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ChE 30 Chemical engineering laboratory - II

Experiment No. Name of the experiment: Group No. 03 (A2)


Submitted by: Md. Hasib Al Mahbub

Student Id: 0902045 Level: 3; Term: 2 Section: A2

Date of performance: 11/02/2014 Date of submission: 25/02/2014

Partners Student Id. 0902041 0902042 0902043 0902044

Department of Chemical Engineering. Bangladesh University of engineering and technology, Dhaka.

The objectives of this experiment was to observe the interlocking phenomena of a storage column stored with solid particles and to verify the well-known Janssen equation. For these purpose sand was used as solid material. The actual 1 Kg sand was reweighed at the base of the stored column. The height of the bed was also recorded. This was continued until the successive three weights were equal. The mass flow rate of sand was calculated by short bin with small opening diameter. The experimental base pressure was calculated by weight divided by area relation but the theoretical base pressure was calculated by Janssen equation. The experimental base pressure ranges from 11.23 to 64.02 lb/ft2 while the theoretical values were 10.89 to 61.92 lb/ft2. A graph between experimental and theoretical base pressure vs. bed height was plotted. The experimental curve is almost identical with the theoretical one.

Experimental Setup

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the experimental setup

Observed data
Table 1: Observed data for weight and height. Obs. no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Mass of sand added (Kg) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Mass of sand in column (Kg) 1 1.7 2.3 3.3 3.75 4.15 4.5 4.8 4.95 5.1 5.2 5.35 5.5 5.55 5.6 5.65 5.7 Height of sand in column (inch) 0.5 2 2.8 4.5 6 7.5 8.8 10.5 12 13 14.7 15.7 17.3 19 20.4 21.8 23.5

Table 2: Data for calculation of mass flow rate. Observation No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Mass of particle, Kg 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.45 0.45 0.45 0.45 0.45 0.45 Time of collection, sec 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Mass flow rate, m Kg/sec 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.045 0.045 0.045 0.045 0.045 0.045 0.0427 Average mass flow rate, m Kg/sec

Calculated data
Table 1.03 : Calculated data for ( PB ) Th & ( PB ) expt . Obs . no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Volume occupied by sand , V ft 3 0.00818571 0.03274284 0.045839976 0.07367139 0.09822852 0.12278565 0.144068496 0.17189991 0.19645704 0.21282846 0.240659874 0.257031294 0.283225566 0.31105698 0.333976968 0.356896956 0.38472837 Bulk density, b lbm/ ft 3 269.3230031 134.6615016 144.2801803 119.6991125 112.217918 107.7292013 107.1171035 102.5992393 100.9961262 103.5857704 100.76711 102.9259885 101.1907237 99.22426431 99.01580998 98.83412959 97.41470326 angle of internal 1 - Sin m friction K = of solids 1 + Sin m 0 m( ) Theoretical base pressure ( PB ) Th lbf/ft2 10.88944128 19.89112387 28.46173276 34.42197814 39.59887257 43.85516383 47.83462617 50.21743195 52.5651913 55.74561057 56.79499699 59.31429435 60.0596509 60.3745286 61.25190768 61.98203392 61.92427968 Expt. base pressure ( PB ) expt. lbf/ft2 11.23076923 19.09230769 25.83076923 37.06153846 42.11538462 46.60769231 50.53846154 53.90769231 55.59230769 57.27692308 58.4 60.08461538 61.76923077 62.33076923 62.89230769 63.45384615 64.01538462



Results and discussions

For one Kg mass of particle the experimental base pressure is 11.23 lbf/ft2, whereas using the Janssen equation we got it 10.89 lbf/ft2. After a certain height 1.7 ft the pressure becomes practically constant. And at this height the experimentally observed pressure is 64.01 lbf/ft2 and pressure using the Janssen equation is 61.9 lbf/ft2.

Graph 1 shows the behavior of both the experimental and theoretical base pressure with the increment of the bed height. The two curves are very close. This indicates that the values of experimental and theoretical pressures are almost same. The experimental values were little higher than theoretical one. These discrepancies might be occurred due to improper addition of sand particle. That means when sand was added into the column it was not possible to add the sand particle uniformly into the column.

Solid particle handling or storage is a regular requirement in our day-to-day life or in the industries. It is a huge challenge for all sorts of people ranging from the plant engineer to the food grain dealers or the sea-line operators. The challenge as clear from this experiment is the pressure exerted by the masses of particles. This pressure has profound impact on the design of bin, vessels, hoppers or silos as economics is always involved in building such storage tanks. This experiment helps to determine the maximum pressure exerted by the solid particles. Knowing this limit, the capacity or the size of the storage tank can be determined. Proper materials of construction can be selected as well. It can save the storage tanks from being over pressurized and being collapsed. Hence, this experiment is very important and gets a wide range of application where design of storage tank is concerned.

Some of the fields of application of this experiment are as follows: Food grain storage tank design. Design of vessels carrying various grains. Design of reactor handling solid particles. Design of silos in cement industries, etc.

When granular solids are stored in a bin or hopper, the lateral pressure exerted on the walls at any point is less than predicted from the head of material above that point. Furthermore there usually is friction between the wall and the solid grains, and because of the interlocking of the particles; the effect of this friction is felt throughout the mass. The frictional force at the wall tends to offset the weight of the solid and reduces the pressure exerted by the mass on the floor of the container. With many solids, when the height reaches about three times the diameter of the bin, additional material has virtually no effect on the pressure at the base. The total mass of bin plus material continues to increase, but the additional mass is carried by the wall and not by the floor of the bin. In the extreme case this force causes the mass to arch, or bridge, so that it does not fall, even when the material below is removed.

In solids the pressure is not the same in all directions. In general, a pressure applied in one direction creates some pressure in other directions, but it is always smaller than the applied pressure. It is a minimum in the direction at right angles to the applied pressure.

It has been observed that when the height reaches a certain limit, additional sand has virtually no effect on the pressure at the base. The total mass of the column plus material continues to increase, but the additional mass is carried by the wall and foundation, not by the floor of the column.

From the readings, it is clear that after a certain height the pressure exerted by the solid grains became constant. Nevertheless, the result could be improved by taking care to take the readings of height. The top edge of the materials in the cylindrical glass tube was no at horizontal level so that we had to take the average height reading. As a result the parallax error was introduced in the experiment. Moreover, the weighing machines were not highly calibrated to take more precisely weigh readings.

The experimental results revealed two concepts, which are, the lateral pressure that acts at right angle with the applied pressure is always the minimum pressure; at a certain applied pressure, base pressure of the column is constant.

This knowledge of pressure (exerted by the masses of particles) distribution characteristics will help us to design the structure of bins, hoppers or silos to preserve the too valuable or too soluble solids. 7

Graphical comparison between experimental and theoretical base pressure




Base Pressure


Experimental Theoretical



10 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2


Graph 1: experimental base pressure vs. theoretical base pressure