Dry bulk material can present various challenges during sampling. Here are some of the most important and coping measures:
- Dust generation: Dry bulk material can produce a lot of dust, which can pollute the environment and even be harmful to health, especially if the material is toxic. Here it is important to use appropriate dust control systems, e.g. extraction systems, and to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, automated sampling can help minimize contact with dusty materials.
- Consistency of sampling: Dry material can tend to separate, especially if it contains particles of different sizes or densities. This can make it difficult to draw a representative sample. Here, special sampling techniques and equipment, such as screw or corrugated dividers, can be helpful to ensure an even distribution of the particles in the sample.
- Constipation: In some cases, dry, sticky materials can clog sampling equipment. It is therefore important to use equipment that is specifically designed to handle such materials and to carry out regular cleaning and maintenance work.
- Material loss: When handling dry bulk, there is a risk of material loss, especially if the material is light and volatile. The collection and packaging of the sample must therefore be done carefully and quickly in order to minimize material losses.
- Hydration: In some cases, exposure to moisture can alter the properties of dry bulk, affecting sampling and analysis. It may be necessary to store the sample in an airtight container and analyze it quickly to avoid changes due to moisture absorption.
As always, it is important that personnel are trained in the specific challenges and techniques for sampling dry bulk materials and have the right equipment and protective equipment.