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Materials Test – Do You Need One?

A lab worker holding a flask

You might be contemplating a materials test and do you need one before you make a purchase. It’s important to consider that conducting a thorough product test can be crucial in confirming that you’re selecting the appropriate conveyor for your needs. This proactive approach can help prevent any possible misapplications or issues in practical use, ensuring smoother operations in the long run.

Spiroflow boasts state-of-the-art materials testing laboratories and machine testing facilities located in both the USA and the UK. These facilities are outfitted with various types of conveyors, including flexible screw, aero mechanical, and tubular drag conveyors, along with bulk bag filling and unloading equipment. In our test labs, we conduct detailed scientific analyses of your powders or bulk solids. This includes assessing key characteristics like particle size or bulk density to understand their behavior during conveyance.

Materials Test – Do You Need One and When?

When it comes to selecting the right belt conveyor system or machine for your bulk handling needs, conducting thorough product testing is essential. This process becomes even more critical when you are venturing into new territory – be it using a different type of conveyor or introducing a new material into your existing system. At Spiroflow, we emphasize the importance of material testing under various conditions to make sure that the equipment you choose is perfectly suited to your specific requirements.

Testing for New Conveyor or Machine Use

When thinking about acquiring a new conveyor or machine, or if you intend to introduce a new product into an existing system, conducting product testing is strongly recommended. Materials can react differently in various conveyor belt solutions, making it crucial to test how your specific material interacts with the equipment. Such testing is key to determining the right conveyor solutions for your needs, helping to prevent any compatibility problems and guaranteeing the best performance of your system.

Experience with Difficult Products

Numerous suppliers may not have extensive experience with complex or challenging materials. However, Spiroflow stands out with more than 45 years of expertise in handling solids and bulk materials, providing materials testing services for those in need of specialized equipment.

For products known to be ‘difficult to handle’ – such as those that are friable, sticky, hygroscopic, or susceptible to caking or packing – conducting laboratory tests is vital. These tests allow us to gain insights into your product’s unique properties. Following up with machine trials, we can then acquire a thorough understanding of how your product will perform during actual conveyance, helping to avert any potential issues in the future.

First-Time Use of a New Machine Manufacturer

When engaging with a new machine manufacturer, conducting a material trial is strongly advised. A credible supplier in the field of discharging, handling, and unloading equipment will typically recommend this step to confirm the compatibility and effectiveness of their machinery with your specific materials. Such a trial plays a crucial role in detecting and addressing any potential issues unique to your application, ensuring smooth and efficient operations.

Achieving Specific Throughput Targets

If your operation is guided by precise throughput objectives, it’s imperative to test the machine you plan to use. Doing so yields a more precise estimate of the achievable throughput, aligning closely with your operational goals. This process is crucial for verifying that the equipment aligns with your specific needs. Conducting such tests allows for the fine-tuning of the system, optimizing it to meet your targeted productivity levels effectively.

Determining the Need for Product Testing at Spiroflow

Here at Spiroflow, we determine whether a test of a 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.

Handling Special Cases and Providing Free Testing

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.

Comprehensive Testing Process by Qualified Engineers

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 in 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 test results. All of this is to help us provide you with the best possible bulk material handling solution. Testing is also used in our research and development phase – testing out new features or trialing new methods of conveying. The following is what we test for at Spiroflow:

  • Mixing and blending – We conduct tests to determine if your product is prone to segregation during conveying. This insight is vital in choosing the right conveyor and ensuring your blends and mixes remain consistent.
  • Flow rate – Powders differ significantly in how they behave during movement. Some may pack or cake, while others might fluidize. Our machine tests are designed to evaluate your powder’s flow properties, aiding in both the development of equipment design and guiding your purchasing decisions.
  • Particle properties – The variation in particle composition, size, shape, and density of bulk solid materials and powders is substantial. Comprehending these characteristics of your product is crucial for the design and selection of the appropriate equipment. This understanding ensures that your chosen machinery is optimally tailored to handle your specific material efficiently.
Testing process

Book a Test With the Best Conveyor Systems Manufacturers

If you are interested in how your product will behave in different industrial conveyor systems, then book a test with us today. Navigating the world of conveyor technologies can be complex, but with our expertise, we can simplify the process for you. Whether you’re considering conveyor belts, a flexible screw conveyor, or any other conveyor belt system, our testing service is designed to give you the insights you need. Fill in our Contact Us form, and someone will be in touch to discuss your application.