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Comment PDF Solids Handling

Measuring Dust and Fines In Polymer Pellets

By Shrikant Dhodapkar, Remi Trottier, and Billy Smith, The Dow Chemical Co. |

Plastics are most commonly produced and sold in pellet form due to the superior handling characteristics of pellets in downstream applications. From the moment the polymer is pelletized from its molten state, the pellets or granules undergo a series of handling steps as they move from the producer to the consumer. For instance, post-pelletization steps include: • Hydraulic conveying • Drying (typically via spin drying) • In-process pneumatic conveying • Silo storage • Packaging (via bulk shipment, or in bags or boxes) • Unloading (via pneumatic conveying) and silo storage • Conveying to processing equipment • Blending and feeding As a consequence of this repeated handling, the pellets often become contaminated with various unwanted species, namely: FIGURE 1. Many types of dust and fines form during the handling of bulk plastic pellets. A single pellet is shown here for size comparison FIGURE 2. Pneumatic conveying systems routinely create dust and fines when moving polyethylene pellets. The size distribution shown here was measured using an image analyzer • Dust or fines that are generated during pelletization, conveying and collection in cyclones (Figure 1). The particle size distribution…
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