From toothpaste to powder paints, TiO2 is a material handled in the manufacturing of most products that are bright white in pigment. Also known as Titanium Dioxide, TiO2 often poses problems in the handling process that are solved only by proper conditioning. Whether sticking to convey lines or needing that extra help getting out of a bulk bag, systems designed to aid the flow of material are best suited for an ingredient such as TiO2.
Some of the most common questions we hear asked about Titanium Dioxide are “How do you get it to flow out of bags?” and “How do you convey it long distances?” Handling non-free-flowing ingredients can be quite the challenge, and extra conditioning methods have to be implemented for proper flow ingredients like TiO2. Luckily AZO has plenty of flow-aids to help this material discharge effectively.
Another common question we hear about TiO2 is “How are you going to keep it from sticking in the convey line?” Again, proprietary methods of conditioning come into play when dealing with TiO2.
Similar to powdered sugar in texture, TiO2 is not easily sifted. Why is this the case? Fine particles can find their way through normal filter media and can clog certain filters.
Since the particle size of TiO2 is small and as a material it is ground very fine, dust accumulation can become a sizeable issue when handling this material. Still, introducing automation into processes in an effort to minimize dust can provide benefits beyond purely operational measures. For instance, while our quick research hasn't uncovered any instances where it has been clearly adjudicated in court, some suggest that a company's proactive dust control measures may offer some protection against workers' compensation claims.
OSHA, state agencies and trade associations often offer guidance on this matter. Compliance with this guidance is only a first step in total safety assurance. Companies can take further steps in efforts to not only help protect employee safety but also protect the company should a claim arise.
Investing in equipment and technologies is one way to aggressively manage the inhalation and health risks of airborne dust. It could be worth a conversation with insurance, safety and legal advisers for their opinion on how these investments benefit the safety of employees. As in any industry in the world of ingredient automation, it’s at least advisable for blend plants to keep up with NFPA standards by performing a dust hazard analysis. Multiple case studies have focused on the severity and importance of maintaining dust control.
For use as a color additive in the food and cosmetics industry, the U.S. Food and Drug Safety Administration (FDA) has assessed the general safety of TiO2. Food safety include two issues: unsafe chemicals that might be in the TiO2 and general limits on the amount of TiO2 in the product. Revised as recently as April 2019, abiding by the amount limitations of TiO2 inclusions in these products remains a critical concern for specific industries.
A partner like AZO is made up of employees driven to discover solutions for our clients. Sophisticated systems are often designed and provided by the technical minds at AZO that can:
AZO solutions are individually fit to our customer’s requirements and optimized for the most economical and flexible results. With direction and assistance from AZO, your process can seamlessly work together to effectively handle wide varieties of material, including TiO2: