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Pneumatic Conveying in Extrusion Processes

Jonathan Thorn

Pneumatic
Conveying of
weighing feeding screening automation
E t d d Products
Extruded
P d t

Mac Process

Pneumatic Conveying Basics Terminology


- Transport of dry materials through pipelines using air as the motive force
Pick-up Velocity - Air velocity at feedpoint
Terminal Velocity
y - Air velocityy at the destination

Entrainment Velocity - Air velocity at which material will be picked up from rest

Material-to-Air Ratio dimensionless line loading -

Kg material
K
Kg air

Pressure Loss reduction in air pressure as result of moving air/material


- delivery of air to the feedpoint
- acceleration of material from rest
- conveying of material through piping and elbows
- other components (diverters, magnets, filters, etc)

Pneumatic Conveying Basics Convey Phases

Pneumatic Conveying Basics Convey Phases

Pneumatic Conveying Basics

Dilute
ute Phase
ase

Conveying above minimum entrainment velocity

Low material-to-air ratio (0 - ~12)

High risk of degradation or abrasion

Constant stream of material

Pneumatic Conveying Basics

Dense Phase

Conveyy below the minimum entrainment velocityy

High material-to-air ratio (~10 - 50)

Low risk of degradation or abrasion

Pulse or slug flow of material

Ingredient Handling Systems


Pressure Dilute Phase Conveying
y g

Ingredient Handling Systems


Vacuum Dilute Phase Conveying

Ingredient Handling Systems


Pressure/Vacuum Combination

Ingredient Handling Systems

Pressurized Trucks and Railcars

Compartments are pressurized


Flow of product is metered by valving
<1 bar operating
p
gp
pressure ((US/Mex))
<2 bar operating pressure (EU / Asia)

Extruder Discharge
Wet material exiting the extruder and conveyed to the dryer

Negative Air Lifts


Extruder Hoods
Cyclones
Airlocks

Extruder Discharge

Negative Air Lift


Fan powered dilute phase convey
s stem
system
Large line sizes (200 mm 350 mm)
Low vacuum ((<100 mbar))
Large air volumes (50 150 m^3/min)
Low M/A ratio (<2)

Extruder Discharge

Negative Air Lift


Low Material-Material interaction (clumping)
Flash of surface moisture (2-5% typical)
Maximizes product expansion
Captures steam and moisture
Flexible line layouts
Simple interaction with extruder discharge (hood)
Reduced risk of bacterial growth

Extruder Discharge
Negative Air Lift - Design
Distance (m)

Line Size

Est. m^3/min

16

24

32

40

48

150 mm

35

1.5

0.75

0.5

200 mm

60

2.5

1.5

250 mm

95

8.5

6.5

2.5

300 mm

140

12

9.5

7.5

350 mm

190

17

13

10.5

400 mm

250

23

18

14

12

10

8.5

Estimated Tons/Hr of extrudate in a Negative Air Lift

Extruder Discharge
Extruder Hoods

Joining point between extruder and convey line

E t d Discharge
Extruder
Di h

Extruder Hoods
Effective hood design will:
Minimize air required to carry material away
Minimize dead spots where material can accumulate
Minimize the Pressure Drop of the Hood
Seal to contain
co ta stea
steam a
and
d moisture
o stu e
Sea
Provide easy access to extruder die (clamshell)
Start-up bypass or vent

Additional options
Sightglass
Tool-less entry
Limit switch

Extruder Discharge

Cyclones
Centripetal separation
No filtration media
Low static pressure loss
Pass through device only, any storage must be
below separator
Must have straight run into the Cyclone (20D)
Access doors must be flush
Large particles are easily separated from
airstream
Fines
Fi
content
t t assumed
d negligible
li ibl

Extruder Discharge

Airlocks
50-60% fill efficiency
Maximum 15 RPM
Closed end rotors
Light
Li ht grinding
i di fifinish
i h
Shear protector
Minimizes mechanical damage
Ledge-free style

Finished Product
Dry material
material, usually from the cooler
cooler, that can be coated or uncoated
uncoated.

Low Velocity Dilute Phase


Continuous Dense Phase

Fi i h d Product
Finished
P d t

Low Velocityy Dilute Phase

Similar equipment to std dilute phase system


VFD controls allow minimization of velocity

Finished Product

Low Velocity Dilute Phase

Steady stream of material barely suspended in airstream minimal surging


Air velocities 14 - 20 m/sec
Convey Pressures 0.2
0 2 - 0.4
0 4 bar
Breakage range 0.8 1.5%

Finished Product

Continuous Dense Phase


Dense phase that uses an airlock to feed material
Special air controls

Finished Product

Continuous Dense Phase

Finished Product

C i
Continuous
Dense
D
Phase
Ph
Intermittent
e
e sslugs
ugs o
of material
a e a moving
o g through
oug the
ep
pipe
pe not
o suspe
suspended
ded
Air velocities 4-9 m/sec
Convey Pressures 0.4 1 bar
Breakage range 0.2 0.5%

Finished Product

Pi i - Layout
Piping
L
Straight over and straight up (no inclines)
Straight pipe out of feedpoint (~25D)
Minimize # of elbows
No back
back-back
back elbows
Long radius elbows (>6D CLR)
p
ID p
polishing
g
Optional

Finished Product

Piping - Couplings
S
Smooth
th ttransitions
iti
att pipe
i jjoints
i t
critical
Alignment / Gap
Gasket

Shearing protection
Sanitation

Finished Product

Diverter Valves
Allows the diversion of conveying
stream to multiple
m ltiple destinations
Full port Tunnel valve maintains the
shape of the piping simulating an
elbow

New Trend

Conveyy Line Sanitation

In-place cleaning and sanitizing of the convey line (no water)


- Heat
H t

- Ozone
O

- Dry
D IIce

- Alcohol
Al h l

Closing Remarks
Pneumatic conveying is a viable method of handling extrudate. If done correctly,
it can yield an efficient process and a desired finished product.

Thank You!