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Ultrasonic fluid flow assist?

We have a substantial number of large non-pressure vessels with conical bottoms holding large quantities of high-viscosity fluids. Over time, we have developed new products of higher and higher viscosity. Now we find that the product is slow to start flowing, may not flow at all from a partially full tank, and leaves too much product in the vessel.

We're looking for ways to help the product flow. Air pressure on the surface is not an options, neither is heating the product due to degradation of some components. We're exploring technical alternatives.

Does anyone have any feedback about possibly using ultrasonic devices in the cone of the vessel to help break down the fluid yield point and viscosity at the bottom of the vessel?




Hello Andrew - welcome to the forum.

That sounds like a great application for ultrasonics - if you can generate any significant amplitude in the base of your vessel it should cause separation from the fluid right at the inside surface.

The problem of course is in getting the amplitude - it's not easy to vibrate a large, heavy vessel. Traditional design methodology would require you to select a resonant mode for the base, place a transducer at an antinode and drive it at the resonant frequency, and that might work with some kind of diaphragm mode.

Alternatively, have you seen the work [url=]MPI Ultrasonics[/url] is doing with "MMM" systems? (Effectively drive the load over a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes and allow it to resonate in any mode it likes, perhaps several at once!). It may appear strange but it does seem to be a viable option for large, heavy pressure vessels.