Project Director

Goulet, Ron

Department Examiner

Bathi, Jejal Reddy


Dept. of Mechanical Engineering


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Pneumatic conveying is the transportation of material through a closed conveying line in a gas medium via a pressure differential. In industry, pneumatic conveying is used extensively to handle materials: specifically, bulk solids and powders. 80% of all transported materials are bulk solids and pneumatic conveying is currently experiencing industry growth at a rate of 6.4% annually. Industrial pneumatic conveyor suppliers use specialized testing systems to make design decisions regarding specific applications, taking into account the conveyed material, the structure of the plant in which the system will be installed, and desired system characteristics such as necessary filtering or safety requirements. As interest in material conveying characteristics grows so does the demand for small-scale testing facilities. This paper explores the development of a highly versatile pneumatic conveying test loop for small-scale materials conveying characterization. This system is equipped with instrumentation which allows for data to be gathered regarding the velocity of particles in the flow, the pressure differential across the system, and the mass flow rate of air and material through the system. This allows for the change in material properties as well as system damage due to conveying to be analyzed. A pipeline with a 53 mm bore and a 41 m equivalent length, including 9 long radii 90° elbows, is specified. Additional system components discussed include a rotary air compressor, feeding hopper, rotary air lock feeder and filters for material separation. Instrumentation applied to this system includes a laser Doppler velicometer, which allows for particle velocities to be determined, a sight glass, which allows for flow phase to be determined, a pressure transducer, which allows for pressure changes in the system to be determined, a Coulombmeter, which allows for electrostatic charge build up in a system test section to be determined, and a hot wire anemometer, which allows for the velocity of air in the system to be measured before the introduction of conveyed material.


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Pneumatic-tube transportation


Engineering; Pneumatic conveying


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type



81 leaves