Choosing a Vibration Solution for Your Bin, Hopper or Silo

Industrial Hopper and electric vibration equipment

Choosing a Vibration Solution for Your Bin, Hopper or Silo

Dealing with material flow means finding solutions to boost efficiency and prevent blockages. Your silo, bin or hopper can see regular flow problems, decreasing productivity. Material vibrators are an excellent solution for your operation — they use vibrations to dislodge stuck materials, keeping them moving. You need the correct vibrator and installation to prevent flow issues and maximize cost-effectiveness. Let’s look at some essential vibration considerations for your bin, hopper or silo. 

Material Characteristics

Finding the appropriate vibration solution means getting equipment that ensures efficient material flow. Your material’s weight and moisture affect how effective vibration is. You can narrow down your vibration equipment options once you understand your silo, hopper or bin’s material. 

1. Density

Density is your material’s mass per unit volume. Some materials are light but large, while others are heavy and highly compact. Material density influences how your material moves and the stress it puts on storage. Bulk materials, like grains, minerals and cement, will have different densities and material qualities. They might be hygroscopic, tacky or sticky — combine these qualities with unique densities, and you can end up with flow issues that need resolving. 

Generally, lumpy, moist, heavy or granular materials respond best to lower-frequency, higher-amplitude vibration. On the other hand, dry, fine or powdered materials will flow better with high-frequency and lower-amplitude vibration. Remember, vibration intensity and frequency only work effectively when matched with the appropriate material density. Consult your vibration solution professional for assistance with challenges. They’ll work with your material density and challenges to find the best fit for your needs. 

2. Material Size and Shape

Material size and shape will also influence flow dynamics. Irregularly shaped materials can experience issues like bridging and interlocking, stopping flow in your operation. Fine powders compact more easily, while larger materials need more vibration to get them moving. Vibrators with multidirectional outputs can provide consistent agitation for irregular sizes and shapes. Additionally, vibrators with adjustable frequencies or amplitudes can help reduce flow challenges with unique or challenging materials. 

3. Moisture Content

Moisture content will also influence flow dynamics in your storage space. Sticky or wet materials will cling to the storage vessel’s walls, increasing blockages. On the other hand, dry materials might create static electricity and excess dust, impacting efficient flow. Figure out your material’s moisture content and storage behavior. You might need a vibrator with moisture-resistant coatings or designs that reduce buildup. Additionally, adjustable vibration settings can tailor agitation to your material’s moisture content, optimizing flow.

Four large industrial silos with the sky in the background

Hopper/Bin/Silo Design

Finding the correct bin vibration solution also means looking at your storage containers. Your vessel’s material will influence the effectiveness of vibration. You need vibration equipment that works with your storage shape, size, thickness and material to maximize effectiveness. Here’s how these factors can impact material flow.

1. Shape and Size

Your hopper, silo or bin shape and size will influence how materials sit and flow inside. Whether you’re using a conical, pyramidal or cylindrical space, you’ll see changes based on the space’s setup. For example, conical hoppers encourage mass flow — when all the materials move together. Flat-bottomed bins might have more dead zones. 

Your space’s size compared to the material volume also affects flow behavior. You may see irregular flow patterns or stagnation with an oversized vessel. On the other hand, undersized spaces can lead to overfilling or material compaction, increasing flow issues. 

2. Wall Thickness

Your vessel’s wall thickness is another factor to consider. Thicker walls give you more structural integrity and support, improving your investment’s life span. Having thicker walls is especially crucial when holding abrasive or heavy materials. Thicker walls also help distribute vibration-generated forces, minimizing the risk of damage.

However, overly thick walls can make your vibration transmission less effective. Poor transmission means materials will not dislodge from the vessel walls. Ensure the walls are thin enough to transmit vibrations while still having enough thickness to support the material and maintain structural integrity. 

3. Material

Your silo, hopper or bin material will also affect storage and vibration. Steel, plastic and concrete are typical, but your choice will depend on your stored material, environment and budget. Steel is durable and holds up in harsh conditions. Plastic is corrosion-resistant and lightweight, and concrete is excellent for large-scale operations. However, concrete silos need a steel slope at the bottom to mount a vibrator. Your container material will affect the vibrator solutions you have access to, so make sure you’re finding something that works with your vessel.

