The almost 13,000 ft²(1,200 m²) facility will be 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. Research at the BSIC will mainly focus on the process industries of foods, chemicals and plastics. The BSIC will be the fourth such university-level research center in the world, and the only one in North America. It will include office space for researchers and five flexible bulk solids laboratories to allow for collaborative and proprietary research projects by the building's tenants and industry sponsors. The largest space is a 30 ft (9.14 m) tall open bay for full scale testing of bulk solids behavior and applied research conducted by university investigators, students and tenants. It is envisioned that this facility will also act as an innovation center where the university and industry can work together on new ventures, and a large classroom will allow continuing education and university level courses about bulk solids. The university has committed to providing researchers, students and tenants to work on their own projects as well as on projects funded by industry.
Companies such as Exxon Mobile, Dow, DuPont, Cargill, P&G and ADM have committed to engage research projects with the university, once the Center opens. Todd Smith is extremely excited with the support he has received by companies donating their equipment to the facility.
Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center at a glance:
Two-story 13,000 ft² (1,200 m²) building
Research areas - five laboratories for university and industry sponsored research
Training/education center conference and lecture rooms
Material properties test lab - bulk solid and particle properties will be evaluated and modeled in a test bench environment
Full scale bulk solids test bay - full scale systems to include: vacuum and pressure dilute phase, vacuum sequencing, vacuum and pressure vessel dense phase, rotary valve dense phase, batch weighing, silo zone blender, gravity flow, air filtration, feeding, mixing and silo storage
Research fellows, doctoral candidates and students
Continuing education and university level courses about bulk solids
Adjacent to Coperion K-Tron Salina