Loading chutes for versatile bulk material loading

Authorship

Henrik Frandsen, general sales manager, Cimbria Bulk Equipment, Herning, Denmark

Publication

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For many years, loading chutes have been used for loading dry bulk products into different vessels, such as tankers, open trucks, ships and barges. The strong points of using loading chutes have always been the flexibility and versatility of being able to load all kinds of dry bulk materials, under virtually all conditions, and in nearly all known applications, eg. in ports, refineries, cement and power plants, and grain terminals.

For 25 years, Cimbria has produced and installed more than 13,000 Moduflex branded loading chutes worldwide. The chutes are being used for loading anything from cobber concentrate over fly ash and cement to fertiliser, grain and food stuff. They are used for loading ships and barges, flatbed trucks and dumper trucks, stockpiling, tanker trucks and boats as well as train wagons. In many cases, the chutes are loading not only one specific product, but many products through the same chutes – for instance in port terminals.

Effective chute construction

This level of variety of use can only be supplied due to the versatility of the loading chute itself which is due to its general construction. The Moduflex loading chutes are designed with a unique modular construction, which means that the chute can be adapted to suit 99 percent of all known applications within the dry bulk industry, although the parts being used are standard components. This ensures that the operators know that the loading chutes are based on well-founded, recognised technology that provides the user with quick access to standard spare parts, if a breakdown occurs, so down times are kept to a minimum. On top of this, the Moduflex loading chutes can cater for capacities up 4000 tonnes per hour in the standard configuration, and a drop of more than 25 metres. This flexibility can only be achieved using a loading chute.

The Moduflex loading chutes can of course be used in light-duty industries for loading grain, bran, food stuff etc. but also in the heavy-duty industries for loading cement, limestone, fly ash, clinker, minerals etc. This versatility is founded on the ability to construct the various parts of the chute in high density polyamides, abrasive resistant steel, stainless steel, and with liners in vautid and/or ceramic compound materials. Furthermore, loading of products with larger particle sizes or very low densities and little structure are completely impossible to load, except through a loading chute. No other loading system can offer the same degree of adaption to specific needs of the users or the same safety and durability in one piece of equipment.

The proof of this point becomes even more evident when looking at toxic products, or products that need to be loaded in a closed system (food and chemicals), as this again is for hygienic reasons only possible using a loading chute. The demands of food safety and cleanliness within the chemical industry make it impossible to load products like sugar for instance, with any open system that exists on the market. The risk of contamination of loading any product
for human consumption and almost any chemical base materials in non-sealed systems is unacceptable and in some cases dangerous to health. In order to avoid contamination, a closed system with a closing device at the outlet that ensures an active seal during loading and plugging when the chute is not in use, is required.

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