We use a very fine polymer powder that is extremely hydrophilic. Once exposed to moisture it becomes very adhesive and cohesive. So naturally we store it dry and limit exposure until it is time to use it.
The problem I have is delivering it to the dispersion unit we use. Right now, our only way to move it is to scoop it by hand. It sticks to absolutely everything and I have no humidity control in the area. So it is a “dirty” process needing full protective suits by the operators. The material isn’t hazardous, it just sticks to everything and is nasty.
What I thought might be attractive is to have a closed hopper (so it would be isolated from humidity) that would somehow allow the material to flow out. That way, nobody needs to physically handle the material and we can regulate the rate much better. This powder will flow under vacuum, but it will also bridge and stick. Aside from banging the sides to knock it loose, I am looking for the best way to keep it moving in a funnel/hopper.
Fluidizing by air would be very problematic, due to dust. Anyone deal with sticky, nasty powders in a way that made it less painfully inefficient? I had the thought of ultrasonic fluidizing, but I don’t really know too much about it. Before I start taking a deeper dive into this on my own, I figured posing the question here might give me a head start.