Dense-phase pneumatic conveying technology for highly explosive metal powders
This article summarizes a research and development project that was undertaken to develop, design, and implement new pneumatic conveying technology for the safe and reliable handling of highly explosive metal powders. Some of the challenging process requirements and safety design principles that had to be adopted for this project also are described. Using an inert carrier gas, the fluidized dense-phase mode of transport was selected for the processed powders, and external-bypass conveying technology had to be developed for the coarser atomized powders. Operating conditions were optimized to maximize solids loading and minimize gas consumption for the full range of metal powders. With the successful implementation of the new technology, the implications of increased safety design also are discussed.