In the realm of material handling and transportation systems, pneumatic conveyors and air slide conveyors play crucial roles. While both systems rely on air to move materials, they differ in design, operation, and applications.

Pneumatic Conveyors

Pneumatic conveyors, also known as air conveyors or pressure conveyors, are a versatile form of transportation system widely used in various industries. These conveyors employ high-pressure air or gas to propel materials through a pipeline or ductwork.

Operating Principle:

Pneumatic conveyors function on the principle of creating a pressure difference between the material source and the destination. This pressure difference propels the material through the pipeline.

Two main types of pneumatic conveyors

  • a) Dilute Phase Conveyors: In this type, the material is suspended in an air stream, creating a fluidized state for efficient transportation.
  • b) Dense Phase Conveyors: Dense phase conveyors use a lower velocity air stream, allowing materials to flow in a concentrated, non-fluidized state.

principle & Construction ofAir Slide Conveyors

Air slide conveyors, also referred to as aeration conveyors or fluidized gravity conveyors, are specifically designed for handling powdered and granular materials. Unlike pneumatic conveyors, air slide conveyors operate by maintaining a controlled, low-pressure air flow through a porous fabric media. Key aspects of air slide conveyors include:

Operating Principle:Airslide conveyors employ a fluidized air film on which the materials glide. This low-pressure air flow acts as both a lubricant and a means of transportation.

Construction and Design:An air slide conveyor typically consists of a fabric permeable membrane, which allows the controlled air flow to pass through. The slope and inclination of the conveyor facilitate the smooth flow of materials.

Differences and Applications

  • Material Handling:Pneumatic conveyors are suitable for both dry and wet materials, including bulk solids, liquids, and slurries. On the other hand, air slide conveyors are primarily used for powdered and granular materials.
  • System Complexity:Pneumatic conveyors involve complex systems with blowers, compressors, filters, and control valves. In contrast, air slide conveyors have simpler structures, requiring less equipment and maintenance.
  • Material Degradation:Due to the high-velocity air stream, pneumatic conveyors may cause degradation or breakage of fragile materials. Air slide conveyors, with their gentle fluidized flow, minimize the risk of material degradation.
  • Applications:Pneumatic conveyors find applications in industries such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and cement manufacturing. Air slide conveyors are commonly utilized in industries like cement, mining, and power generation.

Top 5 differences between pneumatic conveyors and air slide conveyors

AspectsPneumatic ConveyorsAir Slide Conveyors
PrinciplePressure differenceFluidized air film
Material HandlingDry and wet materialsPowders and granules
System ComplexityComplexSimple
Material DegradationPotentialMinimal
ApplicationsVersatileCement, mining, power


In conclusion, pneumatic conveyors and air slide conveyors present distinct approaches to material transportation. Pneumatic conveyors rely on pressure differences and are suitable for a wide range of materials, while air slide conveyors utilize fluidized air films and are more specialized for powdered and granular substances. Understanding the unique features and applications of these conveyors is essential for selecting the most appropriate system for specific material handling requirements.