A rotary airlock valve is a device that is largely used in material handling processes in industrial settings. Typically, it consists of metal vanes that are cast or welded on it to form pockets between two consecutive metal vanes. The material enters through an inlet port and exits through an outlet port onto a conveying system. Additionally, the airlock seals air between the inlet port and outlet port in order to maintain the air pressure. This air pressure is essential in carrying the material from the inlet port to the outlet port.
Types of Airlock Valves
Typically, depending on how the rotary airlock valve functions, it can be divided into the following types:
- Angle of Repose (ARF) Rotary Airlock Valve
An angle of Repose Rotary Airlock Valve is a type of rotary feeder system that uses variable speed for the transport of bulk materials in synchronization with the natural flow of the bulk material. With the help of a rotating member and an articulable gate, the ARF can control the volume of material flow in accordance with the angle of repose.
- Drop-through Rotary Airlock Valve
These valves are used in settings that require rugged applications where abrasive products need to be handled. They require an outboard bearing style in cases where an inboard bearing style cannot handle contamination or abrasive products.
- Blow-thru Rotary Airlock Valve
The Blow-thru rotary feeders or airlock valves have a large capacity and low profile that makes them ideal for pneumatic conveying purposes in industries such as food, grain, plastic, baking and so on.
- Rotary Airlock Valve Degassing
This type of rotary feeder has a small hopper that is attached to it which enables it to release the gas that gets leaked into the valves and through the cracks between the valves and the walls. This gas can prevent the undisrupted flow of material into the valve and so, the hopper enables it to improve its efficiency.
- Easy Clean Rotary Valve
The easy clean rotary airlock valve can be swiftly disassembled and reassembled, enabling it to be cleaned easily. This increases efficiency and reduces the downtime that goes in towards its maintenance.
- Filter Valve
A filter airlock valve is designed to be a low-cost solution to collecting dust.
- Knife Rotary Valve
This type of rotary airlock valve has a knife attached to it which cuts up the material that is put into it and prevents the blockage of the valves. It is primarily used in the handling process of secondary fuel such as wood and plastics.
Applications of Rotary Airlock Valves
A rotary airlock valve is used as an airlock, a feeder or as a combination of both a feeder and an airlock. The airlock valve seals pressurized valves to prevent the loss of air from it while there is a continuous flow of materials. They are used for pollution control purposes in industries such as wood, paper, grain, paint, tobacco and so on. The main type of drop through valve is used in the handling of free-flowing materials that are dry or powdered such as grains and rice. The blow through type of rotary airlock valve is used to handle adhesive substances like cocoa, flour, milk powder etc. that may not be properly handled in a drop through type of rotary airlock valve.
Rotary airlock valve manufacturers generally suggest that regular maintenance of the rotary airlock valves or feeders be done properly. It is, of course, very important that the right kind of valve or feeder is chosen according to its designed purpose and what your need is, in order to achieve the maximum possible efficiency.
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Few of us like to work under pressure while others like longer process for assured results in controlled way. The same is true for conveying system when material passes through them. Each material needs proper flow at its own pressure so that different sized materials can be regulated properly.