If you own a silo, you will realise that materials may sometimes get stuck to form a bridge along its length, slowing down the flow of the materials. In order to solve this problem, you will need an air cannon. This device is attached to the side of the silo and functions by giving the materials a quick air blast, preventing them from getting caught in areas of build-up, clogging the openings of any chutes or hoppers, and clinging to the walls. The effectiveness of the air cannon will depend on the type that you choose. Since there are different types of cannons in the market, finding the best for your silo can be challenging. Therefore, here are a few quick tips to help you make an informed decision.
Look At the Valve System
For air cannons, you may find single-valve or multi-valve system. The type of valve system you choose will depend on the size of your silo. If you have a large silo, consider going for an air cannon with a multi-valve system. This system will allow air streams to be blasted at varying strengths but at the same time. This means that you can actually remove any materials hanging on the wall or clogging up the chute at the same time! A multi-valve system will also ensure that you have at least a single flow of air at any time, which is important when there is a valve that requires servicing.
Consider the Type of Material Blockage in Your Silo
Bridging, arching, and ratholing are the common types of material blockage that can occur in your silo. Bridging happens when the materials flowing inside your silo clump together to form a bridge-like barrier across the width of the silo, preventing the materials above this barrier from flowing. For this type of blockage, consider buying an air cannon that will allow a wide air dispersal to easily reach that bridge's width.
If you notice that materials get stuck above your silo's sloping section or just close to the dispenser, you are likely dealing with an arching issue. On the other hand, ratholing involves materials sticking to the side of your silo to create a void that reduces the rate of flow without causing an actual blockage. For these two blockage types, air cannons with smaller air sections but with greater pressure will do the trick.
Look At the Weight of the Materials
The weight of the materials flowing through your silo will help you figure out the correct pressure rating of the air cannon to choose. For heavier materials such as raw coal, go for air cannons with a high pressure rating. On the other hand, air cannons with a low pressure rating are ideal for lighter materials such as cereals. However, if your silo handles a wide range of materials with different weights, choose air cannons whose pressure is adjustable.