The university is seeking partners and funding for development of its prototype Parallel Conveyor Belt Sampler, which sees a parallel conveyor belt serving as a sampling system running alongside the current operational conveyor system.
A hydraulic ram (a tripper mechanism) redirects the flow of materials from the main conveyor belt onto the parallel wider, slower impact belt.
The impact belt then drops the material onto a sampling belt with a built-in weightometer.
At the same time, a cross-stream cutter takes a sample of the falling stream, which can be split down through secondary and tertiary sample systems.
The diverted stream is then put back onto the main fast moving conveyor belt.
The product allows for “falling stream sampling”, the most accurate sampling option available and can be easily retrofitted to already existing belt conveying systems, according to the University’s Newcastle Innovation unit.
The hydraulic ram can be lowered in order for production to continue at the same time as maintenance work, or for a stop belt sample to be taken and the entire unit can be built at one level, making maintenance easier and preventing sample breakage.
Systems can be run as stratified random, or on mass or time basis and two systems can be set up on one belt, allowing for results cross-checking and verification.
This product applies to any industry that uses a conveyor belt system, ranging from mining to agriculture. As a result it is internationally applicable across numerous industries.