Engineering Lunch & Learn: Exploring the Fluidized Bed Phenomenon

By Kelly Oswald

The engineering team at Tekna conducts monthly Lunch & Learns where one of us presents on a technical topic to educate the rest of the team over lunch. At a recent Lunch & Learn session, we wanted to try something a little bit different: a proof-of-theory building exercise. (A fluidized bed occurs in conditions where a solid—in this case sand—behaves like a fluid). This concept is most often seen in material handling (e.g., to efficiently move grain in a silo) and was used recently in a hospital bed by Hill-Rom designed to help prevent pressure sores.

Fluidized Bed Phenomenon - Engineering Lunch & Learn

Once we were prepped with the what and the why, we were given the necessary materials to create a small-scale bed. It was a fantastic team-building challenge with real-world experience in theoretical behavior. Check out our work in action here:

To learn more about the fluidized bed phenomenon, take a look at this video by Mark Rober, the American engineer/inventor and YouTube personality who inspired  our Lunch & Learn session.

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