BFM Global has partnered with rotary valve manufacturers, including Airlock India and Gericke RotaVal, to develop an alternative to traditional vented surge hoppers made from steel.
"We've combined the benefits of our transparent and flexible Seeflex 040E material with the BFM fitting snap-fit system into a uniquely-shaped hopper with built-in product and airflow separation," says BFM’s technical lead, Matthew Bailey. “The Venting Surge hopper has an internal partition that allows powder to flow down one side of the partition and displaced air to flow up and out the other. It snap-fits into a custom-made spigot that has a matching separation plate.”
The biggest difference over steel hoppers is the transparency of the walls, made from Seeflex 040E urethane material, which shows product flowing—or not flowing in the case of bridging.
"You'll immediately see any blockage, and the key advantage of using a flexible material like urethane is that you can easily just 'massage' away any bridges using your hands,” says Blair McPheat, CEO of BFM Global and the inventor of the BFM fitting system.
According to Ragu Thiagarajan, owner and founder of Airlock India, a rotary valve manufacturer and exporter, “With steel hoppers, you just have to keep banging away at the outside in the hope that you're freeing the blockage in the right place and wait until product starts flowing again. This new alternative gives customers continuous visibility and control."
The Venting Surge Hopper utilizes the BFM fitting snap-fit system at the top and bottom so it can be removed and replaced for cleaning processes.