(205a) Particle Size Segregation in Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers During Filling, Transport, and Discharge

Authors: 
Koch, J. F., The Dow Chemical Company


A study was conducted on a free-flowing polymer to determine the degree of particle size segregation during filling, transport, and discharge of flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs). This polymer has had a history of particle size segregation in funnel flow hoppers, and it was suspected that it may be occurring in the FIBCs as well. However, experiments unexpectedly showed that particle size segregation was not an issue. At high filling and discharge rates that are representative of an industrial process, the sifting and angle of repose segregation mechanisms were overwhelmed and no segregation was observed. In addition, percolation effects, typically responsible for particle size segregation during transportation, did not occur due to the wide particle size distribution that is inherent to the upstream grinding operation used to manufacture the product. All of these results were unexpected based on the literature and historical behavior of the polymer.

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