I’ve decided to attempt to build a fluidizing hopper. I’m convinced it can be built for considerably less than what a couple of companies are currently selling them for. I’m willing to share all my material costs and build data. I’m open for suggestions and comments. If anyone has already accomplished this and would like to share their knowledge that would be great.
The hopper itself is fairly straight forward and could be made from pvc(clear or standard white) pipe or acrylic tube. I’m thinking the clear pvc route as end caps and couplers are readily available. The main body, from the bottom up would consist of 1: a flat end cap, 2: a small length of pipe, 3: a coupler, 4: a longer length of pipe(the container portion of the hopper) and 5: a top cap.
The fluidizing membrane would be glued to the top of part #2. The bottom cap item #1 would be fitted with a ‘push to connect’ quick fitting for the fluidizing air supply. I’ve found a source for these connectors that also have built in regulators for controlling air pressure. All pieces would be slip fit so disassembly for cleaning would be easy.
The only area of design that I’m still researching is the powder pump. While called a pump it actually has no moving parts and is often referred to as a venturi pump. I’ve seen a few pictures of these previously posted. The body of this pump may require a little machine work, but perhaps could be designed from off the shelf parts. I’m also wondering about the size pipe to use, either 4″, 5″ or 6″?
The type of gun to be retrofitted will also make a difference as to the required number of air lines, fittings, regulators, etc.