Advantages of Using Triboelectric Product Flow Monitoring with a Cyclone Dust Collector

Posted by Earl Parker on Jun 9, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Understanding What's Happening Inside Your Cyclone Dust Collector

Example of how a cyclone dust collector works

Cyclone dust collectors find use in many industrial applications with high volumes of product flow. Unlike other types of dust collectors, such as fabric filter collectors, cyclones can handle very high dust levels without sacrificing efficiency or sustaining damage. This is precisely why cyclones are often used as prefilters, removing the majority of the material from the airstream before it enters into a final “polishing” unit, such as a baghouse or cartridge collector. In other applications, cyclones are used for particle sorting or bulk material transport. 

Even though cyclones do not have a high enough collection efficiency to be used by themselves, they do play a large role in many applications, for emissions as well as process applications. In process applications, many have asked if triboelectric monitoring can control product flows through the cyclone. The answer is yes!

Triboelectric Flow Monitoring For Cyclone Dust Collectors

Controlling product flows in process applications can be crucial to obtaining consistent, quality batches. Failure to control flow rates can lead to incorrect proportions, overload of equipment, or cross contamination. Inconsistent flow rates can also indicate common cyclone dust collector hassles like hopper bridging.

Triboelectric detection technology has found a unique place in bulk flow monitoring in recent years due to its reliable monitoring capabilities. Using our unified DC/AC approach, these units can accurately monitor bulk material flows into and out of the cyclone for better process control.

Basic and advanced monitoring

Triboelectric monitors provide two flow application versions, Flow/No Flow and More Flow/Less Flow. Flow/No Flow setups can be used to monitor portions of the process where it is not crucial to know the relative amount of flow, but maintaining constant flow is. In other applications, More Flow/Less Flow units on the inlet of the cyclone can alert operators to any variation in flow rates that might indicate a problem upstream. By carefully monitoring the flow of material upstream from the cyclone, operators can avoid overloading the cyclone or problems associated with incorrect batch mixing. 

Additionally, these units can be used to monitor outflows from the cyclone. By attaching a detector to the discharge under the unit (e.g. after a rotary airlock, upon entry into a pneumatic or mechanical conveyor) operators can monitor discharge rates from the cyclone insuring proper flow into the process further downstream. Disruption of flow can indicate bridging inside the cyclone.

By monitoring the outlet of the cyclone, increases in the amount of particulate in the outlet can also indicate the bridging problem and alert operators that a cyclone overflow is occurring.  This could mean product loss or over loading of a dust collector system.


By using triboelectric units to monitor and possibly control flow rates, operators can achieve more consistent and regulated flow rates from their cyclone collectors. which are an integral part of industrial processes.

Want to learn more about process applications for TRIBO.dsp series from Auburn Systems? Contact us today and tell us about your process application and we will walk you through how our technology can help!

Have an application to discuss? Give us a call! 

Topics: Process Control, Flow Control, Dust Collection