A powder conveyor is a specialized material transport mechanism that is designed specifically to move fine powdered materials within manufacturing, storage or dispatch installations. Although powdered loads can be — and often are — transported with conventional belt-type conveyors, realities such as potential contamination of loads or the environment, dust generation and explosion hazards usually dictate that specialized conveyors are used for these materials. Some of the more common powder conveyor types include pneumatic, aeromechanical and screw-type systems. Disc chain and bucket elevator systems are also often used to move powdered materials. Although most of these systems differ considerably from one another, they do share some similarities, such as sealed transport chambers and relatively low transport speeds.
Powered materials usually are challenging to transport within manufacturing, storage and distribution facilities. This is particularly true of very fine aggregates, food stuffs and hazardous materials. Loads might become contaminated or cause contamination of the environment through spillage, and dust generation from open powdered loads is always an issue. In fact, even the dust from apparently inert materials, such as flour, can pose serious risks to operators’ respiratory health and, under certain circumstances, might explode if it is inadvertently ignited. For these reasons, conventional belt conveyors are seldom used to transport finely powdered materials because there are specialized powder conveyor systems that reduce all the risks inherent to the transport of powders.