You are on page 1of 49


 CO2
Courses Outcomes
Ability to distinguish the principles of equipment
designs involving solid particles
 CO3
Ability to propose equipment used in industries
involving bulk solid handling
 Measuring the flow properties of bulk solids and how to
use this information for the design of storage vessel.
 Definitions:
 Bin: Any upright container for storing bulk solids.
 Silo: A tall bin, where H > 1.5D
 Bunker: A shallow bin, where H < 1.5D
 Hopper: A converging sloping wall section attached to the
bottom of a silo.
 As solid f low from a bin, the boundaries between
f lowing and non-f lowing regions define the f low
 Three types of common pattern:
i) Core flow / Funnel flow
ii) Mass flow
iii) Expanded flow
1. Occurs in bin with f lat bottom or hopper having
slopes too shallow or too rough to allow solid to slide
along the wall during the flow.
2. Funnel flow through an entire bin - Rathole, formed
when stagnant materials gains sufficient strength to
remain in place as flow channel empties
3. Material near to the bin wall becomes stagnant.
4. First in, last out or do not come out at all.
5. Rathole / pipe could form.

Not flowing
6. In severe cases, the material can form a bridge or
arch over the discharged opening.
7. The f low channel may not well defined -particle
segregation might occur. -material surrounding the
channel may be unstable -this will cause stop and
start flowing, pulsating or “jelly” flow. -could lead to
the damage of material structure.
8. As bin emptied; solid continually slough off the top
surface into the channel.
9. Storage bin having a funnel f low pattern is most
common in industry.
10. the design do not consider the stagnant materials.
Thus, resulting in less discharged capacity.
11. Funnel flow is usually the least costly design.
12. It has several disadvantages when handling certain
i) Flow rate from the discharged opening can be erratic:
• Arches tends to form and break.
• Flow channel becomes unstable.
• Upset volumetric feeder installed at the silo discharged
• Powder density at discharged vary widely due to
varying stresses in flow.
ii) Fine powders :
• Flush/aerated uncontrollably
• Sudden collapse of rathole/arch
iii) Caking/degrading of solid:
• Left under consolidating stresses in the stagnant
iv) A stable rathole/ pipe formed
• Stagnant material gain sufficient strength
toremain stagnant.
v) Level indicator
• Would not give correct signal on materials
• Submerged in stagnant area
13. Despite all of the above, funnel flow is still
adequate for (advantage) :
i) Non-caking or non-degradable
ii) Discharge opening adequately sized to
prevent bridging/ratholing.
14. However, many mechanical devices could be used
to promote flow.
1. Occurs in bin having steep and smooth hoppers.
2. Material discharges are fully active.
3. Flow channel coincides with the bin and hopper
i . e a l l m a te r i a l s i s i n m o t i o n a n d s l i d i n g
against the wall of bin and hopper.
4. Advantages:
i) Erratic f low, channeling and f looding of powders are
ii) Stagnant regions in the silo are eliminated.
iii)First in, first out flow occurs. Resulting in minimizing
caking, degrading and segregation during process.
iv) Little particle segregation or eliminated
v) Uniform flow at the hopper outlet
• flow is easily controlled
• pressures are well predictable.
5. Disadvantages
i) Friction between moving solids and the silo.
• resulting in erosion of the wall
• could give rise to contamination of the solids by
the material of the hopper wall.
• Serious erosion of the wall material.
ii) For conical hoppers, the slope angle required to
ensure mass flow depends on the powder-powder
friction and the powder-wall friction.
6. There is no such thing as mass flow hopper – a hopper
that gives mass flow with one powder may
give core flow with another.
5.2.3 Expanded Flow
1. Term used to describe flow in a vessel that combines
a core f low converging hopper with a mass f low
attached below it.
2. The mass f low hopper section ensures a uniform,
controlled flow from the outlet. Its upper diameter is
sized such that no stable pipe can form in the core
flow hopper portion above it.
3. Expanded flow is used where a uniform discharged
in desired, but where space or cost restrictions rule
out a fully mass flow bin.
4. This arrangement can be used to modify existing
funnel flow bins to correct flow problems.
5. Multiple mass flow hoppers are sometimes mounted
under a large core flow silo.
Common designs for mass flow design
5.3 Flow Obstruction
 Interruption of solid flow in a bin can be caused
by 2 types of obstructions:
 i) An arch
 Sometimes called as a bridge
 Formed across a flow channel

 ii) Bin opening / rathole

 Fo r m e d wh e n t h e f l ow c h a n n e l e m p t i e s , l e av i n g t h e
surrounding stagnant material in place.
 Important in understanding the forces acting on the wall of the
bin and to the material.
5.4 The Design Philosophy

 Blockage or obstruction to flow = arching.

