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E:

Airslides
E1: Description and Characteristics
The airslide consists of two main sections. One being the material trough, which
is the upper section and is used for material flow and the lower section which is
used for the air trough. Both sections are firmly bolted together and divided by a
layer of canvas. A wire fabric is installed at times on the top side of the canvas
and at impact points and high wear areas.
Wire Mesh Fabric
Material Trough

Gasket Between Sec.

Fabric Canvas

Water can wick into airslide
here. Overhung lip helps to
minimize this.

Air Trough

The normal slope of an airslide from inlet to outlet is 7° minimum to about 12°
maximum. Air is supplied by a fan or blower to the lower section via duct work.
Air should injected at the top of the slide with midway boosts for very long
installations. Injection points at the bottom are not recommended. Also Fuller
recommends about 10 scfm for each square foot of canvas and an undercanvas
pressure of 16 to 17 inwc. However under certain circumstances some plants
are discovering that this pressure can be reduced to as little as 8 inwc. Some
experimenting is required to find the correct setting. Note also that over-aeration
can adversely affect volumetric equipment such as Bucket Elevators and F.K.
Pumps.

slope of the airslide and the weight of the material. unless keeched (scraped) out. Thus air will not/can not fluidize material because it's dead headed. . on long installations. In theory air expands as it de-compresses. Essentially there is no room above the material for air movement.Upper Section Lower Section 7° to 12° Control Valve Air Supply Line Air Supply Fan Material flow is accomplished by a combination of air flow through the canvas. If it's too thin. but even this will not always work. air will rifle up through in localized spots. Interestingly some suppliers build airslides that step up in height progressively down hill. Ideally such flow control devices should be placed in the chute feeding the airslide and not the airslide itself. more room must be provided for multiple injection points of air. Air essential fluidizes the powdered material so it slides down the trough or box. On the other hand over filling the airslide can cause problems as well. Such "high boy" units are designed to meet these requirements. However there must be a minimum thickness of material above the canvas for this to happen. This may be an important consideration where cement contamination is an issue. As well. Unfortunately there are many airslides that are equipped with flow trim gates or flow control valves. For this reason airslides can never be purged 100%. This will appears as bubbling or boiling with no movement of material. To compensate many installation use higher pressure blowers or compressed air jets in this section. Effectively material is backed-up creating the situation just described.

promoting wear and picks up excessive quantities of dust instead of air. silo). Airslide Design Considerations Figure E1: Dedusting Material Inlet Flared duct minimizes dust pick-up Air inlet Discharge Pressurized should be introduced at the top of the airslide. Airslide venting should be done downstream. Flared transitions are a must. This helps promote the downward flow of material. The dedusting duct should be at the bottom of the airslide run. This is particularly bad if you are feeding a FK pump or bucket elevator. A straight dedusting ducts usually has high intake velocities. In the arrangement shown in Figure E2. which does not fluidize material except at the last minute. NOTE: When using an air hose to aid in material flow or cleaning do not leave the air blowing directly on the canvas as the air/material combination will cut through the canvas. where it can fluidize the material coming in. pressurized air is introduced at the bottom of the airslide run. Figure E2: .Glass ports may be installed on the sides of the upper section to monitor material flow and inspection doors may be installed on the top section for clean out purposes and sampling.g. Dedusting at the top should only be done if large amounts of air are needed to get material flowing into the airslide (e.

) Given enough time. (This is especially bad in silo applications where the silo shut-off is leaky. Over filling an airslide will have the same effect.Material Inlet Dedusting Straight pipe dedusting Dedusting is done on the uphill side Air inlet is on the downhill side Air inlet Discharge Figure E3: Dedusting Material Inlet Air inlet "High Boys" improve dedusting on long airslides. after a temporary shutdown. Many airslides are designed with flow control gates and valves as part of the assembly. Typically. resulting in deadheading. shown in Figure E4. As a result the material may not fluidize and flow properly. the airslide is never fully purged and material accumulates ahead of the gate. Without it airflow may become restrictive. the material de-aerates and becomes difficult to move the next time . Despite constant use. The "high boy" ensures room for this expansion. lumps can still cause the chamber above the gate to overfill. de-pressurizes and expands. For long runs. Discharge Shown Figure E3 is a "high boy" airslide. the high pressure air injected at the top. This works OK if the airslide is in near constant use. causing the flow to "deadhead".

Segregation has been known to happen.not as part of it. 2) Airslides not mix materials. whereby the flow control gate is located at the airslide inlet . Air inlets Hi Pressure Lo Pressure Discharge A better arrangement is shown in Figure E5. . deadheading. resulting in Figure E4: Flow control gate Material Inlet Dedusting In between use. material can de-aerate. airslide can purge itself more easily. Again the chamber can overfill. compact and block flow. Figure E5: Material Inlet Dedusting Flow control gate Air inlet Better arrang't.the airslide is started up. Discharge Airslide Trivia: 1) Invented in Alpena.

The uneven flowrate will also cause holes to wear into the canvas. If the air chamber is okay. If plugged. check airslide fan to ensure it is running. check for hole in the canvas.3) Material in airslides does not flow evenly. filter is clean. If the above is okay. WARNING: DO NOT HAMMER ON THE SIDES OF THE AIRSLIDE. fix and repair. E2: Trouble Shooting Airslides Condition: Plugged. 4) If the bed is not thick enough. check discharge of slide for plugging. check the air chamber of the slide for material build-up by tapping lightly with a hammer. If at fault. Denting the airslide box will cause the canvas to buckle or ripple which will retard the airflow and affecting the transport rate. If okay. 4. Surging can occur. .even after 50'. clear plug up. Increasing the air pressure can have the same effect. If plugged. 1. If discharge is clear. 2. and the duct work to the airslide is not plugged or closed off. The rest of the material will not flow. material can flow in rivers. Loaded off-center. check for restriction on top of canvas and clear canvas of all restrictions and resume operation. material flow can be deeper on one versus the other . air will take the path of least resistance and rifle through the material. material not flowing. If the canvas is rippled or buckled. Check equipment in front of it for proper operation. 3.