The flow of gases with powder in the countercurrent to the charge materials occurs in many chemical processes. In the shaft metallurgical devices, the physical and chemical processes take place also in the countercurrent system. An important issue is that there are no disruptions of the flow in this multiphase system. Under real operating conditions of the device, the powder is generated within the process and its source is the charge or it is inserted to the device within the process procedure.
In this system, a problem of bed particle suspension appears. That is why the author undertook investigations on the gas - powder flow in the descending bed. A physical model of this system was constructed. The experiments were performed and the influence of gas velocity, a type and size of the bed and powder particles as well as the powder concentration in the gas was established. Conditions when the descending bed suspension occurs were defined. In the case of physical model with glass materials, the suspension of bed did not occur. Therefore, investigations using beds of high alumina materials, blast furnace pellets and iron powder were performed. The results are presented below. When the bed of glass spheres was replaced with the bed of alumina spheres, a considerable increase in the volume of powder held up in the bed the gas flow resistance were observed. The surface properties of bed particles changed and better conditions for powder holdup were created. The actual gas velocity in the bed increased due to void fraction reduction.
Replacement of the glass powder with the iron powder caused a change in the powder density, its surface properties and the shape factor. Greater amounts of the iron powder were held up in the bed and the gas flow resistance increased.
Comparing the alumina particle bed - iron powder system to the blast furnace pellet bed - iron powder system, changes in the surface properties of bed particles and the void fraction of bed changed. The study results were the basis for defining conditions of the descending bed suspension.