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Kansas State Bulk Solids Innovation Center

BSIC Capabilities for Research and Consulting Solutions

Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center is used to study and develop the understanding of bulk solids materials handling, in turn enhancing the businesses that use these materials or manufacture the systems that convey, store and dispense them. This university-level research center is the only one of its kind in North America.


  • Research Areas - six laboratories for university and industry sponsored research
  • Material Properties Testing Lab – small samples of bulk solids and particle properties can be evaluated and modeled in a test bench environment, using our full range of lab instruments.  Test results form the basis of our equipment and process design recommendations
  • Full Scale Bulk Solids Test Bay - full scale systems include: vacuum and pressure pneumatic conveying in both dilute phase and dense phase modes, batch and continuous conveying, batch weighing, a full-size silo, blending, gravity flow, air filtration, feeding, mixing, silo discharge, and flow and discharge aids

Equipment and systems to test powder and bulk material handling


 The BSIC has the facility, equipment, and staff to evaluate your company's bulk solids issues. We are here to support industry.

Help with Scale-Up and Process Issues

BSIC’s full-scale equipment and systems allow companies to scale-up processes and experiment with processes and formulations, without shutting down their own production line. BSIC’s equipment can be used for equipment testing, troubleshooting material or process issues, doing trial runs, or scaling up from the lab or pilot plant. We provide the facility and equipment and help you figure it out.  Where else can you try different formulations of your materials, or different processing methods, without shutting down your process?

Custom equipment is used to test powder flowability and conveying of bulk solid materials

Customization Spotlight

This photo shows equipment that was customized and tested in the Center's full-scale test lab for a global chemical company. The Bulk Solids Innovation Center team worked closely with the company to study flow of their fine, sticky powder. Data generated from these tests helped the company design their process and reduce down time at their plant.

Bulk Solid Product Evaluations  

Many producers of dry bulk materials need an unbiased evaluation of the powder or bulk solid material they produce.  They may need to know how a new formulation will compare to their previous formulations or to their competitor’s product.  We can make those evaluations by measuring bulk density or particle changes, flowability, caking, moisture effects, abrasiveness, and the like.  If customers have complained about caking or other handling issues, we can evaluate the effects of various flow additives to improve the product, or we can recommend material handling or processing issues for the customer.  We help clients with questions such as:

•       How can we reduce Segregation of a mixture?

•       Why won’t this material flow?

•       What type of conveying/filtering/hoppering should our customers use?

•       How abrasive is it?

•       Does our product cause less build-up than the competitor’s?

•       How do we improve Agglomeration results?

Instrumentation and sensors are used to evaluate equipment for processing powder and bulk solid materials

Equipment Testing

The BSIC performs equipment testing for a variety of equipment manufacturers.  We have the machines, instruments, and infrastructure to evaluate equipment performance in real conditions.  Typical equipment tests include:

•       Equipment performance

•       Equipment cycle testing

•       Which configuration is best?

•       Pressure drop and Flow rates

•       Particle separation

•       Filter testing

•       Flow aids

•       Wear resistance

Areas of Research for Powder and Dry Bulk Materials

•       Conveying / Transport

•       Storage and Gravity Flow

•       Feeding, Weighing, Scaling

•       Blending / Mixing / Segregation

•       Separation / Screening

•       Agglomeration

•       Degradation / Attrition

•       Wear / Friction

•       Instrumentation & Controls

•       Process optimization

•       Equipment optimization

•       Process Safety

•       Material properties and Characterization

•       Modeling of Flow Behavior

The Center can receive dry bulk materials by railcar, truck, box, drums, bags, and supersacks

The Center can handle dy bulk materials received by rail, truck, box, drums, bags, and bulk bags