Conveying carbon black is not without its challenges. Widely used as a filler and pigment colouring agent, carbon black is produced by the incomplete combustion of petroleum products. Consider these tips for successfully conveying carbon black within your facility.
Carbon black: material forms and conveying challenges
Carbon black is available in several forms and grades. One form is a fluffy submicron powder which typically consists of small particles having a low bulk density. This semi-free flowing form of carbon black can be challenging to handle as the material tends to cake and pack, as well as dust and deposit onto equipment.
Another form is pelletized carbon black, with larger particles and higher bulk density. While pelletized carbon black is a somewhat easier material to handle and convey than powdered carbon black, the pellets can be prone to breakage and somewhat abrasive on conveying equipment.
Carbon black is classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. For this reason, it is prudent for equipment operators to wear appropriate protective equipment when handling the material, and conveying equipment should be capable of suppressing fugitive emissions of carbon black dust into the surrounding environment.
Conveying carbon black pellets: equipment considerations
The main challenge in conveying carbon black in pellet form is preventing pellet breakage and controlling product dusting. Enclosed conveyors are preferred and any equipment chosen should be capable of gentle handling to avoid breakage and degradation of the pellets.
A fully-sealed gentle handling bucket elevator, such as the TipTrak™ Monocoque model from UniTrak, is the recommended equipment choice for conveying pelletized carbon black in production plants. With its interlocking bucket assembly and rubber beltchain, TipTrak™ Monocoque elevators can move pelletized carbon black with minimal particle damage and attrition. TipTrak™ Monocoque models offer are fully-sealed to address the challenges of product dusting and fugitive emissions, and the units can be readily connected to a plant’s dust collection system.
Aeromechanical conveyors, such as the UniTrak Powderflight conveyor, can also be used to convey pelletized carbon black over shorter distances. To control product dusting, aeromechanical conveyors used for pelletized carbon black should be outfitted with an enclosed transfer chute and dust collection system.
Conveying carbon black powder: equipment considerations
A key challenge in conveying carbon black powder is addressing the propensity of the material to cake and pack. For higher-volume conveying, fully-sealed bucket elevators, such as the TipTrak™ Monocoque model described above, are the recommended equipment choice for handling powdered carbon black. Fully-sealed elevators will address the challenges of product dusting and prevent fugitive emissions into the surrounding space. To address the propensity of the material to cake and pack, the elevator should be equipped with flow aids to achieve good feeding and discharge.
The fluidized airstream of an aeromechanical conveyor is a good way to convey powdered carbon black at high throughput rates. The rapidly moving airsteam moves the material through the conveyor, giving it little chance to cake and pack. When using an aeromechanical conveyor, consideration needs to be given to preventing caking and packing of the material at the infeed area of the conveyor,
If you are producing or using carbon black in either pelletized or powdered form within your operations, UniTrak can help overcome your conveying challenges. Our application specialists will be pleased to review your application, recommend the appropriate equipment from our lineup, and arrange for product testing, if required. Contact UniTrak today to speak with one of our application specialists.