Flow of Powders in Silos, Bins, and Feeders

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Course Overview

In this course you will learn how to reduce your bin and feeder problems, including flow stoppage, segregation, and rat-holing to improve the operation of your bins and feeders. You will also learn how material properties affect flow, about critical bin dimensions, and ways to predict the flow performance of your materials. 

Who Should Attend?

Engineers, scientists, and production personnel who are responsible for the design, operation, selection, or specification of powder-handling equipment in chemical, food, stone, clay, glass, rubber, plastics, and pharmaceutical applications. 

Course Outline

Solids Handling: Problem-free Bins and Feeders

  • Flow problems and their effects
    • arching
    • rat-holing
    • flooding
    • segregation
  • Flow patterns
    • mass flow
    • funnel flow 
    • expanded flow 
  • Flow properties 
    • definition of properties
    • variables affecting properties 
    • shear testing 
    • cohesive properties
    • wall friction properties
    • compressibility 
  • Design principles for reliable flow 
    • yield loci
    • flow/no-flow criterion
    • flow factors
    • flow functions
  • Critical bin dimensions
    • hopper slopes
    • flow properties report
    • arching capabilities
    • rat-holing dimensions
  • Volumetric and gravimetric feeders 
    • volumetric screws, belts, and rotary valves 
    • gravimetric feeders
    • advantages and limitations
  • Particle segregation 
    • why segregation occurs
    • solutions to segregation problem 
    • segregation do's and don'ts 
  • Flow aid devices 
    • improving flow patterns
    • air blasters
    • vibrators
    • fluidization
  • Retrofits and Other Design Choices
    • Guidelines for solving existing flow problems 
    • Options for retrofits 
    • Retrofit do's and don'ts 


Joseph Marinelli

Joseph Marinelli is a principal at Solids Handling Technologies, in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Marinelli has extensive experience in testing bulk solids and consulting on materials handling system design and operation. He holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University.

Elaine Andrysick

Elaine M. Andrysick, joined Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a continuing engineering education specialist in 1988.  She is responsible for the development and delivery of high-value continuing engineering education short courses for practicing professionals in the areas of chemical and process engineering and laser material processing.  Also, she manages the University’s Laser Welding Certificate program.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Elaine Andrysick

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