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Silo cleaning without confined space entry

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World Coal,

Martin Engineering silo solutions eliminate the need for confined space entry and hazardous cleaning techniques, such as explosives, water and air lancing, when dealing with blocked vessels and plugged discharge chutes. They also typically allow material to be recaptured and returned to the process stream.

Reducing confined space entry
Most cleaning projects are performed with the Martin heavy-duty whip, a portable, remote-controlled tool that can be lowered into storage vessels through a manhole opening. Powered by compressed air, it can be equipped with a variety of flails and cutting edges to knock down accumulated material without damaging storage vessels. Non-sparking brass chain is available when deadline with combustible materials.

“With this technology, the need for confined space entry is greatly reduced”, observed Martin Engineering silo sales specialist, Marty Yepsen. “The equipment can be set up quickly outside the vessel, and it’s portable enough to move easily around various bin sizes and shapes.”

The Martin heavy-duty whip uses a modular boom arrangement that extends from 2 m (7 ft) to 8.5 m (28 t) and can clean vessels up to 18 m (60 ft) in diameter and 68.5 m (225 ft) tall from a single central opening of just 450 mm (18 in.). The pneumatic cutting head delivers powerful whip action from the rotating head to remove buildup from walls. The hose reel easily separates from the boom assembly for transportation and set-up in tight spaces.

Cleaning extreme blockages
For extreme blockages where hardened lumps of material have plugged discharge chutes, silo cleaning technicians also use the Martin Buster, which safely dislodges blockages by the powerful force of expanding CO2 gas. The technique employs non-explosive generators that cause rapid gas expansion to fracture chunks and compacted material, opening the discharge and restoring normal flow.

When bridged or arched material creates a no-flow condition, the Martin Drill can be used to bore through tough clogs. The drill’s powerful hydraulic action drives its way through blockages, clearing a pathway at depths up to 45 m (150 ft).

A turnkey service
Martin Engineering’s Silo Solutions are provided as a turnkey service. The company’s teams bring all required equipment and personnel directly to customer sites. Many facilities are able to remain in operation during vessel cleaning, but when conditions require a shutdown, technicians work evenings, weekends or holidays to accommodate customer schedules.

Adapted from press release by

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