What Not To Use a Pneumatic Conveying System For

What Not To Use a Pneumatic Conveying System For

Pneumatic conveying systems are ideal for keeping specific materials moving from place to place in your facility. Unfortunately, not all materials are equal, and non-pneumatic systems can better serve some of them. Otherwise, you risk inefficiency, product loss, and even destruction of the conveyance systems. Pneumatic conveying systems are great for moving materials like powders and bulk solids, such as sugar, salt, cement, and plastic particles. But due to their setup and power requirements, they’re not so great for other materials. Here’s what not to use a pneumatic conveying system for in your facility.

Rocks, Gravel, and Other Minerals

The bigger and heavier individual particles in loose materials are, the harder it is for a pneumatic conveyor system to carry them. Gravel, rocks, and other minerals are big and have a high density as well. Thus, they require a tremendous amount of power to pick up and move them. A conveyor belt, elevator, or similar devices will better serve such materials.

Sticky Stuff

Stickiness isn’t just present in glues and other adhesives. Some materials may be sticky in other ways, building up and forming blockages in a conveying system’s pipelines. Extremely fine powders are fin to transport through pneumatic conveyance systems. While they can build up at certain points, they’re easy to break up and move along. However, other powdery materials can create coatings in pipes that can eventually harden and lead to problems. Another grosser substance that doesn’t work well with pneumatics is fat, and for the same reasons. Watch for stickiness in your materials!


Slurries are partially liquid and partially solid. They usually contain water and the material to be moved. Mixing some materials with a liquid can make them easier to transport than when they’re dry. That’s convenient with a hydraulic or similar system. However, with a pneumatic conveying system, slurries can gum up the works. Pneumatic systems also need to maintain a steady gas pressure to keep things moving. Slurries make it more difficult to keep the pressure on and the process flowing.


One of the big problems with dust is that it’s flammable or even explosive under specific conditions. This isn’t so much a case of what not to use a pneumatic conveying system for. Rather, you just need to carry these substances with caution. Because pneumatic systems use air to transport materials, the risk of ignition can increase if you’re not careful.

When setting up a pneumatic conveying system for your facility, you should consult us. We’re one of the leading industrial vacuum blower manufacturers around. Contact us, and we’ll discuss your options.

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