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Pneumatic Powder and Solid Transport Systems

Pneumatic transport systems used to move powder and other solid products.

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Some common solids as flour, sugar, cement and many more, can be suspended and transported in air - referred to as pneumatic conveying. A pneumatic conveying system may transport solids up to approximately 50 mm in size. The powder or solid must be dry with no more than 20% moisture and not sticking.

In a pneumatic conveying system most of the energy is used for transport of the air itself. The energy efficiency of a pneumatic conveying plant is therefore relatively low, but this is often outweighed by easy handling and, in well designed systems, dust free solutions.

In general - the length of a pneumatic system should not extend 300 m for each pneumatic unit. Products can be conveyed over long distances by connecting systems in series.

There are three basic designs of pneumatic transport systems:

  • dilute phase conveying at high air velocity (20 - 30 m/s)
  • strand conveying at limited air velocity (15 - 20 m/s)
  • dense phase conveying at low air velocity (5 - 10 m/s)

Pneumatic systems can operate with both positive and negative pressure (vacuum). The working pressure should not extend 40 kN/m2.

Negative Pressure Pneumatic Conveying System

Pneumatic transport conveying - negative pressure system

Positive Pressure Pneumatic Conveying System

Pneumatic transport conveying - positive pressure system

Combination Pressure Pneumatic Conveying System

Pneumatic transport conveying - combination pressure system

Maximum temperature rise during the pneumatic compression is seldom more than 5oC which makes pneumatic transport systems suitable to sensitive products like medicines, food and similar.

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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2003). Pneumatic Powder and Solid Transport Systems. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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