Materials Test – Do You Need One?

by Cathy Podevyn

Do you need a materials test?

While a materials test may not be necessary for every buying situation, a good product test can ensure that the right conveyor choice is made & any future misapplication issues in the field can potentially be avoided. At Spiroflow we have a materials testing lab and machine test facilities both in the USA and the UK. The test facilities are equipped with flexible screw conveyors, aero mechanical conveyors, and tubular drag conveyors as well as bulk bag fillers and bulk bag unloaders.  While the test lab conducts scientific product analysis on your bulk solid or powder to get as much information about how it will behave as it is being conveyed – such as the bulk density and particle size.

When should I have my product tested?

We advise you have your product tested if one or more of the following applies:

  • You are buying a conveyor or machine that you have not used before or you are using a new product on an old system – Not all materials behave the same way in different conveyors, to ensure you are purchasing the correct conveyor type for your product you should see how it behaves before you purchase.
  • Many suppliers will be inexperienced with certain, more difficult products whereas here at Spiroflow we have over 45 years experience with solids & bulk handling and we offer materials testing for anyone who is looking for equipment.
  • Your product is characterized as ‘difficult to handle’. If it is friable, sticky, hygroscopic or tends to cake or pack, this can be difficult to handle. – In cases where you have a difficult to handle product, lab tests are essential to help us understand how your product behaves. After lab tests, machine trials will give you a full understanding of the product as it is being conveyed to avoid any potential future issues.
  • You are using a new machine supplier for the first time – Any reputable seller of conveying, discharging and unloading equipment will recommend having a materials trial if you are a new customer to avoid any issues with the application.
  • You need to achieve a certain throughput – If you have targets you need to achieve from your conveyor such as a certain throughput it is advisable that you test the machine intended so you get a more accurate determination of the actual throughput you can expect.

Spiroflow Testing

Here at Spiroflow we determine whether a test of product is needed if we have not handled the product before. If we have reliably dealt with your product and achieved high success rates we will forgo the need for a test unless the customer specifically requests one. Other examples of when we might waive the test are if the product is highly toxic and cannot be run through our test facilities but again we will review this on a case by case basis. All testing at Spiroflow is free and you can request a materials test whether you are a new or existing customer.  All our tests are carried out by qualified engineers and are intended to accurately reflect the conditions under which you will be using the equipment. We have a wide variety of equipment is our test bay so we want to simulate the conditions under which your material will be conveyed and we then provide you with a comprehensive report containing the results of the test. All of this is to help us provide you with the best possible bulk material handling solution.

At Spiroflow we test for the following:

  • Blending & Mixing – Segregation of blends and mixes can be a problem in conveying so our testing will assess how or if your product will segregate. This will help affect which conveyor you ultimately choose.
  • Rate of Flow – Powders can vary greatly in their flow characteristics; some powders will pack or cake whereas others tend to fluidize when moved. We help to determine the flow of your powder in our machine tests to help develop the design of the equipment and inform your purchasing choice.
  • Particle properties – Bulk solid materials and powders can vary greatly in their particle composition and size, shape and density so understanding the characteristics of your product is a key component of equipment design and choice.

 

Spiroflow test materials

Book a Test

If you are interested in how your product will behave in different conveyors then book in a test with us today. Fill in our Contact Us form and someone will be in touch to discuss your application.