5.4.1 Flow- no flow criterion
 Flow to occur:
 When the strength developed by the solids under the
action of consolidating pressure to support obstruction to
flow is less than gravity flow of the solids.
 An arch occurs:
 when the strength developed by the solid greater than the
stresses acting within the surface of the arch.
 p owd e r s d e ve l o p s t r e n g t h u n d e r t h e a c t i o n o f
compacting stresses
 the greater the compacting stress, the greater the
strength developed (Free-flowing solids such as coarse
s a n d w i l l n e ve r d e ve l o p s t re n g t h a s a re s u l t o f
compacting stresses)
5.4.2 The Hopper Flow Factor, ff
 The ff relates the stress developed in a particulate solid
within the compacting stress acting in a particular

 high value of ff means low flowability.

 High σC means greater compaction.
 low σD means more chance of an arch forming.
 High ff = low flowability
 The hopper depends on:
 The nature of the solid
 The nature of the wall material
 The slope of the hopper wall
5.4.3 unconfined yield stress σY
 σY is the strength of the powder mass after it has been
compressed by the Major Consolidation Stress (σD and
σc ).
 This means that the material will flow only if the force
acting on it is greater than its unconfined yield strength.
 Then if the stresses developed in the powder forming the
arch are greater than the unconfined yield stress of the
powder in the arch, flow will occur. That is, for flow:

 Therefore,
5.4.4 Powder flow function
 the unconfined yield stress, σY of the solid varies
with compacting stress, σC ;i.e:

 the relationship is determined experimentally

 the relationship is called powder flow function
5.4.5 Critical condition for flow
1. The limiting condition for flow:

2. to reveal conditions under which the flow will occur.

3. For flow,
No flow

No flow / flow

Flow occur
5.4.6 Critical outlet dimension
 For a given hopper geometry, the stress developed in the arch
is related to the size of the hopper outlet, B, and the bulk solid
density, ρB, of the material.
 Minimum outlet dimension, B

 where
 H(θ) – factor determined by the slope of the wall.
 g – acceleration due to gravity.
 For conical hoppers:
5.4.7 Summary
 From the above discussion of the design
philosophy for ensuring mass flow from a conical
hopper, we see that the following are required:
(1)The relationship between the strength of the powder in the
arch, σ Y (unconfined yield stress) with the compacting
stress acting on the powder, σc
(2) The variation of hopper flow factor, ff, with:
(a) the nature of the powder (characterized by the
effective angle of internal friction,δ);
(b) the nature of the hopper wall (characterized by the
angle of wall friction,φW)
(c) the slope of the hopper wall (characterized by y, the
semi-included angle of the conical section (θ), i.e. the
angle between the sloping hopper wall and the vertical).
 Knowing φW , δ and θ, the hopper flow factor, ff, can
be fixed. The hopper flow factor is therefore a function
b o t h o f p owd e r p ro p e r t i e s a n d o f t h e h o p p e r
properties (geometry and the material of construction
of the hopper walls).
 Knowing the hopper flow factor and the powder flow
function (σY versus σc) the critical stress in the arch
can be determined and the minimum size of outlet
found corresponding to this stress.
5.5 Shear cell test
qThis entire test procedure is repeated two or three
times with samples prepared to different bulk
densities. In this way a family of yield loci is generated.

5.6.1 Mohr`s circle

 Each point on a yield locus represents that point on a
particular Mohr`s circle for which failure or yield of
powders occurs.
 A yield locus is tangent to all the Mohr`s circle
representing stress system when the powder fail to flow.
 a and b represents stress system under which the
powder would fail.
 c - stresses are insufficient to cause flow.
 d – not relevant since the system cannot support stress
combinations above the yield locus.
 a and b – interest us in analyzing the flow.
5.6.2 Determination of σy and σc


 Circle A- represents condition of the free surface of the arch.

- at the free surface zero shear and zero normal stress.
- circle A must pass the origin.
- gives the value of unconfined yield stress, σy
 Circle B- the Mohr`s circle is tangent to the yield locus at its
critical condition of failure.
 Major principle stress = compacting stress, σc
5.6.3 Determination of δ from Shear Cell Test.

 δ- effective angle of internal friction of the solid.

 tangent of the ratio of shear stress to normal stress., tan (δ) =
slope of effective YL line
 YL – yield locus
 For a free-f lowing solid, there is only one yield locus and
coincides with the effective yield locus.
 The relationship between normal stress and shear stress is
known as friction.
5.6.4 Kinematic angle of friction between powder
and wall, φw

 Also known as the angle of wall friction.

 Gives relationship between the normal stress acting between
powder and wall and the shear stress under conditions.
 Wall yield locus is determined by shearing powder against a
sample of the wall material under various normal load.
 Kinematic angle of wall friction is the gradient of the wall yield
5.6.5 Determination of Hopper Flow Factor, ff.

 Determination of the hopper flow factor, ff

 Eg: δ= 30o φw= 19o
 From the graph; = 30.5° (X)
 allow 3o margin for safety
 Thus; the semi-included angle of conical hopper =
27.5o (Y)
 Thus; the hopper flow factor, ff = 1.8
5.6.6 Summary of design procedure
1. Try work example 10.1