Delft University of Technology
Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Transport Technology

J.R. Dunselman An analysis of the problems with a dense phase coveying system.
Internship, Report 97.3.TT.4839, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

Since December 1995, the New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd. has been using a Dense Phase Conveying system for conveying fluorinated alumina. The system has three main problems which come up from time to time. These problems are: Analysis showed there are several causes for these problems: There are several possibilities which can prevent or at least minimise the problems. The most practical way to minimise scaling in conveying lines and on cone valves is to reduce the amount of moisture in the conveying air. The 1 bar air supply is not dried before it is used in the system and it is very well possible that this air introduces a lot of moisture into the system. Improvements of the design of cone valves and dosing nozzles also can decrease the number of problems. Some solutions are being tested at the moment.

Problems with scaling in conveying lines and wear of cone valves and dosing nozzles will probably always come up once in a while. To minimise damaging consequences, it is important to predict these failures. One way to do this is by using SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition); it offers adequate methods to predict the problems. The system is already installed and will therefore not require any investments. However, it will require work to optimise the system.

Scaling in conveying lines causes increasing conveying times. When these conveying times are presented in graphs, it is possible to detect scaling by monitoring these graphs regularly. When the conveying time of a certain pressure vessel exceeds a set period, an alarm will come up.

When a cone valve is leaking, the most practical ways to detect this is by measuring the pressure-drop by performing a pressure test and by timing the period it takes to pressurise a vessel. If these measurements reach a set limit, an alarm will come up.

It turned out to be not possible to predict wear of dosing nozzles using SCADA. Another method is necessary to predict this, which is outside the scope of this work.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2006.10.22; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.