When it comes to safely cleaning bins and silos, the BinWhip is a highly-effective tool, thanks to a burly hydraulic power unit that maximizes torque and hitting force. But to truly take advantage of the BinWhip’s capabilities, you need to make sure that all of that power is being effectively transferred into the hung-up product.
That’s where the issue of whipset selection becomes a crucial consideration.
One of the first steps in any silo or bin cleanout project is to select the proper whipset (also referred to as a chain or flail) for the task at hand. This is an important decision that comes with one serious safety consideration – minimizing explosion hazards. Many storage vessels have the potential to contain combustible product, gasses, or suspended dust particles that could ignite or explode if a spark were to be produced during cleanout operations. Even if the atmosphere in a bin is determined to be safe at the beginning of a cleaning job, that can quickly change as product is disturbed and pulverized.
In a recent 4-year period there were 133 dust explosions reported in the United States, resulting in 12 deaths and 156 injuries.
– 2019 Combustible Dust Incident Report, DustEx Research
It only takes one bad decision to spark off a tragic accident. With the abundance of spark-proof anti-static whipsets available, there’s just no excuse for unsafe equipment to ever enter an explosive atmosphere. Fortunately, Pneumat offers a full line of interchangeable whipsets that allow BinWhip operators to safely attack buildup and blockages of all types. They are engineered to extremely high quality standards and ideally suited to different cleaning tasks. Let’s take a look at the 3 most popular whipset options that exist.
Plastic Star Knuckle Whipset
Anti-Sparking + Anti-Static
For a wide range of general-purpose cleaning jobs, the star knuckle whip is a solid choice. The whipset is composed of a super strong, double-braided, marine finished, nylon rope core, encased in a protective rigidizing polyurethane outer layer. To accelerate buildup removal, affixed to the whipset are star-shaped knuckles composed of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. The knuckles are attached with non-sparking brass fasteners and are free-floating to encourage even wear and maximize their useful life. DDGs, wheat midds, whole grains, wood chips, gypsum, and limestone are among the many products routinely dislodged with this whipset.
(Pneumat also offers a standard whip without plastic knuckles for specialized sweeping and cleaning applications.)
Brass Chain Whipset
Anti-Sparking + Anti-Static
For extra-hard materials, the brass chain whipset allows for rapid removal without the risk of creating sparks that could ignite suspended dust particles. The straight-link welded brass chain sold by Pneumat is composed of a high-strength copper-zinc alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. The brass chain whipset slams through tough product like hardened agricultural meals and fracturable salts and minerals without posing a fire or explosion hazard.
Steel Knuckle Whipset
For Use in Non-Explosive Environments Only
If the materials and dust levels in the bin are determined to present no risk of explosion, BinWhip operators can make use of the steel knuckle whipset. This whipset is composed of high-strength heat-treated carbon steel with a protective yellow chromate finish. The whipset’s mace-like design features steel knuckles with aggressive cutting ridges securely plug welded to the end of the chains. Used to tear through challenging rock-hard material such as hardened cement and rocky mined materials, this whipset offers the highest impact strength and durability available.
The BinWhip is typically operated with 2 whipsets installed opposite of each other, and in the case of the Dual Impact BinWhip there is both an upper pair and a lower pair. Whipsets of equal weight should always be installed directly opposite of each other to ensure the whiphead remains balanced during operation.
In selecting a whipset, your goal is to choose an option that will remove product as quickly as possible without causing excessive wear on the whipset or presenting a hazard to the product or bin interior. Fortunately, the Dual Impact BinWhip’s hydraulic manifold gives operators fine variable control over the whiphead’s position and rotation speed, making damage to the bin interior highly unlikely. Every cleaning job is different, and experience and experimentation often play a role determining which whip configuration works best for a particular application. Pneumat is always available to offer suggestions based on our many decades of bin cleaning experience. We also offer comprehensive in-person and digital training options to ensure your team has the skills and knowledge necessary to set up and operate the BinWhip safely.
If you are interested in really getting to know the Bin Whip system, including whipset selection and installation procedures, this video series is a great place to start.
With the proper whipsets installed, the BinWhip is a blockage-blasting powerhouse that will keep your bulk material flowing safely and efficiently. And with Pneumat's new bundle pricing on whipsets, you can ensure you always have a healthy supply of replacements on hand so you won't run out in the middle of an important cleaning job.
Reach out if you'd like to know more about our bundle program or have any other questions and we’ll do our best to ensure you have the information and tools you need to get those bins whipped into shape. 🅿