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The majority of materials and substances used, whether they are generated within the sectors of agri-food, or industrial, pharmaceutical, chemical, etc., are used in the processing cycles in granular and/or powder state.

The materials, of different kinds and granulometry, often have the more or less marked tendency  to agglomerate onto each other, forming clumps and blockages that adhere to the inner walls of the structures in which they are stored (for example, silos, hoppers, holds, buildings, etc.). The formation of blockages, fouling and compaction give rise to serious difficulties in the management of the substances, particularly when these must be handled: ensuring a good flow of material from storage facilities produces increases in speed and efficiency to all operations related to the management of the material itself (continuous production, reduction of waiting times, reduction in the number and length of maintenance interventions, reduction of the downtime, increased levels of safety for staff working in these areas, increase in the facilities level of safety, etc.).

Traditional systems provide for the direct manual intervention (with the use of sledgehammers or similar), the application of electromechanical or pneumatic vibrators inside the storage facilities, the use of explosive charges in extreme cases. These solutions, temporary and of unfair advantage, are not always effective and sometimes may even cause a worsening of the material blockage, as well as bringing a high strain on the storage facilities, therefore increasing maintenance costs. Also, it must be stressed that direct intervention is not without risks to the health and safety of the staff involved in the operation of blockage removal: to intervene it is often necessary to enter inside the containers personally (the flow of material in the recovery phase may cause limb injury, dragging with it tools used for the operation and close contact with harmful dust can cause serious damage to the respiratory system, not to mention the danger of serious accidents: large silos require the aid of winches and racks in order to descend into the structure).

On these premises, Barra Project International Srl has developed its own range of compressed- air cannons divided into two main families /AIRFLASH® CANNONS and /AIRFOM® CANNONS.


Advantages of using compressed air cannons

  • elimination of the need for human intervention;

  • elimination of the danger for the safety of operators otherwise obliged to a direct manual intervention;

  • continuity and regularity of production due to the elimination of stops caused by the lack of influx of the incoming material;

  • elimination of delays due to the lack of influx from the material storage facilities;

  • cleaning of areas to prevent scales, accumulations and compactions;

  • fluidization of siled materials to facilitate the sliding and to avoid the creation of dead zones: therefore a constant renewal of the stored material in accordance with FIFO (First-In First-Out) logic is guaranteed;

  • versatility of application;

  • low operating costs;

  • management and maintenance simplicity.


The compressed air cannons /AIRFLASH® - /AIRFOM® operate mainly in the following areas

  • cement

  • lime

  • concretes

  • crushing

  • inert treatment

  • quarries

  • steelworks

  • foundries

  • thermal-electric power plants

  • heat production plants

  • chemistry

  • filtration systems

  • feed mills

  • flour mills

  • agri-food sector

  • paper mills

  • glassworks

  • coking plants

  • carpentry

  • pharmaceutical

  • storage centres near port areas, saltworks and other

  • maritime transport


Main applications for compressed air cannons are

  • Cleaning and emptying of storage facilities (silos, hoppers, bins, bunkers, etc.)

  • Extraction and storage of loose materials

  • Cooking cycles of raw materials

  • Industrial recycling


Although the main field of application of the air cannons is the emptying of silos and hoppers, these devices can also be used for other applications with great success, such as:

  • in the cement production cycles for removal and prevention of the formation of scales inside ducts where high temperature gas are present.

  • in lime kilns to facilitate the sliding of material in areas where usually it tends to slow down

  • cleaning of machine parts that have abnormal deposits of material

  • cleaning of walls where the deposit of hot or cold dust can be problems

  • against the consolidation of the material inside large silos that, over time, risks reducing the storage capacity

  • with cleaning effects of the storage facilities

  • etc.



Careful management of stored material also ensures a high level of efficiency for the plant:

  • In the agri-food sector it permits the cleaning of silos allowing the transit of diverse seedsinside the same structure without contamination of the same

  • Avoids the risk of compaction and formation of dead zones that prevent the renewal of the stored material (in some areas it is important to maintain a FIFO process in order to avoid the risk of the product deterioration) and that reduce the storage potentialities of the structures themselves

  • It prevents the formation of bridges and chimneys inside the storage structures that hinder the extraction of the material: in the worst cases the outflow from the storage facilities is completely stopped leading to damage and delays in production with possible significant economic impact

  • In the naval field it helps facilitate the unloading of cargo holds by reducing, if not eliminating, the need for direct intervention of the staff by safeguarding the security and greatly reduces the time commitment of earth moving machines.

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