Uncontrolled discharge of bulk materials is undeniably linked to increased material degradation. And material degradation, in turn, affects final product quality and the bottom line. Weba Chute Systems has proved that correct design of transfer points will greatly reduce product degradation and in some cases, even eliminate it.
Custom engineered for individual application requirements, Weba Chute Systems are successfully moving materials in all commodity sectors worldwide. Managing director, Mark Baller explains that the company has always has a systems approach to bulk solids handling design and this is the foundation of the company’s successes.
In-depth understanding of material transfer as well as an insight into the differing operational characteristics of individual plants allows this transfer system OEM to configure solutions to suit particular application requirements.
“Our system uses a ‘supertube’, with a cascade scenario, where 95% of the material runs on material at the same time in a tumbling motion creating a boundary layer, rather than sliding down the chute,” Baller says. “Sliding particles cause extensive wear, while the tumbling or rolling motion created in Weba Chutes causes far less wear.”
The company has taken this a step further by designing the internal angle of its transfer chutes to match the product with the belt speed. Baller explains that by doing this, the product degradation can be significantly reduced or completely eliminated.
The Weba Chute System uses a streamlined scientific approach to the dynamics of bulk materials handling taking all aspects such as belt speed, belt width, material size, shape and throughput into account. The custom design allows control of the direction, flow and velocity of a calculated volume and type of material in each individual application and at the same time drastically reduces dust.
“It is this absolute control of material while being transferred that eliminates degradation but designing transfer points to achieve this requires an in-depth understanding of how material needs to be transferred taking factors such as changes of direction and the impact during these changes into account,” says Baller.
“The geometry of the system should be such that material is moved through the chute system with gradual directional changes and controlled velocity. This minimises impacts that lead to material degradation and dust generation,” he says.
In addition, discharge onto the conveyor system must be correctly controlled and be as close to the belt speed as possible. Controlling the transfer of material onto the conveyor belt guarantees increased cost savings as well as improved health and safety performance.
“Global best practice in Weba Chute Systems emphasises the incorporation of transfer chutes that have been designed and engineered to suit the specific application, with optimised plant design considering each element within the process flow,” Baller concludes.