Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif


The disruption of material flow in feeders, bins, and hoppers has been an continuous issue for many industries and farmers around the world. For many years the simple solution to this issue was to mount a mechanical vibrator to the outside walls of the hopper to induce internal material flow. However, this traditional solution can harm the bins structure and integrity after many cycles of use. VIBCO proposed that if the vibrator was suspended inside the bin there would be more material flow within the bin without the occurrence of bridging and rat-holing. Without direct vibration contact to the bins walls the overall life cycle of the bin can be extended. The vibrator must be enclosed in a geometrical fixture that suits the bins confines as well as promotes uniform material flow inside the bin. The fixture must entirely separate the vibrator from the material in the bin for no contamination to occur. The proposed solution to this problem is to create a square based aluminum pyramid fixture to house the off shelf vibrators provided by VIBCO. This fixture must carry the vibrations of the vibrator to the material to break up bridging and rat-holing as well as promoting flow from the hopper orifice. The optimized square based pyramid designed can withstand the bulk head of material in the bin as well as carry the wide range of vibrations VIBCO’s vibrators produce. Using VIBCO’s design specifications the fixture was optimized to meet these requirements using computer aided design softwares and referencing concurrent patents and literature’s. The most recent design proposal has proven to be effective in each section of VIBCO’s design specifications as well as consumer requirements.


Sponsor: VIBCO

Sponsor Representatives: Claudia Brown, Greg Pickering