentration reaches explosion limits and it is ignited. Even substances as seemingly harmless as coffee and potato powder can explode.
An efficient conveying system cuts down the risks. It is possible to install a pressure system or a vacuum system. As the name suggests, a pressure system uses compressed air that is introduced at the system inlet and pushes the substance along. Vacuum systems, on the other hand, have a vacuum applied at the delivery end, and this pulls the material along.
The right system for you will depend on the material that is being transported and whether there are concerns about pipe degradation. The reason that the materials are being transferred and the required robustness and efficiency are also important.
Vacuum conveying systems
A vacuum conveyor from a supplier such as http://www.aptech.uk.com/pneumatic-conveying-systems/vacuum-conveying will have a pick-up nozzle that is attached to a conveying line. There will also be a vacuum generator at the end. There are many types of vacuum generators. The most suitable option for your system will depend on the size of the vacuum and the efficiency required.
Vacuum systems are often selected for substances the could cause a blockage in a pressure system, and they take up less space. However, they don’t work so well over long distances or over large heights.
Pressure conveying systems
Pressure systems have a rotary air lock feeder valve that is connected to a high-pressure air compressor system. There is also a conveying line and a receiver. High-pressure compressed air is introduced and conveys the material along the pipes to the receiver. A series of valves and sensors control the air pressure.
This type of conveying system is better at transporting materials that are heavier, and it works better over longer distances. However, they are expensive and require specialised equipment. There are a lot of elements that can break down.