Bulk Density quantifies the mass of particles occupying a specific volume while accounting for the void space between them. Bulk density is used by equipment and system engineers to design the volume of hoppers, calculate the displacement of critical components and predict powder flow behavior, amongst many other things. 

However, a fundamental understanding of bulk density has practical application to facility managers, maintenance personnel, and anyone else responsible for the design and/or repair of bulk solids handling equipment and systems.

Take the Quiz!

Test your knowledge with this short quiz below, then click through to download a practical tip sheet on the methods and use of bulk density.

Scenario 1: 

A cement manufacturer uses rotary airlocks to dispense fluidized cement into a pneumatic convey circuit. The convey line is not moving enough pounds per hour, and the airlock is the culprit. 

Question: What type of density measurement can be used to calculate the displacement of the airlock?


Scenario 2:

The engineer of a food plant wishes to install a new intermediate storage bin with a feeder to dose a critical process component. Not knowing how to predict powder flow, this engineer seeks to quickly characterize the flowability of their bulk solid in order to help the vendor design the bin.

Question: How can aerated and tapped bulk density be used to quickly predict the flow behavior of a bulk solid?


Scenario 3:

A pharmaceutical company is experiencing problems achieving the target fill weight for a capsule line. A recent change to their process added a pneumatic convey circuit that aerates the material. The project engineer is looking for a method to densify the material to correct this issue.

Question: What type of density measurement can be used to calculate fill weight and package volume?


How did you do?

If you want to sharpen your knowledge further, download our tip sheet!