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Caprolactam Genomatica (San Diego, Calif.; www.genomatica.com) recently announced the production…
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Comment PDF Solids Handling

Predicting Powder Flow Behavior – A New Approach

By Eddie McGee, Ajax Equipment |

    Accurate prediction of particulate-solids flow behavior during storage and feeding has eluded all but the most experienced solids handling experts. Often the process engineer is faced with the awkward task of making sense of bulk behavior. A powder sample held in a jar may appear to be free flowing, but hammer rash — jargon for the practice of hitting hoppers with pipes to dislodge powders in the hopper — is evident in many plants, suggesting a different story (Figure 1). If truth be told, the interaction of material characteristics, equipment design and interfacing, flow regimes and operational circumstances play roles that rival the significance of power testing results. Perhaps the most meaningful parameters that affect plant performance are how the material slides against a contact surface, the material’s shear strength and how the bulk density, itself, varies. Note that all of these factors are often affected by the compaction and stress conditions imposed. As ever, when faced with complexity it is tempting to reduce a powder’s flow behavior to a single number or even a flow function. However this inevitably gives limited insight into a material’s bulk performance. In this article, the…
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