Air Slide Conveyor/Pneumatic Conveying System Design
As a general rule in pneumatic conveying(Air Slide Conveying), when sizing a system we look primarily at pressures, velocities, and line loadings to determine best what the line size should be. For example, a well-sized dilute phase pressure system going 200 feet would probably run somewhere between 6-12 PSIG, have a terminal velocity of between 4,500 – 6,000 fpm, and have a material/air ratio of somewhere between 8:1 to 12:1, the specifics varying depending on the product being conveyed.
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- Some examples would be extremely light or dense material. Most things we convey are between 30 and 60 pounds a cubic foot. But what if the material is extremely light (like fume silica at 4 lbs/cu ft) or dense (various metal oxide powders of 200 lbs/cu ft or more)? Line sizes in these cases would typically be larger than “normal” for the light material and smaller for the heavy stuff, just to account for the volumetric throughput.
- Another example would be large or “chunk” particles. The rules about line loading (material/air ratios) are totally rewritten if you are dealing with large particles. The general rule of thumb in pneumatic conveying is that the line size should be no smaller than 4X the diameter of the largest particle.
Four Things You Need to Consider Before Choosing Pneumatic Conveying
Typically most applications fall into these parameters when needing to convey a bulk solid material.
Distance Guidelines for Conveying
- Under 50 feet – Mechanical Conveying: Augers, U-Troughs, Vibratory, AeroMechanical or small venturi based pneumatic system.
- 50 to 600 feet with a few turns – Pneumatic Conveying: Dilute Phase, Dense Phase
- Over 1,000 feet – Mechanical Conveying: usually Belt or Drag Chain
- Under 1,000 pounds/hour – Mechanical Conveying or Venturi system
- 1,000 to 80,000 pounds/hour – Pneumatic Conveying(Air Slide Conveying)
- 80,000+ pounds/hour – Mechanical Conveying
Knowing how your material will perform when pneumatically conveyed is critical to your system’s success. The best way to ensure a design is engineered and sized to be the most cost-effective method to convey materials is by testing it for the following in a real-time, operational system:
- Convey Design Parameters
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