Essentially, lump breakers and flake breakers are the same machines performing very similar duties. Lump breakers differ from flake breakers mainly due to the materials they process and how and which industries use them. However, both these machines work on the principle of impact. Lump Breakers have a single rotor that meshes with fixed combs or breaker bars on either side, while the dual shaft FLAKE BREAKER has two rotors with blades that mesh against each other. 

The gaps between blades and combs are usually fixed and we regulate the size based on rotor speed, screen size and feed rate. The grinding chamber only allows the material to leave when particles can fit through the grid or screen, which should be selected to classify bulk materials to the desired particle size. Whether using lump breakers or flake breakers, both are particularly useful for their ability to operate constantly and provide consistent sizing to augment product quality while also eliminating the need for extra handling.

What is the Difference Between Lump Breakers & Flake Breakers? 

Though lump breakers and flake breakers are essentially the same type of machine, their designs do differ subtly. Lump breakers generally have one shaft, whereas flake breakers normally feature two, while the latter machine also tends to have a lower profile. Yet these minor differences between lump breakers and flake breakers make each better suited for particular applications and industries.

Also referred to as lump crushers, lump breakers reduce granulated or powdered bulk materials that have agglomerated into lumps, commonly occurring during storage or transport. This happens to substances like sugars, salts, powdered chemicals, fertilizers and cement, which lump breakers reduce into smaller lumps that are more manageable to process and handle. Usually equipped with blades or hammers that rotate on a singular shaft, lump breakers help prepare bulk materials for further processing or transport. Lump breakers are commonly used by chemical processing, food processing, mining, pharmaceutical and other industries.

Lump breakers are used to process products like: 

  • cement powder/ingredients
  • cereales
  • productos químicos
  • fertilizers
  • torta filtrante
  • kiln dust
  • pasta
  • pigmento
  • powdered chemicals
  • resina
  • sal
  • azúcar

While lump breakers reduce lumps in materials, flake breakers perform a more specialized operation. They’re used for breaking down materials into thinner pieces, like flakes. Often, this involves food products that must be reduced to smaller yet uniform particle sizes. While flake breakers often use blades, rollers can also be used to crush material in a relatively gentle fashion while also applying shearing force. This results in flatter and thinner pieces of material rather than those more finely pulverized by lump breakers. Generally, flake breakers are used for agricultural products or by the food processing industry, especially for manufacturing snacks or breakfast cereals.

Flake breakers are used to process products like:

  • candies
  • cereal grains
  • dried fruit
  • dry wall
  • pasta
  • resins
  • sal
  • especias
  • wheat starch

While there is some overlap in the materials lump breakers and flake breakers process and handle, both machines are used widely for particle size reduction of bulk materials. Flake breakers tend to be more specialized to produce flattened material, mostly for agricultural and food products. Lump breakers, on the other hand, are used more widely for a variety of industrial purposes.

Prater Lump Breakers & Flake Breakers

Though even at Prater Industries we tend to refer to lump breakers as flake breakers, depending on the application for which they’re made, Prater’s single-shaft lump breakers are durable yet simply designed. Our lump breakers condition material cost-effectively when materials become compacted because of blending processes or overly long storage, or else due to settling in transit. Prater’s lump breakers produce uniform particle size distribution and better flowability in bulk materials using relatively gentle impacts while simultaneously shearing materials. Industries use our lump breakers to create uniformly sized particles within bulk materials to better blend, convey and package finished products.

Prater’s flake breakers feature dual shafts and a lower profile, though they operate in the same manner as our lump breakers. Due to their similar operating parameters, our flake breakers work well for granulating or conditioning processes after other processing equipment has been used to compact material. Though each machine serves a slightly different purpose, both Prater’s lump breakers and flake breakers can be integrated into processing systems and customized to meet the specific needs of our customers.

Prater’s lump breakers and flake breakers can be integrated into processing systems:

  • After bag unloading
  • After bin unloading
  • Before mixing processes
  • Prior to bag loading

With a thorough understanding of how our equipment works within bulk material processing systems, Prater’s expert engineers can help our customers create more efficient system designs involving our lump breakers or flake breakers. Blades, screens, pulleys and other components for Prater’s lump and flake breakers can also be made from various materials to suit specific applications better.

Operational Principles of Prater Lump Breakers 

Prater’s lump breakers are fed from the top of the machine, at which point compacted or clumpy bulk materials impact against the rotor blades. Rotating blades intermesh with stationary blades to break down material sufficiently, with an optional screen available for processing more solid lumps, which extends the time material spends within the grinding chamber. Once lumps are removed from the material, they fall to the bottom of the machine, at this point, material will pass through an optional screening process where it discharges via gravity. For lump breakers utilizing screens, these can easily be exchanged for screens with larger or smaller apertures to give the material different characteristics. The lower operating speeds and larger clearances curtail impact and shear, which in turn generates less dust.

Operational Principles & Applications of Prater Flake Breakers 

Gravity fed through the inlet on top of the unit, Prater’s flake breakers accept coarse material into the grinding chamber, where two rotating shafts equipped with replaceable blades are powered by an electric motor. As the shafts rotate. A sizing screen can be installed below the shafts and at the bottom of the grinding chamber, ensuring material is reduced to proper size before it exits the grinding chamber. The screen’s apertures ensure only material with the desired particle size falls through to the bottom of the machine. These screens can either be changed or even eliminated to ensure appropriate particle size reduction for the application.

Prater Quick-Clean Lump Breakers

In addition to our conventional lump breakers and flake breakers, our engineers have developed a safer design for our lump breakers that makes them easier to clean and maintain. Prater’s Quick Clean lump breakers were actually inspired by another innovation by our engineers: our Quick-Take-Apart rotary airlock valves. Our Quick Clean lump breakers allow safe and easy access to the machine’s internal components. Normally, maintenance of lump breakers entails removing the heavy endplates with tools; this involves pulling off the endplate to access and remove the rotor to clean or maintain it before reassembling. With Quick Clean lump breakers, fasteners on the endplate allow operators or maintenance staff to open the machine and then slide the rotor out simply. This not only makes cleaning and maintaining lump breakers easier and safer, but also makes it quicker, reducing downtime as well.

For more information on Prater lump breakers and flake breakers or any of our other equipment, contact the material handling experts at Prater today.