Rat Holing

Is powder getting stuck in your silos and hoppers?

If you are finding that your powders do not fully discharge it could be due to a common powder flow problem called rat-holing.

Rat holing example

Are Your Powders Discharging Correctly?

If you are experiencing powder flow issues, it could be because your powders are getting stuck in your silo or containers?

When powders are released via a butterfly or slide valve, flow takes place directly above the container outlet. The material that is not above the outlet can remain in place, adhered to the container sides.

This often occurs with cohesive powders as they are more prone to compaction under their own mass. If you can't get this material to move it will lead to product being wasted and difficulties in cleaning this add up.

Rat-holing causes a funnel flow effect, where the powder flows freely above the outlet but then stops as the compacted powder is held in the silo or hopper.


Why Are My Powders Not Flowing Efficiently?

If the material being handled is cohesive it could be difficult to discharge.

When handling cohesive powders because of the way in which the particles interlock, discharge will more easily occur directly above the outlet of the container, but build up on the wall of the silo or container. To free the material operators have to intervene in order to fully discharge the material.

Some manufacturers will use mallets or rods to free the material but this can damage the equipment or the product and will ultimately slow down production. If regular stoppages from blocked equipment are happening production capacity will be reduced as additional disassembling and cleaning will be needed.

How Can You Stop a Rat-hole Occurring?

Choose a solution that will efficiently discharge your powder every time.

Matcon IBCs contain our unique Cone Valve technology which is designed to discharge your powders efficiently and overcome the traditional powder handling problems. A Matcon IBC discharges powder under mass flow, resulting in a uniform flow of powder from the IBC. By delivering a controlled discharge, powder flow is consistent and even. 

The Cone Valve will give you more control of your powders and will future-proof your system to handle a range of materials.

Learn more about the Matcon Cone Valve with this informative animation.


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