For over a half-century, Vibra Screw has been a major supplier of hoppering and feeding equipment used to make much of the United States solid rocket fuel and ordnance. Vibra Screw vibrating systems, without mechanical agitation or conveying, are ideal for safely discharging and moving solid rocket propellants and explosives. Vibra Screw’s Bin Activator’s and Feeders and over 60 years of bulk material handling experience provide proven solutions.
Hercules Aerospace, now Alliant Techsystems [ATK], constructed a solid rocket fuel manufacturing facility in Utah to process solid fuel for the Space Shuttle and nearly all the nation’s other launch vehicles and strategic missiles. It required precise weighing of the ingredients that make up the fuel. Design criteria included batch accuracies of 0.05%, safety factors that permit remote operation and do not require periodic recalibration and self-cleaning characteristics that permit total elimination of residue between cycles. Vibra Screw was awarded the contract to provide the turnkey system. Based entirely on scale mounted Bin Activated Bins and Vibrating Tube conveyors to deliver precise weighed batches of propellant ingredients, the design was the first time screw-less conveyors had been used for these materials, creating a much simpler and safer operation.
Thiokol Corporation, also now part of ATK, has used Vibra Screw equipment continuously since the 1970’s for similar propellant production. The unusually sticky nature of some of their materials led to Vibra Screw developing a cleaner profile Bin Activator, without internal cross bracing, that greatly enhanced flow from storage while reducing welds in the material contact areas.
The nation’s major ammunition depots have also used Vibra Screw equipment for decades. Again, the simplicity of vibration-only movement of dangerous material provided many safety benefits when handling explosive powders.