This article explains how testing your bulk material's characteristics and analyzing your process conditions can help you prevent arches that stop material flow.
One of the most common sources of flow problems in bulk solids storage vessels is material hangups. These hangups are caused by the material's cohesive or adhesive nature, which is a result of the material's unconfined yield strength: the major principal strength required to cause the material to fail or shear after it's been stored. Most often, you can see the effect of unconfined yield strength when a material forms an arch (or bridge) over a vessel's outlet and prevents vessel discharge, but it can also lead to material buildup that forms stagnant regions along vessel walls and other problems. In this article, we'll concentrate on how to prevent the most common problem: arching.