By Joe Marinelli and Scott Miller, Solids Handling Technologies Inc. |
Processes involving the movement of bulk solid materials require careful consideration of the feeder equipment design, including how the feeders work with various bins and hoppers
The importance of feeder design in maintaining reliable material flow in solids handling processes can easily be underappreciated and underestimated, but ignoring the feeder will likely result in costly and disastrous outcomes. Feeders are designed to control solids flow, but they also need to work well with the bin, hopper or silo system associated with the process. Engineers can expend great effort and resources to evaluate a material’s flow properties, design the best bin for those properties and spend signficant funds on liners or steep hoppers, only to have all the money and effort wasted by an improperly designed feeder.
The bin and feeder must work together to ensure uninterrupted flow from the bin. To foster a deeper understanding of the importance of feeder design, this article discusses material flow basics, flow patterns, the key role of bin design, the types of feeders commonly used and devices available in the marketplace. In addition, it includes a list of feeder-related “dos and don’ts” and finally a flow chart used to determine the…