You can pick a compatible vibrator once you have your vessel material. Ensure your chosen vibrator works with your silo and does not lead to stress or damage. For example, concrete silos with external tendons installed might see increased vibrations, leading to increased wear and strain on the concrete. You want your storage space to handle the vibrations without excess wear or strain. 

Portable and Permanent mounting methods for Vibration Equipment on Bins, Hoppers, and Silos

Mounting Methods

When narrowing down your vibrator options based on your materials and storage, you must also consider mounting methods. Are you looking for a portable or permanent vibrator solution? How will mounting methods impact your vibration efficiency? Let’s look at permanent and portable mounting methods to help you pick the best vibrator for the job.

Permanent

Permanent vibrator mounting means securing your hopper vibrator to the structure with brackets, welds or bolts. Permanent mounting gives you a long-term vibrator solution that improves flow. You’ll usually see permanent vibrators integrated into your vessel’s design during construction or retrofitting. 

You can mount permanent vibrators on chutes, hoppers, bins and silos to achieve effective vibration. Use strategic installation locations to give you a secure hold for the vibrator, providing better consistency and reliability if you’re building or retrofitting a vessel. Since they’re permanent, these mounting methods are ideal for high-volume or continuous applications. 

Portable

Portable mounting methods give you more flexibility over your material vibrators. Installing portable vibrators is simple — mount them with brackets or vacuum clamps for convenient, intermittent use. These vibrators are removable and adjustable, allowing you to create your ideal setup with less effort. Portable mounting is excellent for temporary flow issues or intermittent problems. 

Portable mounts are usually for troubleshooting a specific flow issue, performing maintenance or stopping multiple flow issues throughout your operation. Use them in the field or in your plant to solve flow challenges without extensive downtime or complex installation. Choose this option for maximum convenience and easy installation, solving your flow problems without permanently modifying your storage. 

Our Vibrator Options

Our Material Flow Vibrator Options

Deca offers various vibrators to ensure you get the right fit for the job. Whatever your material handling demands, we’ve got a product that can help. With electric, pneumatic, hammers and knockers, hydraulic and more, we can work with you to deliver an unmatched vibration solution for your material.

1. Electric

Here’s a quick look at Deca’s electric vibrators.

  • Series FV heavy-duty rotary: We offer over 240 different FV models, including very low-, low- and moderate-frequency options. Choose from 115, 230 or 460 VAC current, along with 12 or 24 VDC current products. We also offer Class I and II explosion-proof housings to protect your operation further.
  • Series D: These are heavy-duty electric vibrators with moderate- to high-frequencies. Choose series D for fine, dry materials traveling from hoppers and bins through chutes and pipes. These are ideal for use with vibration testing tables, refractory installation for induction furnaces and compaction tables in foundries. 
  • Series MICRO rotary: These are excellent flow aids on silos or hoppers. You can also use them as drives on vibrating machines. MICRO rotary electric vibrators feature an electric motor housed in a durable casing with eccentric weights on both shaft ends. 

2. Pneumatic

Deca’s pneumatic vibrators give you cost-effective solutions with fewer maintenance needs, improving your flow when you can’t use hydraulics or electricity. 

  • Linear pneumatic: Our series PLV-NL, PLV-Pneumatic Linear with Internal Piston and DLV-Pneumatic Linear with Internal Piston models deliver efficient flow aid for smaller to medium vessels. 
  • Pneumatic roller: We offer several pneumatic roller vibrators, including the series CR and DR-pneumatic External High-Frequency Roller, the series P and C Pneumatic External High-Frequency Rotor and the series DRV-Rotary Pneumatic Roller.
  • Pneumatic turbine: Our pneumatic turbine vibrators allow you to operate lubrication-free. Choose the series DR Rotary Pneumatic Ring vibrators for high-heat applications, while others provide you with low-noise performance. 
  • Pneumatic piston: Choose the series PV-Pneumatic Piston Vibrator Continuous Impact for clay-like or wet materials. The series LPV-Flange Mount Pneumatic Piston vibrators give you easy maintenance, versatile use and affordable prices. 

3. Hammers/Knockers

Deca’s pneumatic and electric hammers/knockers help dislodge materials from your vessel sidewalls. These units provide exemplary low-frequency, high-amplitude performance. They’re ideal for handling dry bulk material in your bins, hoppers, dust collectors and more. Whether you’ve got staticky, tacky or sticky materials, these hammers/knockers can get them off your vessel walls, preventing rat-holing and bridging.

