To address issues associated with the recently updated OSHA Instruction on combustible dust hazards, this presentation will explore an innovative concept of conveyor design. The author will also examine two “leading edge” conveyor technologies and review recent projects that employed these two technologies. This presentation will first address concerns associated with the OSHA Instruction on combustible dust hazards by exploring the architecture concept for conveyor design and the new dust accumulation resistant conveyor structure. This pioneering approach to conveyor design focuses on prevention of fugitive dust accumulation and ease of maintenance. The next of these advanced technologies is “engineered-flow” chutes. Designed from material testing and flow studies, these transfer chute systems provide better material control, continuous flow at higher capacities, and dramatic reductions in material spillage and the release of airborne dust. By regulating the path of material movement, these engineered chutes improve the load placement on the belt, eliminate chute blockages, reduce safety hazards, and minimize maintenance costs. A third leading edge conveying system is air-supported belt conveyors. Rather than using rollers, these leading edge systems use a film of air rising from a troughed pan to support the belt and cargo. These totally enclosed conveyors offer a number of benefits, including improved tracking, improved control of dust and spillage, and reduced friction and power consumption. In this presentation, the author will present “project profiles” of recent installations of these systems. The author will look at the reasons these systems were selected and report on the lessons learned from system engineering, installation, and operation. These projects will include systems handling Powder River Basin (PRB) coal in mines and power plants.

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