Prediction of Optimal Operating Conditions for Dense-Phase Pneumatic Conveying Systems

Publication Reference: 
Author Last Name: 
Dr Peter W Wypych
Report Type: 
ARR - Annual Report
Research Area: 
Powder Flow
Publication Year: 
Publication Month: 

The fluidised dense-phase (FDP) conveying of powders and low-velocity slug-flow (LVSF) of granular bulk solids are the most common and popular modes of dense-phase used in industry. However, the accur’ate prediction of conveying performance still is not possible from first principles and relies heavily on empiricism.

The main aim of this project is to develop the necessary understanding, databases, guidelines and models for the purpose of predicting accurate optimal operating conditions for the two modes of dense-phase. However, as mentioned in the original research grant application, it is unlikely that both the FDP and LVSF sections can be completed thoroughly in a single 3-year period (ie due to the amount of work involved). Hence, top priority has been given initially to the LVSF section of the project, although some progress also has been made with the FDP section of work.

Several dficulties were encountered during the course of the project (eg unexpected results and phenomena) and have delayed progress in various areas. In some cases, it was not possible to complete certain scheduled tasks (eg testing aluminium and mild steel pipe and wide range of granular solids), In other cases, it was necessary to pursue new work (eg rotary valve air leakage, new pipe friction and stress transmission testers). However, in terms of achieving the main goals, there is no doubt that the project will be successful in terms of improved understanding and the development of new databases and models for the prediction of LVSF performance. Unfortunately, due to the various problems and delays to date, the full range of pipe wall materials and bulk solids will not be able to be tested - such work is necessary to confirm the accuracy and validity of the new models (eg majority of work to date has concentrated on poly pellets). Also, a significant amount of additional time will be needed for the relatively more complex FDP section of work (eg only one product and a few different pipelines will be able to be tested by the end of the initial 3-year period).

This Annual Report summarises the research progress and major achievements to date, as well the forward plan for the next 12 months.