Our pneumatic hammers/knockers include:

  • Series DAH Pneumatic Hammer Impactor
  • Series DK Pneumatic Hammer/Knocker
  • Series LI Pneumatic High-Energy Impacting Hammer
  • Series DI Pneumatic Impacting Hammer

We also offer the cast-steel Series DEH Electromagnetic Hammer for anyone seeking a non-pneumatic hammer/knocker solution. Our hammers/knockers are ideal if you want control over frequency for a tailored operation and low-maintenance units. Deca’s hammers/knockers feature energy-efficient compressed air-powered units, reduced noise levels, multiple sizes and a range of impact forces for any bin-wall thickness and material flow needs. 

4. DC 12- or 24-Volt

Deca also offers DC 12- or 24-volt truck vibrators for operations that need to unload materials from their mobile equipment. Vibration creates a smooth flow that moves material, making your unloading process more efficient. With high durability, continuous-duty designs, watertight construction and easy installation, these vibrators give your operation the flexibility and productivity it needs. We offer 12- or 24-volt configurations so you can charge directly from your vehicle’s battery or electrical system. 

  • Series FVDC Truck Vibrator (continuous duty): These models are for ongoing use in challenging applications. Their hermetically enclosed design and excellent performance make them ideal for volumetric truck and concrete pump applications.
  • Series DC Truck Vibrator (intermittent duty): Use the DC model for remote or mobile vibrator applications, like dump truck beds, railcars and bulk transport vehicles. 
  • Series DC1 Truck Vibrator (continuous duty): The DC1 series improves material unloading with effective vibration. 

5. Hydraulic

Our hydraulic vibrators deliver powerful torque in smaller spaces. Deca’s hydraulic vibrators give your operation low maintenance and cost-efficient performance to maximize productivity. From compaction and screening to material handling and unloading, hydraulic vibrators make the job efficient. We carry three hydraulic vibrator series to ensure you get the product that fits your needs. 

  • Series DRHE: These motor-driven hydraulic vibrators use a bidirectional motor for maximum flexibility and function. You can choose from several permanent mounting options, making installation easy and convenient for your specific setup. 
  • Series DH: This line also features permanent mounting but in a more compact form, making it a good choice if you have limited space and need low maintenance and powerful vibration.
  • Series DM: Get high-performance vibration for your most demanding applications. Additionally, these vibrators come with permanent and portable mounting to accommodate your needs. We can even customize the vibrators to your unique challenges. 

6. Explosion-Proof

Hazardous environments need equipment that can meet strict safety requirements. If your operation deals with flammable gases, powders, dust or vapors, you must prepare for potential explosions. Deca’s explosion-proof vibrators protect your operation by preventing flammable substances from igniting. 

Our explosion-proof electric vibrators are:

  • Compliant with Class I, Division I and Class II, Division I performance requirements.
  • Designed to operate in hazardous locations. 
  • Certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories or Intertek’s ETL certification program to comply with OSHA’s explosion-protection standards.

7. For Extreme Material Flow Problems

Deca’s Air-Slide Flow-Aid System is a specialized solution designed to address your bin, hopper and silo extreme material flow problems. With strategic nozzle placement and controlled air bursts, this system dislodges compact, stagnant and stuck materials. You can ensure reliable material flow without disrupting your operation, reducing rat-holing, bridging, stagnant material or arching.

Our Air-Slide Flow-Aid System provides guaranteed material flow performance. We can customize this solution to your challenges and needs, minimizing downtime and delays. Multiple industries and materials use this system to maximize operational productivity. If you’re dealing with extreme material flow problems, try the Air-Slide Flow-Aid System to restore your efficiency.

Expert Vibrator Solutions from Deca Vibrator Industries

Expert Vibrator Solutions From Deca Vibrator Industries, Inc.

Do you need to boost efficiency and material flow? Experience unmatched vibrator solutions for your bin, hopper or silo from Deca Vibrator Industries, Inc. We offer a wide range of pneumatic, hydraulic and electric vibrators to give you the best solution for your operation. Our custom-fit vibrator solutions match your unique needs, ensuring minimal downtime and maximum efficiency. We can build our solutions to your specifications, optimizing performance. 

As a low-volume manufacturer, we always put customer care and quality detail first. Get vibrator solutions tailored to your operation when you work with our expert team. Our in-house manufacturing means you get industry-leading quality and precision with every order. Contact us online today to learn how we can help you get the material flow you need!

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