Bulk Material Polymer Lining Systems

Clogged chute or bin/hopper discharge?  Reduced material flow hurting the bottom line?  A Smooth Move liner can help maximize flow and profits. A bulk material lining system is a series of TIVAR® sheets that are chosen based on bin and environmental conditions and mechanically fastened to the steel or concrete substrate using specially designed hidden fastener systems.  These sheets are complimented by profiles that allow for the thermal expansion of the panels and still allow for smooth mass flow through the bulk material handling system. 

From bulk material analysis and lining system design, to fabrication and installation - we are with our clients every step of the way. Read further to learn more about our production boosting systems!

What is a Bulk Material Handling Liner?

A bulk material lining system is a series of TIVAR88® or other specialty high wear polymers that are chosen based on bin and environmental conditions and mechanically fastened to the steel or concrete substrate using specially designed hidden fastener systems.  These sheets are complimented by profiles that allow for the thermal expansion of the panels and still allow for smooth mass flow through the bulk material handling system.

Why Invest in a Bulk Material Liner?

Bulk materials are difficult to handle, hence why there is an entire engineering field to promote the flow rate of bulk material handling.  Flowing bulk materials/solids are abrasive, noisy, dusty and difficult to keep contained in the proper flow channel. We design bulk material handling liners to assist and prolong the life of the equipment across the many different industries.  From screw conveyors to large coal and ore holding bins, we engineer and fabricate the liner to promote and maximize the throughput at your plant.  Steel is widely used to build the hoppers/bins and chutes of the bulk material handling equipment due to it’s structural integrity, but when it comes to the surface of steel is where a TIVAR88® liner will set itself apart.

Bulk Material Liner, poor flow to good flow!

Steel vs Tivar 88

What many cannot see is that bulk material, especially the small particles (fines), have a natural attraction to ferrous and non-ferrous metals. This phenomenon occurs even to highly polished stainless steel or wear plate. Over time, with the deterioration of metals, this attraction is increased, especially in the lower velocity corner areas.  TIVAR 88 or 88-2 sheets don’t see this deterioration in the same way so materials will remain to flow the same way.  In addition to this TIVAR 88 sheets have a coefficient of friction less than a quarter of steel.  The following table is based on Dry steel for values.

Before installation of Tivar 88 liner
After installation of Tivar 88 liner

Coefficient of Friction of TIVAR 88 vs Steel

Material (on Dry Steel)

Coefficient of Friction





TIVAR 88-2


How is this tested: To calculate the coefficient of friction, divide the downward force of the object being moved by the force it takes to move it across the surface. The surface, in this case, is steel. 

Issues with Bulk Material Flow?

Flow issues can slow production to a standstill and result in dangerous working conditions, wasted material and cost overruns. In today’s competitive environment, losing time and money to erratic or no flow is frustrating and expensive if you need to replace or repair equipment due to premature wear.

Unlined bins tend to suffer from all sorts of issues that result in reduced flow and production issues.  The two main causes of erratic flow that arise when managing bulk materials are: rat-holing and bridging. 

Rat-holing is caused by material and the steel of the hopper absorbing moisture and sticking to each other.  This causes the material to stick on the side of the bin causing a large material buildup around the perimeter of the bin and reducing material flow (isolated flow) to slender channels in the middle of the bin.

Bridging is material sticking to itself and creating a bridge or arch-like structure over the opening of the bin. This is due to moisture and the irregularities on the surface of the bulk materials interlocking and building a solid bridge.  When this occurs, it reduces the flow to almost nothing. 

Health and Safety in Relationship to Bulk Material Flow

After one of these two events has occurred, the operator or production personnel take to extreme measures to relieve flow.  These include but are not limited to: sledgehammers on the side of the bin (this results in bin rash), jackhammers and in extreme cases dynamite.  These methods for unclogging are extremely harmful to the bin and warp the bin into a shape that is contradictory to the flow of the bulk materials.  This creates ledges and exposed rust that creates areas where bulk materials will build up. There are also the health and safety factors to consider when using these methods.  Personnel could injure themselves when swinging a heavy sledgehammer overhead or handling a jackhammer on the side of a bin or hopper.  This also reduces the integrity of the bin/hopper and could lead to a structural failure. 

Other automated methods for encouraging flow are air cannons and vibrators.  Both methods are extremely noisy and costly to run.  These methods also don’t create mass flow in the bin which is essential for a first in first out methodology and can still have clumping issues in the bin.

When a bin is lined with a “Smooth Move” polymer lining system there is no need for all these potentially unsafe and costly alternatives for improving flow.  Our liners promote production efficiencies, reduce ongoing costs, noise reduction as well as a safer and happier workforce.  It also has nearly zero percent moisture absorption, so materials don’t stick to the liner even in freezing temperatures or in humid weather.  Lastly, these liners are crosslinked with alternate materials to help them handle the toughest conditions and/or higher temperatures.

Plastruct has 20+ years of combined technical and practical knowledge and experience solving this problem for customers across many industries associated with bulk material handling, including aggregates, grains, forestry and wood processing, transportation, construction and mining.  From the engineering to fabrication to shipping we partner with you every step of the way to ensure you receive the best value for your investment and achieve peak efficiency.  We have designed and fabricated kits around the globe.  We also offer liner installations to ensure that your investment is installed to the highest standards. 

Contact us to see how we can help maximize your production with a Smooth Move liner.


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Services Provided:

  • Consultations and Recommendations
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  • Fabrication
  • Installation

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