Equipment & Technology

Kinder Australia skirts with AirScrape

AirScrape uses a unique design to contain dust and bulk material while avoiding contact with the conveyor belt.

AirScrape uses a unique design to contain dust and bulk material while avoiding contact with the conveyor belt.

Most skirting systems create a passive barrier to stop material from escaping a belt near a transfer point. While this prevents spillage, it can also lead to increased wear on the belt.

Kinder Australia’s AirScrape takes a different approach. The skirting system is suspended above the conveyor belt itself and uses air to prevent fine dust particles from escaping.  

A diagonal arrangement of hardened lamellae leads air from the outside into the middle of the belt, creating powerful suction. The material movement, together with the moving belt support, increases the suction effect, trapping fine dust particles in the conveyor section. 

Coarse materials pushing outward are led back to the middle of the belt by the lamellae, which can significantly minimise spillage.

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Charles Pratt, Operations Manager at Kinder Australia, said the innovative system can save bulk handlers a significant amount of time and money.

“The reason most belts need to be changed is because a groove forms where the skirts are – you’re not getting the full life out of the width of the belt,” he said.

“Because the AirScrape doesn’t touch the belt. It extends the life of the skirting system and the conveyor belt itself, often one of the most expensive components.

“By reducing changeouts, less downtime is needed, increasing the profitability of most operations.” 

The system is installed using spacers, floating the blades 0–1mm freely above the belt, and is attached to the outside of the chute by lifting tensioners via a screw system. It is longitudinally and laterally adjustable to follow the contours of conveyor belt rollers and the belt trough angle. 

The system’s invention was designed to solve the issues found in underground coal mining operations, where dust can pose a significant health risk to nearby workers.

Kinder Australia has seen significant interest since the patented technology was launched in July 2021.

Pratt said the introduction of the AirScrape, particularly its radical design, came as a bit of a shock to the Australian market.

“Because the Airscrape draws air from outside, it has significantly reduced the need for dust collectors at a few of our clients’ sites. Some have even been able to turn the dust collector off, replacing it with a filter bag,” he said.

“It’s been successful in the cement industry as well. Turning clinker into cement is a dusty process, so it’s been really suited to the task.”

Kinder Australia can design customised skirting systems, help clients upgrade their existing designs to facilitate the AirScrape, and organise its installation through its distributors and service teams.

The technology was on display at BULK2022, which will took place on August 24–26 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Pratt said Kinder will also be showcasing its Magnaseal and Magnaplug products, used for containing leaks, liquids, and dust.

“We’re looking forward to meeting customers at the trade show and to see what else is happening in the industry,” he said.

“BULK2022 also gives us a great opportunity to hear directly from customers themselves.”  

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