Pneumatic conveying systems
The FPE Global team has extensive experience in designing, building and installing pneumatic conveying systems. We are experts in all types of pneumatic systems and can help you create the right system whatever your operational challenges.
What are pneumatic conveying systems?
Pneumatic conveying systems use a pipe network and air pressure to transport bulk materials from one location to another. Pneumatic conveying systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the type of material being transported, the transfer distance, and the layout of the production process. There are Dilute or Lean Phase (vacuum and positive pressure systems), and Dense Phase and Neu Phase for longer distances or friable, difficult to handle products.
How do pneumatic conveying systems work?
Above we discussed different phases, the name phase comes from ‘phase density’ this means the mass of product compared to mass of air in the system. The types of system are all classified based on their phase density and operate slightly differently as a result.
Dilute or Lean Phase Conveying Systems
The system can move materials in several ways.
Firstly the material can be suspended in a stream of air that transports them along the pipes (known as a positive pressure system). The air is at a very low pressure, up to around 1 bar gauge with typical conveying velocities in the range of 20-35m/s. This system is ideal for short route, continuous conveying with low throughputs up to 10 tons per hour.
Key features of positive pressure systems:
- Suitable for higher pressures
- Offer an economical solution
- Suitable for multiple destinations
This system also allows for material to be transported by the removal of the air from the system (known as a vacuum system). In this system a suction effect is created by removing the air which pulls the material through the vacuum.
Key features of vacuum systems:
- Offer dust free product entertainment
- Suitable for multiple entry points
- suitable for closed loop nitrogen conveying
- keep dust egress to a minimum
It is common to find both material moving methods used in the same system. For example, vacuum system to pick up a raw powder and positive pressure to push it through the pipe network. Both systems are suitable for batch and continuous transfer applications and for batch weighing applications. They can also both be used for conveying explosive products.
Dense Phase and Neu Phase Conveying Systems
In Dense Phase the pipeline operates at pressures ranging from 1-6 Bar gauge with typical conveying velocities in the range of 15-20m/s. This process is ideal for a cohesive or damp product and for high bulk densities. It uses air to push denser pellets down the line in a similar way to a piston. The system can be arranged for either discontinuous or continuous operation. For continuous operation twin blow tanks are used with the HDP rotary valve method to ensure economical filling at pressure.
In Neu Phase the pipeline also operates at pressures ranging from 1-6 Bar gauge with typical conveying velocities in the range of 4-6m/s. This uses a wave like motion to keep the material moving with minimal friction, The low velocity reduces wear making it ideal for fragile or abrasive products.
Key features of these systems:
- Suitable for the majority of powdered products
- Lower conveying velocities than lean phase
- Higher operating pressures
- Longer conveying distance achievable
- Higher products to air ratios resulting in higher throughputs
- Minimal moving parts gives saving on equipment wear
- Suitable for hygienic applications and conveying explosive products
The FPE Global Solution
When deciding on a system companies must consider not just the method of transport but also material feeding, separating devices, and running costs. Our years of experience meant that the FPE Global team can talk you through all the stages of the process and design a system that suits the needs of your individual business.. We can select the most appropriate customised design for the application based on our reference plants, material test data and understanding of the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the systems.
No matter what the challenges of your operations, FPE Global can create a system using a variety of technologies to make sure you get the right solution for your needs.
FPE Global engineers have successfully commissioned thousands of individual systems. Our systems offer reliable, low maintenance solutions which are clean, safe and cost effective. Contact FPE Global today to find out how we can help you with all your pneumatic conveyor needs.