NAVCO Bin Hopper Pneumatic Piston VibratorsCombine Gulf Atlantic’s extensive experience in bulk material flow with NAVCO’s pneumatic piston vibrators to eliminate bridging and rat-holing in your storage bins, hoppers, and silos.

Pneumatic piston vibrators are used to promote bulk material flow and eliminate bridging and rat-holing in storage containers, bins, hoppers, bunkers, and silos. Air flowing through the alternating porting of the vibrator creates vibration. The size and porting of the vibrators can be changed to solve material flow problems in many different applications and industries including:

Material bridging or “arching” occurs when material being discharged or fed forms a bridge or arch over the feed auger or discharge point in a silo or hopper. Rat-holing occurs when material forms a hole or narrow channel above the feed auger or outlet in a silo or hopper while remaining material is stationary against the container wall. Both conditions result in product not flowing as desired.

Pneumatic piston vibrators are available in ten different sizes to handle a wide range of bulk material flow problems. Each size is offered in three distinct types of operation:


Impacting units deliver a high-energy impulse with each stroke of the piston. The impacting model is the most effective of the three in eliminating difficult flow problems.


Air cushioned units trap a cushion of air at the base of the piston, eliminating the impact. Although the air cushioned models are quieter, a larger size is normally required.


Timed impact units deliver a single high-energy impulse triggered by the output of a timer or other control device. They are effective in applications where dry materials adhere to vessel walls.

There are various ways to eliminate bridging and rat-holing, including hopper design, vibration, conditioning screws, and air cannons. Using an external air piston vibrator, such as the NAVCO Bin Hopper (BH Series) Vibrator, is an economical and effective option for concrete, cement, and other bulk materials stored in hoppers and silos.

NAVCO, a leading manufacturer of industrial vibrators and vibratory equipment has been solving bulk material flow problems using pneumatic piston vibrators for over 60 years. Incorporating the most advanced manufacturing techniques, quality control, and bulk solids flow technology, NAVCO provides effective solutions utilizing reliable, field proven equipment.

Gulf Atlantic Industrial Equipment is an authorized NAVCO distributor, providing local inventory and knowledgeable, personal service. We proudly work side-by-side with NAVCO to solve even your most difficult material flow problems.

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Want assistance from our material flow experts? Find the product(s) you’re interested in and request an online quote – or call (800) 792-7427.