Surprisingly large and advanced manufactures in the chemical industry still physically empty bags of powders into process vessels via the manway.
This can create a dust cloud that either contaminates the factory or gets drawn up into the vessel’s fume extractor, coating internal surfaces and clogging up the system. This is worse in heated vessels, where vapours can combine with the powder to form a cake.
The solution is a vacuum system, comprising of the following components:
- Suction hose – The operator dips this into the container of powder and hoovers up the powder in the same way as using a domestic vacuum cleaner.
- Mancunian Head – This separates the powder from the air using a cyclone. The powder drops into the vessel, while air exits through the centrally mounted port.
- Reverse Jet Filter – This traps the small percentage of powder that gets through the system.
- Vacuum Pump – This generates the required suction.
- Exhaust to outside the building.
Jet-Lube in Maidenhead successfully used this system for decades, protecting the health of the operatives and making the place cleaner.
Do You Need Vacuum Rated Vessels To Make This Work?
No you don’t! Even though the vessel is operating at a negative pressure, the vacuum is light enough to put no additional stresses on the vessel. If you have a D-Lid, you will need to add a foam rubber seal to minimise leakage.