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Kansas State Bulk Solids Innovation Center

Supporting Industrial Technology and Education of Powder and Bulk Solids Handling

The mission of the K-State Bulk Solids Innovation Center (BSIC) is to support industry by improving technology and knowledge related to powder and bulk solid handling. Our services include material properties testing, education classes, product and equipment testing, research, and consulting services related to powder and bulk solids materials.

K-State Bulk Solids Innovation Center offers Testing, Education, and Research Consulting on Powder and Dry Bulk Materials

BSIC is the only University centered facility and staff in North America dedicated to improving technology and knowledge of powder and bulk solids handling.

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Full scale powder and bulk solids handling equipment at BSIC  

Research and Consulting Solutions

The BSIC has a full range of equipment for powder handling, storage, conveying, and particulate air filtration. Using our systems allows a company to test equipment and material variations or troubleshoot their material or process issues. Companies handling solid materials can use BSIC equipment to make trial runs, try various formulations, or scale up from the lab or pilot pant without shutting down their own plant!

 Powder and Material Properties Testing at Bulk Solids Innovation Center 

Material Test Lab Services

Understanding your materials's properties is the first step in designing the process and equipment for your powder and dry bulk solids. We perform material characterization testing and provide recommendations such as powder flow, silo and hopper design, conveying, air filtration, mixing, segregation, and fluidization of dry bulk materials.

Common material properties tests include Powder Flow Function and Flowability, Wall friction, Shear Testing, Bulk Density, Angle of Repose, Terminal Velocity, Can Velocity, Particle Shape, Particle Size Distribution, and Abrasive Wear Testing.

 Classes at BSIC include lectures and hands-on demonstration of powder and bulk solid systems

Education Short Courses

BSIC's Training Classes for industry personnel are so popular because this information is not taught at most colleges, and no one else can provide a combination of theory along with practical demonstrations for hands-on-learning. In person courses will begin again in 2021. In the interim, we are pleased to offer online Powder and Bulk Solids Academy. These online courses will be comprised of 50% lecture and 50% demonstrations on real equipment. Continuing Education credits are available for all BSIC courses.


What are Dry Bulk Solid Materials?

Bulk solids are any dry, flowable material. They come in many forms including powders, granules, pellets, and even rocks. Powders and other bulk solids make up more than 80 percent of items transported around the world, yet formal education and research concerning these materials is not widespread and the poor understanding leads to processing issues at many manufacturing plants. How solid materials behave in transport and processing requires more examination.

Powder and other bulk solids materials are the most common ingredients and end products in many industries including food, pet and animal food, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, minerals and mining, and construction. Even things we wear, drive, and drink rely on bulk solid materials. Did you know? . . . 

  • Beer is made of water and a variety of bulk solid materials such as barley and hops
  • Clothing is made of plastics and natural fibers, all of which are dry bulk solids as they are being produced
  • Automobiles and other vehicles are increasingly made of plastics engineered with specialty dry ingredients

Powder and pellet flow is studied at Bulk Solids Innovation CenterEquipment testing for feeding of powder and bulk solids at BSIC

What is the purpose of Bulk Solids Innovation Center?

The Center is the only University-centered facility and staff in North America dedicated to powder and bulk solids. As such, it provides independent and credible testing services and recommendations for industrial clients in process industries such as food, pet and animal food, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, minerals and mining, and construction.

BSIC's goal is to support industry by helping improve technology and knowledge related to powder and bulk solids handling.

Manufacturing companies experience many issues with powder and bulk solids. The BSIC helps address these and many more processing challenges:

  • Flowability issues: Poor powder flow from silos and bins
  • Design of chutes, bins, and silos
  • Storage of powders: caking, stagnation, spoilage,
  • Buildup and sticking of powders
  • Proper Mixing of solid ingredients
  • Segregation and demixing
  • Particle damage and degradation
  • High energy consumption
  • Inadequate conveying rate
  • Dust emissions
  • Poor equipment and filter life
  • Wear and abrasion of equipment
  • Safe Handling

How is the Bulk Solids Innovation Center organized?

It is a collaborative partnership of government, industry, and University entities. Primary non-profit entities include Kansas State University Salina Campus and the Salina Chamber of Commerce. Government, including Federal and State Departments of Commerce and the City of Salina, contributed to initial construction of the facility. And more than two dozen industrial companies have donated equipment, instruction, and other support. More information is available at the BSIC Partners and Sponsors Page.

Capabilities of the Bulk Solids Innovation Center

Please see the BSIC Capabilities page. Our facility is comprised of:

  • Two-story 13,000 ft² (1,208 m²) building
  • Six laboratories for university and industry sponsored research
  • Training and conference rooms
  • Material properties testing laboratory with full range of instruments
  • Full scale bulk solids test bay

Equipment ready for testing powder flow, conveying, and particulate filtration at BSICSix blower packages and three air compressors provide motive air for pneumatic conveying at BSICA full size silo and dust collection system are used at the BSIC


The Center has the facility and systems to support industries with powder and bulk solid processing needs, equipment and product testing, troubleshooting, equipment design, and scale-up.