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When fine powders are handled, the desired discharge solids discharge sometimes cannot be reached due to vacuum that naturally develops near the hopper outlet. This results in counter flow of air into the hopper outlet, which can hinder flow. By properly adding a small amount air into the hopper, the adverse gas pressure gradient is removed, and the solids discharge rate is dramatically increased.
If you have a shear cell tester, instead of finding a powder's FFC value, you should use the test results to determine the size of a hopper outlet required to prevent obstructions to flow and the recommended mass flow hopper angle. This video provides a step-by-step procedure for using Jenike's method to design a mass flow hopper.
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