NEED HELP FAST? We have over 40 years' experience with Bulk Material Handling, Packaging, and Processing.   (979) 217-1480 GET A QUOTE

NEED HELP FAST?   (979) 217-1480   GET A QUOTE

Ratholing in Powder Flow Solved with a Cone Valve

What is ratholing in powder flow?

rat holing of powder in hoppers bins ibc containerRatholing occurs in hoppers, bins, and intermediate bulk containers when cohesive powders with interlocking particles build up or cake on the walls or sides of the container.  This occurs more frequently when powders are discharged using a butterfly valve or slide valve and the powder flow takes place directly above the outlet.  This creates a funnel flow effect where the cohesive powders flow directly above the outlet, but eventually build up on the sides reducing or stopping flow and powder discharge all together. This results in increased processing time including container disassembly and cleaning.

What are some solutions for ratholing?

Depending on the frequency of occurrence, operators can use rubber mallets or rods to tap on the sides or inside of the hopper, bin, or intermediate bulk container.  If the container is not custom built for this type of manual agitation, it could be damaged or in need of repair after repeated strikes.  Stopping production for manual agitation can also cause longer than necessary processing times, further reducing production capacity.

Intermediate bulk container or bin with mallet strike zone to free stuck battery powders

Intermediate bulk container or bin with mallet strike zone to free stuck battery powders

Cone Valve Provides a Ratholing Solution

Our intermediate bulk containers, or IBCs, use a centerflow container design with an integrated cone valve.  When the cone valve is lifted, dry bulk solids and powders are discharged in such a way as to avoid ratholing, bridging, and segregation.  The cone valve also provides a good level of dust containment because a dust-tight seal is made between the cone valve and actuator when the bin or intermediate bulk container is lowered onto a specially designed IBC discharge system.

cone valve inside IBC eliminates bridging rat holing and segregation

3D cut away view of cone valve inside of intermediate bulk container

Additional features of the cone valve:

  • Safe and Sanitary – no parts in the powder flow
  • Accurate Dosing – by weight, continuous, and batch
  • Low Maintenance – less than twelve components
cone valve inside of stainless steel ibc container

Watch a demonstration video to learn about these containers with cone valves.

IBC Bulk Handling Systems - Accelerate Your Production!


Ask us a question about ratholing solutions or get more information and pricing.

Call:  (979) 217-1480

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