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A cyclone, also known as a cyclone separator in this context, is a device used to separate particles from an air, gas or liquid stream without the use of a filter medium. Cyclones use the inertia of the particles and centrifugal forces to achieve separation.

In the context of bulk material sampling, a cyclone is often used to collect material samples from an air stream, especially in systems that use pneumatic conveying methods. Here, the bulk material is passed through a pipe and the cyclone is used to collect a material sample from this air flow.

In detail, a cyclone works as follows:

  1. The airflow containing the bulk material is introduced into the cyclone, usually in a tangential direction to the cyclone body, creating a spiral movement inside.
  2. Centrifugal force pushes the heavier particles (the bulk material) against the wall of the cyclone and then falls down into a collection container due to gravity.
  3. The purified air flow, now largely free of bulk material, leaves the cyclone through an opening at the tip, the so-called "cyclone outlet".

Cyclones can be used in many industries, especially where large quantities of bulk material are handled, such as food processing, the chemical industry, mining or power plants.