AEROSIL® fumed silica - Handling assistance

At a time when automation, rationalization, environmental directives and industrial hygiene is becoming more and more important, the handling of AEROSIL® fumed silica and other fumed metal oxides is an issue of increasing significance. For over 20 years now, Evonik has been continually developing its activities around this issue, in accordance with the increasing relevance of this topic.

The term "handling" describes the techniques needed to move these products at the customer's site. The following issues are of particular importance:
  • Emptying the containers
  • Filling and discharging storage silos
  • In-plant conveying and transport
  • Metered feeding
  • Introducing the material into the customer's processing machines
Besides these items, the overall term "handling" also includes items needed for carrying out the above steps:
  • Filter technology
  • Level measuring technology
  • Weighing technology
  • Discharging aids 
Basic recommendations for handling
  • Since AEROSIL® fumed amorphous silica is a dusting powder material we recommend that exposure be maintained below the MAK-value by ventilation of the working area.
  • In the presence of high dust concentrations an approved respirator for nuisance dust should be worn.
  • However, during handling silicas, even when emtpying bags, the phenomenon of electrostatic discharges might be observed. This is why we recommend precautionary measures against static discharges, like earthing and occasionally inerting the gas atmosphere of the recipient vessel. More detailed information about this issue is given in our Technical Bulletin No. 62 "Synthetic Silica and Electrostatic Charges".
  • Hydrophilic, fumed synthetic amorphous silicas is present in the highest oxidation state and therefore not flammable.
  • Hydrophilic, fumed synthetic amorphous silicas (SiO2) is not flammable. A dust explosion of pure SiO2 is not to be expected.
  • Hydrophobic (surface treated), synthetic amorphous silica may be partly dust explosive or pyrophorous. More detailed information about these properties, please refer to our material safety data sheets for each relevant product. Additional Information is given in our Technical Information TI 1363 “Dust-Explosion Protection in Handling Systems for Surface-Modified AEROSIL® 
    and the TI 1373 “Storage of AEROSIL® To prevent the feeling of dryness of skin during contact, pyrogenic synthetic amorphous silica should be rinsed off with water and skin should be treated with cream. Spilled material can be removed by sweeping or suction and placed into a suitable container without causing dust."
Our special service
Basic information about the handling of our products deliver both the Technical Bulletin Fine Particles Number 28 "Handling of synthetic silicas and silicates” as well as a number of Technical Information (TI) on various topical themes.
In order to plan dust-free, and automated handling plants for AEROSIL® fumed silica, fundamental product knowledge together with necessary procedural experience is necessary. Because it can not be taken for granted that the suppliers of the machines and equipment in question provide this combination, the technicians and engineers of our handling technology advise and assist our customers personally—as needed either at our location in the Wolfgang Industrial or at the client. 
For AEROSIL® fumed silica , precipitated silicas and silicates, and matting agents, we have set up a pilot plant operation in the Wolfgang Industrial Park. This pilot plant with its equipment is also available to our customers for demonstrations and handling trials. Most of the handling steps can be demonstrated here. Moreover, in some cases, trials are accompanied directly at the customer’s operation. Should it prove necessary, we can arrange tests (e.g. on pneumatic dense phase conveying) in external pilot plants (e.g. at the plants of equipment manufacturers). The described services we offer worldwide free of charge for existing business relationships. The nature and extent of consultation depends on the question of the customer (project scope).
Essentially we strive to be available to our customers whenever they need us for materials handling issues or for planning new plants.
For further information, contact our applications technology support service.

Handling Support

FIBC using the PESy

Training video using PESy during emptying of silica FIBC