Pressure Control Valve: What is an Air or Pneumatic Conveyor?

An air or pneumatic conveyor refers to a family of devices that use high-pressure air to move products and materials instead of using mechanical chains or belts. Air conveyors are most widely used to move lightweight objects such as trays, boxes, and empty containers. Conveyor speeds can reach up to 1,000 fpm. However, conveyors are not limited to just lightweight materials. Some pneumatic conveyors in large manufacturing firms are so long it takes several pressure control valve systems to operate.

The pneumatic conveyor

Air conveyors can move fine, dry material using compressed air or nitrogen, typical flow of gas, and pressure differentials. The flow of materials is totally enclosed within clean pipes or tubes. A pressure differential can be made by increasing or decreasing the pressure on either side of the tube, or the addition of a blower will cause fine powder to flow. Push systems can push materials from one inlet to many outlets and pull systems (with negative pressure) can pull material from many inlets to one outlet.

Another type of air conveyor is the open type using centrifugal blowers. This is commonly used with items like aluminium cans or empty PET bottles. Such contents would simply topple and spillover when using conventional conveyors. These air conveyors can reach speeds up to 1,000 fps.

Today’s special applications

Historically, the first pneumatic conveyor systems were created for the discharge of grain from overseas ships. Air conveyors were also applied in the transferring and transporting of coal, since coal dust tends to build up and become flammable.

  • With today’s air conveyors, burner feeding with combustible dusts in the cement industry.
  • Pneumatic transport feeding for non-ferrous iron-metal smelting.
  • Pneumatic conveying in the recycling sector.
  • Injection of alternative fuels at power plants.

Other applications include the transfer of flakes, granules, powders, and other dry bulk solids materials using enclosed conveyor lines utilising air pressure. Air conveyors are also used for venting gas, hopper loading, trim removal, filling operations, light material transfer, food ingredients, coal, grain, and abrasive or corrosive chemical industry products and fumes. 


When it comes to pressure control valve systems, you can rely on MasterMac2000. The company was founded in 1989 and has now become one of Australia’s largest privately-owned distributors of pneumatic components. It is the sole distributor of Mack Valves, exclusively made in Australia. Other brands include Univer, Bimba, Tolomatic, Piab, and much more stocked in our Brisbane main office and warehouse. We’re sure to have a solution for you. Call now at 07 3344 4711 or visit

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