What is a Ripwhirl Design?

The Ripwhirl design is utilized on Bluestreak Equipment’s Theta, Fission and Atmos continuous discharge magnetic sweepers. The Ripwhirl design stems from the problems that were plaguing other standard design magnetic sweepers.


Those problems were;


  1. Continual loss of pickup strength and power as the magnet collected steel shot causing more and more steel shot to be left behind and not picked up.
  2. Not being able to see how much steel shot the magnet had picked up on the bottom of the magnetic sweeper and therefore, not being able to see when the magnet was “full” and no longer working.
  3. Excessive number of movements required by the operator during operation that contributed to poor productivity and increased operator effort.

To solve these problems associated with standard types of magnetic sweepers, Bluestreak set out to design a magnetic sweeper that continually cleaned debris off of the magnet so that the magnet would always be at full strength. And if the magnet were continually cleaned off, the steel shot would have to go somewhere to be captured into a bin. At the same time Bluestreak set out to reduce operator effort and increase productivity by eliminating steps in the current steel shot pickup process.


The final design includes a round PVC tube with protruding PVC fins that rotates around the magnet that hangs low inside the round tube in a stationary position.


The PVC tube rotates with the wheels. As the magnet is pushed forward and picks up the steel shot, the round tube with fins rotates and clears the debris out of the magnetic field and up the back side of the tube.


The PVC fins are angled slightly to provide a “cup” effect which holds the steel shot as it leaves the magnetic field. As the debris gets to the top of the tube it is out of the magnetic field and is propelled forward by momentum into the bin that is in front of the magnet.

Having the tube rotate with the wheels has several advantages.


First , it synchronizes drum speed and therefore clean off speed with the speed that the sweeper is being pushed.


Second, by having the direction of rotation match wheel direction of rotation, ensures that the drum can roll over any obstacles if it does hit the ground.


By cleaning the magnet off continuously, the length of time the magnet could pick up steel shot without stopping is only limited by the size of the bin in which the steel shot is being deposited. The size of the bin is also restricted by the size of the drum. Therefore the bin size was restricted to a size that would not overly exert the operator upon removal of a full bin of steel shot in normal conditions. And with the steel shot being deposited directly into a removable bin, there is no need for the operator to look for something to deposit the picked up steel shot into.

With the Fission, the shot bin is able to hold 42 lbs when completely full of steel shot, this means that the operator does not have to stop to clean the magnet off nearly as much as with a traditional type of magnetic sweeper.


When the operator does stop to empty the bin, the bin has a convenient handle.


This translates into a large improvement in operator ease of use and large improvement in productivity.