Bulk Materials Handling

CDMS Consulting Engineers (CDMS) has a team of mechanical and structural engineers who are highly experienced in the specification, design, and detailing of bulk materials handling equipment including silos, bins, hoppers, and conveyors.

Silo Design

CDMS has designed a number of silos, silo support structures and upgrades to existing support structures. Typically our designs are done to the Australian Standards AS 3774, AS 4100, and AS 3900, and the designs can range from quarry infrastructure to cement silos. We typically carry out our design calculations for silos using a combination of Finite Element Analysis (FEA), traditional hand calculations and custom, in-house generated design spreadsheets.

CDMS can further complement your silo designs by providing additional infrastructure such as stairway access, davits and man ways for servicing, pipe supports, and vibrating screen supports. Finally we can also offer maintenance and inspection support for your company if your silo, or silo support structure is suffering corrosion or does not meet Australian Standard code compliance. We can also provide options for repairs and replacement of the structure and supporting framework.

Previous work CDMS has done in this area is the design of a dual compartment silo with a custom eccentric drawdown cone, as well as all its support structure, stairs, and access platforms for use in an existing operational cement batching plant.

Design of Bins & Hoppers

Bins and hoppers are used extensively in bulk materials handling operations regardless of the industry. CDMS has designed these structures for use in the mining, power, food & beverage, agriculture, and industrial sectors.

As with silo designs, loads are calculated based on AS 3774 Loads on Bulk Solids Containers, with structural design to AS 3990 or AS 4100 as required. TUNRA design philosophies and product data are also used where relevant to develop plate geometry to optimise flow conditions.

As an integral part of the service CDMS can offer in structural inspections, failure analysis, remedial design, and detailed design of purpose-built bulk materials handling systems and components, and design verification of imported and 3rd party designed equipment for compliance with Australian Standards.

Transfer Points

Design of transfer points is often an area of bulk materials handling that is not designed well, or left to sight installation or modifications, that can lead to costly delays through loss of production. CDMS has experience designing transfer points for a range of ore and material types. Accurate material data is essential but where testing is not possible, TUNRA data can be used where sufficient information about the stage of extraction or blending, and the ore deposit is known.

CDMS has designed transfer points for everything from sticky clayey ores, fines, large lump, and highly abrasive ores. At the forefront of CDMS design methodology is: ensuring reliability, minimising maintenance and spillage, ultimately preventing loss of production and increase plant efficiencies. The experienced engineers at CDMS can design, modify, and improve existing systems, for increased wear resistance, as well as transients that can lead to blockages, overflows, and damage to equipment.

We can utilise Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) for design of custom or complex transfer points, and have numerous 9n-house developed programs for standard transfer configurations.

Combined with the process and operational experience of Mineral Engineering Technical Services (METS), CDMS can tailor a solution to suit your unique project, which will not only provide worry free operation but could potentially save thousands of hours in plant downtime, due to unnecessary stoppages and plant maintenance.

Conveyor Design

It is important to understand the principles required to insure a robust, reliable, and cost effective materials handling system. On the back of successful design and installation of conveying systems CDMS has the capability to design belt conveyors from a first principles approach using spreadsheets as well as through simulation using proprietary design software. Spreadsheets are useful for studies and estimates, with a user friendly interface providing quick results, as well as to review multiple conveyors for design comparison and rationalisation. Following preliminary selection and design case iterations the proprietary software is employed to develop detailed results and specific reports. Understanding the physics and software inputs is imperative to successful conveyor design and disseminating the validity of any results; this is why the first principles approach is still preferred by CDMS.

Power consumption, acceleration, and dynamic analysis are all evaluated to minimise problems such as short belt splice life, failed pulleys, drive slip, belt sag and spillage, lift-off in concave curves. CDMS analyses transient conditions to ensure pull-out conditions, surges, and crash-stops are factored into the optimised design.

Trajectory calculations under various operating conditions are calculated for effective rock box and transfer chute design (refer to transfer points for more details). CDMS engineers can assist with the selection of mechanical equipment such as belts, pulleys, idlers, bearings, etc, to ensure optimum design life and conveyor performance.

The in-house team of structural engineers can design all conveyor trusses, trestles, take-up towers, and footings, for the numerous load cases required for safe and code compliant designs. CDMS will typically design all mechanical guarding and can provide safety audits for compliance with AS 1755.