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Dynamic Retarder Spout (DRS) Q&A

Date Posted Q&A
Q Has Trimill tested DRS in real world spouts?

A The short answer is YES. Trimill has been fortunate to find a partner that was interested in testing DRS baffles in a couple of spouts in their facility. That partner is Three Hills & District Seed Cleaning Plant Ltd. in Three Hills Alberta.

Results of the trial

2023-11-14 Q What is the 'patent pending' status of the DRS?

A Trimill has filed a priority filing with the US Patent Office in May 2023. We intend on filing the patent applications in multiple jurisdictions early in 2024.

2023-11-14 Q What are the patentable features of the DRS?

A Based on our research, these features of DRS are novel and patentable:

  1. Up and down motion of the material.
  2. Use of close coupled baffle sets, with a relatively large spacing between them.
  3. Methods of attaching the baffles to the spout.
2023-11-14 Q How do you ensure that the product will get to thetop baffle at low slopes of the spout, for example 40°slope?

A The baffle configuration that will get the product to the top of the spout without excessive velocity cannot be easily calculated. This is the reason that we spent a lot of time and effort to build the grain flow simulation program, which can predict the grain flow down the spout at any angle, and through the elbows.

2023-11-14 Q A practical challenge is that most round spouting is installed at various angles in a facility, but with this concept, each different angled spout would be baffled differently. How is this handled?

A That is correct. Trimill can design the optimum baffle type and arrangement based on the spout geometry and angle of incline.
Baffle configurations can also be designed for a range of spout angles, say 45°-55°, 55°-65°, and so on.

2023-11-14 Q The bottom of spout baffle will trap some product in the spout, potentially causing cross-contamination. How do you deal with this concern?

A Based on our experience with the 2” model spout, this doesn’t happen because the movement of the grain at the end of the flow sweeps the bottom baffle clean. This is something that we still need to confirm in the real-world spouts. This should be easy to confirm by installing a hatch just upstream of the bottom baffle.

2023-11-14 Q Making the product “airborne” as it deflects up and down has a large chance of increasing dust and air entrainment in the product. Depending on what the spout discharges to, is there a concerned about increased dust emissions?

A Based on our experience with the silo bean ladders handling wood pellets, the opposite should be the case. Again, this should be easy to test.

2023-11-14 Q Are you underestimating the difficulty of installing baffles in a large length (20’ would not be unusual) of round spouts and trying to fish them into position and get the bolt through the hole?

A We put a lot of thought into installation procedures, but for now we are keeping them as a trade secret. We have developed several methods for installing the baffles: two methods for doing it in a shop and one method for doing it in-situ. So far, we have tested these methods on the 2” model spouts.

2023-11-14 Q The assumption that the product runs on the bottom of the spout (at least initially) may not be valid. Depending on bends and how it is fed, product will swirl and not necessarily run on the bottom of the spout. It will tend to go there eventually, but not necessarily right at the start. How do you deal with this issue?

A There are three ways of dealing with this issue:

  1. Install the first baffle set after the elbow a good distance downstream of the elbow.
  2. Incline the first baffle set.
  3. If the upstream spout has DRS baffles installed in it, position the last baffle set close to the elbow. That will ensure that the velocity of the product entering the spout is low, thus minimizing the swirl.
2023-11-14 Q While reduction of product velocity may be achieved, you’ve also introduced multiple new impact points, and generally wear is concentrated at impact points, How much is increase in the spout life realistic?

A In our experience with the square bean ladders handling corn, where the velocity was kept below 7 m/s (1400 fpm), after two years in operation there was no detectable wear. We are prepared to test the spout and baffle wear using a very accurate ultrasonic thickness gauge. It should only take about a month to be able to calculate how long the spout will last.

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