Although there are well-established methodologies for hopper design, many process engineers are uncertain as to how to measure powders in the prescribed way, extract the necessary parameters from recorded data, and successfully apply them. As a result, hopper design and the powder testing associated with it is often outsourced to specialists. This incurs significant cost and undermines the operating company’s ability to troubleshoot and re-use or retrofit equipment for alternative materials or applications.
The advent of modern, automated powder testing systems has simplified measurement, making it easier for users who are not instrument specialists to precisely determine the parameters required for hopper design. Software provided with the FT4 Powder Rheometer® includes a Hopper Design feature which guides engineers through the established methodologies, showing how to use measurements to generate a specification that will operate in an acceptable way. Together these developments bring hopper design easily within the remit of the majority of process engineers, offering an opportunity to reduce costs and gain a better understanding of the factors influencing performance.
To learn more about Hopper Design, including worked examples and the influence of construction materials, please see the literature below:
- "Modern Tools for Hopper Design"
- "An Investigation into the Wall Friction Angle of a Range of Low Friction Materials Used in the Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Processing Equipment"