How An Air Cannon Can Clear Up A Material Flow Problem In Your Hopper

9 December 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Material build-up in a hopper or a bin can be a warning sign for the health of your machinery. If you have already identified blockage issues in your hopper, it is important to address the problem immediately. Leaving the blockage unattended to can cause significant issues for your plant. Thankfully, using an air cannon/blaster can alleviate the issue of material buildup.

What happens when there is material build-up in your hopper?  

When you find material build-up in your hopper, the system will produce less material activity to the plant. As a result, your operation will not run efficiently, and you can cause permanent damage to the system. Because there isn't a smooth free-flow between the plant and your hopper, the hopper will effectively waste material as it gets stuck to the surface. Along with this, the build-up can get stuck to sensitive areas in the hopper, such as the chute. This can further damage the system and reduce its lifespan.   

Unfortunately, you won't be able to remove the build-up unless you utilize a flow-aid device such as an air cannon. It is virtually impossible to clean up the surface by hand. It is not only incredibly dangerous, but also very difficult to reach certain areas such as the chute.   

What Is An Air Cannon And How Does It Work?

A typical air cannon utilizes compressed air, which helps create an explosive level of force. The force itself is pushed through a piston valve. The force of the air cannon varies depending on the model, but the purpose is to dislodge any significant build-up. An air cannon is therefore ideal for removing materials in a hopper or a silo, particularly when dealing with stubborn particles. An air cannon can clear up a number of different blockage issues including arching, bridging and rat holes. One of the great benefits of a quality air cannon is its quickness. The cannon can clear up a blockage in a short space of time, which is crucial when you're trying to run an efficient plant.   

What Materials Can An Air Cannon Dislodge?

Most air cannons are built with enough force to dislodge any materials that get stuck in a hopper or silo. They are most commonly used to clear up wood particles and chips, soybean, sand, oil and even traces of solid concrete.  An air cannon can come in a number of different sizes depending on the requirements of your hopper.  There you have it—if your hopper is having a material flow issue, using an air cannon can solve the problem without any extra hassle.