Bulk Material Transport and Handling Systems

By Prof. Khanindra Pathak   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 492
Any loose and unpacked material such as sand, crushed stones, blasted coal or rock mass, powdered material are referred to as bulk material. Raw materials for most of the industries are bulk materials. Mining and metallurgical industries are involved in large scale handling of bulk materials. Agriculture, food, textile, and construction industries also use bulk materials. The handling operation of bulk materials include transferring, transporting, size reduction, screening, storing, disposal, drying, weighing, etc. Such operations use different techniques and equipment depending on the characteristics of the material being handled, the quantity being handling and the degree of safety and quality to be maintained. The mining activities is basically bulk material handling. Advanced technology involving application of GPS, tracking using radio frequency are now used in bulk material handling. Advanced Management techniques are applied to optimize the performance of bulk material handling system. Thus to use operation research, management theory to the benefit of the mining industry it is essential to properly understand the technology available and deployed in bulk material handling.

This course Bulk Material Handling covers the industrial materials handling machinery and brings out various aspects of their constructions, safe operation, maintenance, and repair. The topics include conveyors, feed and discharge devices, screens, and crushers, and bulk material storage systems.
Bulk material properties and flow patterns are examined to help develop methods for improving stockpile design, blending/mixing accuracy and preventing segregation in bins, feeders and chutes.
Students will develop the skill of systematic thinking to select components of bulk material handling system for specific situations for optimal performance.

INTENDED-AUDIENCE: Undergraduate students of Mining, Metallurgical, Agriculture, Mechanical, Electrical, Industrial and System Engineering.

PRE-REQUISITES: Engineering Mechanics, Mechanics of Solids, Introduction to Electrical Engineering.

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Metallurgy and Material science & Mining Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction to Mining Systems: Classification of Mining systems and the bulk material handling systems; Properties of bulk material vis-a-vis different bulk handling operations; Fundamentals of Mine Transport: Capacity and Productivity Concepts; Bulk material handling in Processing plants: Crushing and Screening Flow Charts.
Week 2: Automous Vehicle for bulk material transport; Belt Conveyor: Constructional components: Trends of Developments; Belting for Bulk Material Conveyor; Belt Cleaners and Idlers.
Week 3: Feed and Discharge Devices; Safety and Troubleshooting; Conveyor Design Calculations: Size selection and Power calculation; Hydraulic Conveying System: Principle of operations and applicability.
Week 4: Basic design Calculations; Pneumatic Conveying: Principle of operations and applicability; Basic design Calculations; Stacking, blending and reclaiming; Stackers and reclaimers Classification and their selection criteria.
Week 5: Comparison of various types of stackers; Comparison of various types of Reclaimers; Case studies of stacker and reclaimers application; System Layout
Week 6: Bin, Bunker and Silo: Bulk Solids Flow Properties and Application to Design; Case studies examples to illustrate operational problems and how they were overcome; Feeder Selection and Design; Mineral Processing Plant Equipment; Crushers: Classification and selection.
Week 7: Screen: Classification and Selection; Monitoring and maintenance of Processing plant Equipment; Gravity concentration – separation exploiting the differences in specific gravity of minerals via the use of centrifugal concentrators; Size classification – screening, de-sliming, cycloning.
Week 8: Froth flotation techniques, Magnetic separation; Jigs and Thickeners; Case Studies of Coal Washery Equipment and Practices; In-pit Crushing and Conveying System: Classification and selection; Case studies.
Week 9: Transportation Machinery for Surface Mines: Off-Highway trucks and Haul Roads; Recent Developments: hybrid system of transportation; RopeCon, Pipe Belt Conveyor; Aerial Ropeways: Basic design.
Week 10: Transportation Machinery for Underground Mines: Rope Haulage; Locomotive; Low profile dumper.
Week 11: Introduction to Cage and Skip Winding; Winding calculations; Safety and mainteance; Case Studies.
Week 12: Automation and Monitoring: Basic Principles; Automation and online monitoring of bulk material handling system.

Books and references

1. Bulk Materials Handling Handbook , Authors: Fruchtbaum, Jacob, Springer
2. Bulk Solids Handling: Equipment Selection and Operation Editor: Don McGlinchey, Google Books
3. Bulk Material Handling: Practical Guidance for Mechanical Engineers, Michael Rivkin Ph.D.Sep 2018. Partridge Publishing Singapore

Instructor bio

Prof. Khanindra Pathak

IIT Kharagpur
B. Tech in Mining Machinery and M.Tech in Surface Mining from IITISM, Dhanbad, PhD in Mining Engineering from Imperial College of Science Technology Medicine, London (Commonwealth Fellowship). Professor of Department of Mining Engineering, Ex-Director of Coal India Limited, Ex-HoD of Mining Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur and University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guniea.Chairman, Eastern Regional Committee of AICTE, Kolkata, Chairman, Board Governors TEQIP-III Dibrugarh University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dibrugarh. Served at Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Limited, CMPDIL, Coal India Limited, IIT(ISM) Dhanbad. Received National Mineral Award in 2016 besides other awards.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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