Powder Pump Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Powder Pump?

A Powder Pump is a type of pumping technology that is designed specifically for pumping powders rather than a fluid. There are a couple of types of Powder Pumps, however, the most effective is the Metal Diaphragm Powder Pump. Many of the other powder pumping systems on the market are large and complicated, whereas our Diaphragm Powder Pump is a great alternative that is compact and simple to use. The pump uses the ‘wasted air’ from behind the diaphragms and recycles it to the bottom valve balls which fluidises the powder being pumped! See diagram below.

How does a Powder Pump work

What types of powders can be pumped with a Diaphragm Powder Pump and what are the flow rates?

Now that’s not an easy question to answer as there are many factors that need to be considered. The Tapflo Powder Pump will generally handle a variety of powders that vary from a specific weight of 80kg/m3 to 720kg/m3 dry weight. As a rule of thumb, if the powder doesn’t clump together when squeezed in your hand then the chances are it can be pumped, however, when it comes to flow rates it’s more complicated to specify.

The reason for this is because there are so many variables when it comes to powder that deciphering a specific flow rate is almost impossible! Some examples of what can be pumped are below:

  • - Icing sugar
  • - Ceramic powder
  • - Carbon black
  • - Resin powders
  • - Charcoal
  • - Silicones

Is the Powder Pump sanitary?

Until 6 months ago, the answer to this question was no, however, Tapflo have now developed a Sanitary Powder Pump. This works in the same way as the industrial powder pump and will be the same design as the usual sanitary AODD pumps. Keep reading to see the case study below where we have recently used the Sanitary Powder Pump on icing sugar and it was a huge success!

What is the best set up/installation configuration for a Tapflo Powder Pump?

There are a couple of options that we recommend when setting up your Powder Pump. The first would be a suction hose with a lance on the end which will allow you to use the pump as a vacuum, however, it will mean an operator is required most of the time. The second option is more reliable and what we typically recommend if the option is possible on site; having the pump hopped fed as per the below image is the most effective option.

Powder Pump Installation

What are the main issues when pumping powders?

The main issue when pumping powder is clumping within the pump. If the powder being pumped clumps together within the pump, it causes blockages which ultimately results in the pump failing; if this occurs, there is no way of reversing the effects and will require a new pump being purchased. Therefore, it is important to check the powder beforehand with the very simple test mentioned above – squeezing the powder in your hand to check if it clumps together.

Powder pump case study

Tapflo were recently approached by a large food manufacturer. They were having to empty bags of icing sugar by hand and wanted a way to streamline this.

Application Details:

Powder: Icing Sugar

Pipe Work: 1 1/2”

Discharge Pressure: 2 Bar

Suction Condition: 1.5M

Pumping solution offered:

Pump Type: Tapflo TXP125 STT hygienic AODD Powder Pump with PTFE diaphragms and valve balls.

Connection Size: 1 1/2”

We supplied the above Diaphragm Pump with a suction hose and lance, and the factory is now able to pump the icing sugar for efficient operation.

If you require a similar pump or any assistance on fluid handling within your factory, then please get in touch on 02380 252 325 or email us at [email protected]

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