Q Has Trimill tested DRS in real world spouts?
A The short answer is no. The long answer is
Trimill is at a stage where we are looking for a partner that would
be interested in testing DRS baffles in a couple of spouts in their
facility. The claims we made on our website are based on our
experience with side-to-side baffles in inclined square spouts
(which didn’t work very well) and silo bean ladders, both round and
square, as well the experiments with the 2” model spout, as well as
the computer simulations. The rationale is that if something works
for 36” spout and a 2” spout, it should also work for any size in
Q What is the 'patent pending' status of the
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.
Q What are the patentable features of the DRS?
A Based on our research, these features of DRS
are novel and patentable:
- Up and down motion of the material.
- Use of close coupled baffle sets, with a
relatively large spacing between them.
- Methods of attaching the baffles to the
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
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.
Q The bottom of spout baffle will trap some
product in the spout, potentially causing cross-contamination. How
do you deal with this concern?
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.
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.
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.
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
A There are three ways of
dealing with this issue:
- Install the first baffle set after the elbow
a good distance downstream of the elbow.
- Incline the first baffle set.
- 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.
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?
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.