A hopper is used to hold bulk materials before they are transferred into a conveying system, bag, or container for use or for distribution. The hopper is designed to temporarily store bulk materials until they need to be emptied out into something else through a discharge port on the bottom. When the port is opened, the contents pass through the hopper in a controlled flow to the next part of the handling process. Hoppers are typically manufactured using sheets of steel, due to its durability and the ease of manufacturing. The steel is generally formed into a conical or wedge-like shape to facilitate the movement of materials toward the outlet at the bottom of the hopper. At the outlet port, the hopper can be fitted with a variety of different components, depending on the requirements of a particular application. Some simply have a sealable port which can be opened to quickly dispense large quantities of materials.
Other hoppers may be equipped with valves for more controlled distribution of the contents. For example, hoppers used to feed materials into pneumatic conveying systems commonly use rotary valves to gradually feed materials into the conveying stream. Still other hoppers may use an auger to discharge material. These containment products are incredibly important in many different bulk material handling processes because they provide a means for controlling the dispensing of bulk products. For weighing and batching applications, they can be outfitted with sensors to track how much material they contain which is incredibly important for ensuring that a particular batch has the right blend of ingredients and the appropriate quantity of each ingredient. They also provide flow control for conveying systems. With the appropriate components, a hopper can help keep conveyors from being overloaded, which can lead to a variety of problematic consequences.
In fact, these products are so vital to bulk material handling that they are often built into or integrated into other bulk material handling products as standard. All in all, when it comes to bulk material handling applications, hoppers are a crucial component for material flow and control.
Stainless Steel Tanks
Tanks made of stainless steel are used to hold and store a variety of bulk substances. They are usually cylindrical, like drums, but their shape and orientation often varies-tanks are either horizontal or vertical and may hold anything from 1 gallon to millions of gallons. Stainless steel is chosen because of its corrosion resistance, which makes it useful for the storage of hazardous substances, resistance to high temperatures, and strength as well as the ease in which it can be manufactured and cleaned. Manufacturers of stainless steel tanks supply numerous industries where bulk material is handled, including agricultural, food processing, medical, and chemical management. They are commonly used where hygiene and corrosion are concerns. They are often used in the agricultural industry where they usually store animal feed and crops, in the pharmaceutical industry where they are used to store powders and chemicals, in the food industry storing bulk ingredients, and many other industries and applications.
Stainless steel has good thermal conductivity and thermal expansion rate, which is key to tanks of any sort, and particularly useful in the case of pressure vessels. There are many different types of stainless tanks that differ in properties depending on their applications. SS tanks always contain openings called manways, where contents are poured or accessed. Stainless steel tanks are thin-walled constructions manufactured through a rolling process or welding. Although stainless steel is strong, it is vulnerable to buckling when the material is thin. Stainless steel tanks are most susceptible to damage during construction, transportation, and installation. The contents of full stainless steel tanks actually aid its stability.
The shape of the tank is dependent on its diameter or height and the efficient use of material. Stainless steel tank manufacturers can make the ends of their products flat or in the shape of a dome or cone. In determining the size that a tank needs to be, consider how much extra volume should be included to cover for future process needs and also consider how the tank will be filled and discharged. The industrial applications where stainless steel tanks are utilized determine tank properties such as size, shape, and orientation. They are often vertical silos and horizontal or vertical storage tanks. Stainless steel is the material of choice for many industries because it is easily temperature controlled, cleaned, and sterilized. They must adhere to strict FDA, USDA and 3-A standards for health reasons. Tanks used to house foods are cleaned every time they are emptied and must maintain certain temperatures if they are holding perishable food items.
Industries like mining, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, chemical engineering, and more all deal with large volumes of bulk material on a regular basis. Silos are built in many different sizes, but they are typically very tall so that they can house large quantities of bulk material. A silo has an access point on the top through which new material can be inserted, and then an exit valve on the bottom where material can leave using gravity, an auger, or even a pneumatic conveying system. Most silos are built with a cone shape on the bottom to make it easier to control the flow of material as it leaves and is sent onto a belt or into a pneumatic system. If the bulk material handling system uses a pneumatic conveyor, the conveyor tube can be attached directly to the lower portion of the silo. In large industrial settings where high volumes of material are stored and processed, a series of silos may all be integrated into the same system.
A silo can be built using a variety of materials, but the most common type is built using large sheets of steel that are ribbed on the inside to prevent material from sticking and building up on the walls over a long period of time. A silo can also be mounted on a raised frame with a high enough clearance that a dump truck can park beneath it and quickly accept a load. Dry bulk materials like gravel, coal, sand, cement, woodchips, and sawdust can all be stored in a silo. Flat-bottom silos are used for very high volume bulk storage and are fitted with some kind of mechanical or pneumatic reclaiming equipment to help slowly empty the silo. With a silo or series of silos on site, an industrial facility can securely store a very high volume of bulk materials for an extended period of time without compromising the quality of the material particles.
Leading Storage Equipment Manufacturers
Custom fabricated equipment is BEPeterson specialty. We fabricate stainless steel tanks, process vessels, ASME code tanks, filtration vessels and many other products. Contact our experienced engineers today for help with your next stainless steel tank or metal fabrication application.
Here at Frain Industries, Inc. we offer an extensive line of stainless steel tanks. These tanks come in a wide range of shapes and sizes based on their application. Our tank sizes range from 5 gallons to 10,000 gallons and these tanks can be customized to meet your application needs. Our tanks can be designed in a number of different styles including: jacketed, single wall, vertical, horizontal, cone bottom, dish bottom, insulated and much more. Contact us today to learn more!
For 50 years G & F Manufacturing has been a leading quality stainless steel tank manufacturer for many industries, including pharmaceutical, food & beverage. Their storage containers offer quality workmanship & durability. G & F offers standard & custom vessels for storage & mixing which include open & closed top vertical & horizontal storage & mixing tanks with capacities to 10,000 gallons. Give us a call to learn more!