Heavy Duty Line Vac Solves Alumina Spillage Problem

Spilled alumina material which needs to be vacuumed and returned to the main hopper.

The image above shows spillage of small alumina particles at an aluminum manufacturing plant in South America.  This customer needed a method to vacuum the spilled material and return it to the main hopper.  The ideal solution needed to be compact, simple, and provide repeatable results.  All of these are key aspects of EXAIR Line Vacs, so we began discussing application variables to make a solution recommendation.

Whenever we consider Line Vac applications we always explore the following variables:

  •      Bulk density of the material
  •      Size of the material
  •      Conveyance height
  •      Conveyance distance
  •      Required conveyance rate
  •      Available compressed air supply

The spilled alumina in this application has a bulk density of 1.1 g/cm³ (~68.7 pounds/ft³) which needs to be conveyed to a height of 3.3m (~11ft.).  The conveyance rate is not mandated, but the alumina particles are rather small in diameter and the customer wanted to move as much material as possible in as little time as possible.  Compressed air is readily available at proper pressures and flows, so we were left to determine whether a Line Vac could be a viable solution.  Fortunately we’ve found success in transferring alumina with our Line Vacs in multiple applications before, so we were confident we could find a solution here as well.

The height of this application is 3308mm (~11ft.) – an easy conveyance height for an EXAIR Line Vac.

After exploring the specifics of this application we determined the best solution to be the 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac model 150200.  The 150200 Heavy Duty Line Vac can easily move the alumina to a height of 3.3m at an estimated conveyance rate of 11kg/minute (25 pounds/minute).  There are no moving parts to wear out, which means little to no maintenance and reliable performance each time the Line Vac is used.

Our local distributor assisted with product procurement and in-country technical support.  So even though this customer was in a different continent, we were able to quickly get them the assistance and products they needed to solve their problems.

If you have an application and would like to work with an EXAIR Application Engineer, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.  1-800-903-9247.

EXAIR Corporation Application Engineers
Techelp@EXAIR.com

Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Removes Fibrous Material from Conveyor Belt

Conveying System

A factory was having some issues in losing plastic material underneath and around their conveyor system.   The conveyor moved plastic fibers from an extrusion process into a hopper.   The conveyor belt was made of a rubber material that was 17” wide, and the plastic fiber was made from HDPE.  As the conveyor went around the end to dump the fibers into the hopper, some of it would stick to belt and sides of the conveying system.  Some fiber material would fall onto the ground which would require cleaning and loss of material.  They attempted to place a brush flap against the conveyor belt to knock the material off, but it was not very effective.  The brush flap actually generated more static as well as created wear marks on the belt from contact.  The customer sent a picture of the problem and wondered if EXAIR could help them with this application.

Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit

With plastic fibrous material and rubber belts, the two non-conductive surfaces will generate static.  Static can have a strong force that will cause the material to “stick” to surfaces.  The higher the static voltage, the stronger the force.  As you can see in the photo, the material is sticking to the belt as well as to the sides.  For this application,  I recommended the model 112224 Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit.  The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is uniquely designed to have two functions in this application.  The Super Ion Air Knife uses 40 parts of ambient air with every one part of compressed air, making it very efficient.  With the laminar air stream that comes from the Super Air Knife, it can carry both positive and negative ions from the attached Gen4 Ionizing Bar to remove any type of static charge.  With this combination, it becomes a very effective non-contact scraper to remove the fibers and not wear on the conveyor belt.  The model 112224 kit includes the 24” (610 mm) long Super Air Knife with a Gen4 Ionizing Bar attached; power supply, filter, regulator, and a shim set.

The reason for the 24” (610 mm) extended length was to keep the fibers from collecting to the outside area of the conveyor (as shown in the photo above).  With the compact and lightweight design, it could easily be positioned below the conveyor.  As the fiber material would come around the conveyor, the ions carried by the air stream would neutralize the static as well as remove the material from the belt and the sides.  When the customer mounted the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife in place, the plastic fibers dropped into the hopper and not onto the floor underneath.

Spillage is wasteful, costly, and time consuming to cleanup.  If you have excess waste from your conveying system, EXAIR will have the product to help you.  For the customer above, the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife made it possible to claim more material, removed the hazard from buildup on the floor, and reduced cleaning time.  You can contact an Application Engineer to review your application.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb