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

H.G. Kevenaar Design of a pipe conveyor based tripper car.
Engineering Assignment, Report 2006.TL.7095, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

Dry bulk terminals use storage yards to temporarily store the bulk solid material on stockpiles. Stacking and recovering onto and from the stockpiles is done by a stacker-reclaimer, which is fed by a main yard conveyor. A device called tripper car is used to connect the main yard conveyor to the stacker-reclaimer. The tripper car lifts the upper strand of the main yard conveyor out of its idlers and brings it up to the height of the boom of the stacker-reclaimer. At the moment these main yard conveyors are practically always of the conventional belt conveyor type.

The past twenty-five years have seen the rapid development in the field of pipe or tube conveyors. All over the world pipe conveyors have been installed. Pipe conveyors have some important advantages in comparison with conventional belt conveyors. One of these advantages is the better dust control of pipe conveyors. Another advantage is the ability to cope with steeper inclination angles.

By using a pipe conveyor as main yard conveyor on a storage yard, some of the advantages of the pipe conveyor can be adopted at dry bulk terminals. As a result of the increasingly getting stricter regulations on emissions, it is preferable to use enclosed transport of the bulk solid material on the storage yard.

This report presents the design of a pipe conveyor based tripper car. A functional analysis is used to reveal the main functions of a tripper car. Subsequently, sub-solutions have been found for each function. Two solutions are composed by using a morphological chart containing the determined functions and sub-solutions. Both solutions are evaluated on basis of the qualitative and quantitative design requirements.

The solution that suits best with the requirements uses the main yard conveyor to incline the bulk material to the boom of the stacker-reclaimer. The idler frames of the main yard conveyor are opened and the pipe belt is taken out of its idler frames. The tripper car has got its own idler frames, which are mounted on a truss construction. Discharging of the bulk material is done at the top of the tripper car. The idler frames of the main yard conveyor have the ability to open at once; this is done by a hinging mechanism which is assisted by push-rods. The top idler is operated by a lever, in this way the opening width of the idler frame of the main yard conveyor is enlarged.

This report shows it should be possible to use a pipe conveyor as a main yard conveyor to feed the stacker-reclaimer. The part of the trajectory where the belt is lifted out its idler frames is the most critical part. During this handling the belt is unsupported over some distance and the pipe shape of the belt is not maintained by idlers.

Further research is needed to understand the behaviour of the belt while it is unsupported (e.g. on basis of Finite-Element-Modelling). Further research is also needed for the detailed design of the pipe conveyor based tripper car and the idler frames of the main yard conveyor. Last aspect for further research is a financial study for the costs of installation, operation and maintenance of a pipe conveyor based tripper car.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2006.11.25; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.