Read more about our pneumatic conveying research projects.

If any of these projects are of interest to you, please contact us for more information

Characterising handleability and problems in pneumatic conveying of wet minerals (2019)

The overall objective was to evaluate and explore the conveying properties and practical handling challenges with a range of wet minerals in conditions relevant to real industry operating conditions, and to identify practical methods for overcoming problems in design, application and reliable operation.

The work included the measurement of conveying properties and problems with a range of wet materials across a range of relevant conditions; plant surveys to establish existing conveying problems and the potential for application of pneumatic conveying to a wider range of wet materials; the trial of various potential solutions to these problems across a range of wet materials with different properties; and, ultimately the development of a design guide assisting the designer in the choice of solution when faced with a wet material conveying opportunity.

The outcome of the research will have application potentially to chemicals, foods and ashes as well as minerals, giving Clyde an opportunity to provide additional services to a wide swathe of the manufacturing sectors.

The Schenck Process Group known formally as Clyde Materials Handling, funded this project which was carried out by one of their employees on a part-time basis.

Air slide basic design and modelling (2016)

The aim of the project was to develop a characterisation technique to measure the behaviour of powder under air-fluidised conditions, and derive an analytical model, based on these measured characteristics, able to predict the various parameters for air-slide conveyors. These parameters include aeration requirement, transport capacity and flow velocities. The aluminium industry uses air slides extensively to convey alumina. The minerals, power generation and cement industries also use air slides. Currently, industry lacks the means to predict how a material will behave on an air slides conveyor except by undertaking trials in a near-full-scale system. By producing this model it would enable industry to predict the behaviour of powder from a new batch or source using a small sample, instead of having to simply put the full batch on the plant and enable problems to be corrected as they arise. This project was funded by Norsk Hydro ASA, Norway, with additional expertise through advice and supervision provided by Tel-Tek also of Norway.

Novel approach to signal acquisition and processing in relation to sensing electrostatic behaviour of particulate materials in motion

Electrostatic charging of particles occurs during many industrial processes and may give rise to unwanted particle cohesion or adhesion, which results in problems such as particle agglomeration, segregation, material build-up on equipment, etc. Clearly, it is desirable to characterise the charging tendency of raw materials prior to processing so that corrective actions can be taken. In the past, many methods and instruments have been developed for charge determination, but none of them is suitable for determination of a large number of particles or agglomerates at the same time due to extremely difficult signal process.

This university-funded project aims to develop an electrostatic inductive sensor with intelligent signal acquisition and processing so that it is able to detect and monitor the tribocharging behaviour of a large number of fine particles in motion such as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

A comparison between the pressure gradients in vertical and horizontal pneumatic conveying; with an investigation into the effects of pipeline bore in vertical conveying

The study was initiated by the need to improve current techniques used in the design of pneumatic conveying systems. Models, based on data obtained by testing a range of products in an industrial scale test facility were developed as an aid to understand the design of these systems.

Design and test a new approach in measuring particle slip velocity in a pneumatic conveying pipeline (2011)

Fine powders, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, are prone to electrostatic charging due to their size and physical properties. This charge can be a problem causing agglomeration and issues with respect to material loading. However this charge can also be detected and used to determine the velocity of particles as they are transported around a pneumatic conveying system. The aim of this research was to measure the change in velocity of charged particles as they traverse a 90o bend in a pneumatic conveying system.

Prediction of bend pressure losses in horizontal lean phase pneumatic conveying (2004)

Test results from 10 different materials were analysed to obtain models for bend pressure losses for materials with different shape characteristics. Although extensive research had previously been undertaken, no model had been yet been developed to predict the bend pressure losses easily for a range of materials.

Effects of particle size and density on pressure gradients in horizontal pipelines in lean phase pneumatic conveying (2000)

The project looked at the accuracy of predicting pressure losses along pneumatic conveying systems and, in particular, looking at why different materials behave in different ways when conveyed pneumatically along pipelines. A test rig was developed and results used to develop a graph to be used as an aid for predicting losses along the straight sections of a pipeline.

The analysis of particle degradation in pneumatic conveying utilizing a pilot-sized test factory (2000)

The desirability of a predictive method of determining levels of degradation resulting from particles being handled in pneumatic conveying systems was the driving force behind this project. Two test rigs were constructed and their respective data analysed and reported upon.

The measurement of particle velocity and suspension density in pneumatic coal injection systems

The objective of this project was to obtain data relating to the performance of on-line mass flow rate meters, as applied to pulverised coal injection systems. A test facility was developed and an extensive set of tests carried out, of a sensing system based on electrostatic techniques. The development of a mathematical model also resulted to try and explain some of the more unusual results.

Prediction of pressure losses in pneumatic conveying pipelines (1990)

The project arose out of the need to improve accuracy with which the pressure drop along pneumatic conveying pipelines in process plant could be predicted. Previous methods were assessed, and a new approach developed and tested. This new method was then put into practice for the design of systems in industrial applications and is still in use today.

Suction nozzle feeding mechanisms and their effect on the performance of vacuum pneumatic conveying systems (1990)

Although pneumatic conveying systems had been in existence for over 100 years, no work had been undertaken on looking at the different feeding mechanisms and how they affected the performance of the whole system. This project concentrated on the effect of entrainment mechanisms in co-axial tube type suction nozzles on the performance of such conveying systems.

An examination of the discharge capabilities of blow tanks as feeders for pneumatic conveying systems (1986)

In order to assess the performance of a blow tank feeding on a particular combination of product and conveying line, a technique to describe the discharge characteristics was developed. This enabled the examination of factors that influence blow tank performance and the fundamental differences between the performance at the top and bottom of the discharge tanks. The results identified some major differences between the two and highlighted the influence of initial charge fraction and blow tank pressure. The investigation resulted in a technique for both describing and predicting the performance of blow tank feeders and identified factors influencing blow tank performance.