Do your company silos keep clogging?

10 September 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Clogging is one of the most frustrating problems experienced by manufacturing and construction workers. Transferring bulk solids is common across a range of industries, whether you want to move sand, wood chips, cement or even rice hulls, at some point, you will want to transfer them from a silo to another container, and it is then that problems often start. You might think that dry materials will slide easily from container to container. However, it only takes the smallest hint of moisture for the material to start sticking together and also to the sides of the container. If enough material sticks, eventually, the material flow will slow before stopping entirely when the container mouth is blocked.

Unclogging your material

Clogging is annoying, but it is also time-consuming and therefore expensive. When any material clogs, you must close down the entire production line, potentially bringing the entire company to a halt while the problem is resolved. Clearing the blockage quickly is vital, but what can you do? You might try aiming water jets at the blockage to break apart the material, but for many materials, that will ruin the entire load. Another approach you might take is to insert a stick into the container and use the leverage to clear the blockage, but that is slow and difficult. The best solution is to use an air cannon to prevent the blockage from occurring.

How does an air cannon work?

An air cannon works similarly to a water blaster, but instead of a blast of water, it sends a sharp blast of air in your chosen direction. A regular blast from an air cannon will keep materials separate and prevent them from stick together to create a blockage. Depending on your situation, you might want to use a single air cannon, or you might prefer to have multiple air cannons aimed at different locations. You can also select the frequency at which the air cannon will emit a blast of air, allowing you to create the perfect system for whatever material you may be trying to transfer.

Are there other advantages to an air cannon?

Preventing your materials from clumping together is the primary advantage of an air cannon over other declogging techniques. Another benefit is that any declogging process can only focus on one place at a time. With an air cannon, the blast will cover a wider area. By introducing several air cannons, you can cover the entire transfer area at one time and keep all the material flowing continually.

Contact a company like ESS Engineering to learn more about air cannons.