If you’re fond of reading books like Sherlock Holmes, you might be familiar with assassins looming on the next corner carrying a blowpipe with a poison tip. These kinds of weapons are one of the classical examples of pneumatic technology. It utilizes the power of compressed air where you blow powerfully on one side while the other will fire a high-speed missile.
In the 19th century, when the tales of Sherlock Holmes were first published, the blowpipe technology was becoming popular to send messages and small objects through the help of longer pipes that link the outlying areas in the building.
In the age of the internet and fiber optics, some would think that these transporters are a thing of the past. However, this is still applicable today. These pneumatic transporters are used in banks, hospitals, factories, and department stores that rely on the tubes to transfer cash packets, medicines, and more. They are efficient and secure, and one drive-through in a famous fast-food restaurant uses these to deliver burgers to consumers.
How Do the Tubes Work?
A pneumatic tube system also goes by the name of Lamson, air tubes, pneumatic transit systems, airlift, and PTT, and they are amazingly simple. It’s best to illustrate them through examples.
You might be running a department store full of cash desks and checkout counters. These are the places where customers hand you their money all day long. It’s often good to collect the money more frequently and transport it to an area with better security before depositing everything to the bank.
A cashier may walk around all these counters collecting money, but they can become more vulnerable to robbers. Also, some of the counters may take a larger amount than the others, so it will be better for the operators to dispatch the money at frequent intervals before the cash box becomes too full.
One of the solutions for employees is to employ a pneumatic system and tubes that link to each other and go through the finance department at the end of the tube. Every time an operator collects a specific amount of money, the entire thing can be dispatched securely into the pneumatic line. You can know more about this line on this site here.
To make everything simpler, provided you’re linking a single checkout into the cashier’s department. These checkouts often have a larger metal box that’s treated as the sending station. This station will have a door that will send everything into a tube. The entire system has locks, PINs, numerous keypads, and keys to make it secured. The pipes are made up of PVC plastic or aluminum.
The pipes run to the cashier’s desks, and they are often installed on short distances of 600m or less. There’s the receiving station that is a more sophisticated box that has a lockable door. This is also considered the powered station where the air will move the packages back and forth. A pump providing compressed air is attached to the station to start their journey into the pipes. Often, the receiving stations have flashing lights, chimes, or ringers to signify that a package has arrived.
Advantage of Pneumatic Conveying
- The pipes and the conveying lines are compact. They can route any existing equipment throughout the building with more flexibility than a mechanical conveying system will.
- Can be run horizontally or vertically according to long distances.
- Because these systems are generally enclosed, they will be protected against dust, dirt, and other gas emissions. They will be protected from the atmosphere and external contaminants.
- Conveying systems are more affordable and easier options than mechanical ones. There are only a few moving parts to consider.
- They can control the atmosphere and temperature of the products that they are transporting.
- An ability to prevent abrasive materials from damaging the fragile ones.
- They will take up lesser areas and floor spaces, and you can locate them quickly.
- Factors to Consider when Looking at your Application
- The humidity of air in your area
- Particle shape and size distribution
- Density of the materials
- System throughput
- Moisture Content
Know that just a vacuum cleaner is generally limited with its powerful suction, the tubes for pneumatic transport can also be limited with the things they can carry. The canisters are often 5 to 15 cm in diameter and usually range from 20 to 30 cm long. They are made up of polycarbonate and toughened plastic, and they have rubber bumpers. Get more info about polycarbonate materials in this URL: https://www.britannica.com/science/polycarbonate.
Most of these transporters don’t have noises and a good air seal when traveling down the tubes. They can be simple networks linking to one another, and they can send and receive packages whenever there’s a need. Many of these systems are computer-controlled, and they are usually used in hospitals.