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PATTERSON Industries Canada "The Process Equipment People" designs, engineers and manufactures ConaformŽ Vacuum Dryers for many different industrial and chemical processes and applications.

The PATTERSON ConaformŽ drying operations are based on the principle that water or other volatile material moves from a zone of high vapor pressure to a zone of lower pressure. The ConaformŽ attains this by warming the material to be dried to raise the vapor pressure of the absorbed or free liquid, or by decreasing the vapor pressure of the gas by vacuum or by sweeping it away with an air current. Thus, it is apparent that the ConaformŽ Vacuum Dryer System provides the essential conditions for effective drying, efficient and uniform heat transfer throughout the batch .. and rapid removal of vapor.

PATTERSON ConaformŽ Vacuum Dryers can be built in sizes from 1 cubic foot (0.03 cu. m) to 371 cubic feet (10.51 cu. m) capacity with body diameters from 1' 6" (.46 m) to 10' 6" (3.2 m).

PATTERSON ConaformŽ Dryers are completely jacketed and designed for circulating hot water, oil, steam or vapors through the jacket. As the ConaformŽ Unit rotates, the rapid and continuous inter-mixing of the batch brings every particle in contact with the heated surface. The combination of blending and interfolding helps achieve uniform temperature throughout the batch, prevents re-condensation since there are no cold spots, and contributes to rapid drying speed and the elimination of caking. Maintaining a high vacuum while the material is in motion permits the drawing off of moisture under ideal conditions.

The PATTERSON ConaformŽ Vacuum Dryer is designed for fast, efficient drying of a wide variety of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food products. Its unique double cone rotating shape assures direct contact between the material and the heated surfaces. This results in efficient and uniform heat transfer and permits high speed drying without raising the drying temperature to the danger point of the material being processed.

The PATTERSON ConaformŽ is exceptionally gentle in action. The absence of moving parts assures against disintegration of crystals or abrasion of sharp edges or corners. Since the dryer is hermetically sealed, operations are dust -free. This means no material loss and no contamination of the atmosphere.

The PATTERSON ConaformŽ is designed for use in the drying of many materials without condensers or other auxiliary equipment. One ConaformŽ will usually replace an entire series of tray ovens. Where condensers, decanters, etc., are required, they can be properly sized for every ConaformŽ Dryer.

The PATTERSON ConaformŽ is available with a special dispersing mechanism known as the Conagrator, for materials that tend to form lumps in the drying process. The use of a Conagrator helps achieve high drying rates even when handling crystalline material.


The PATTERSON ConaformŽ Vacuum Dryer in addition to the drying feature can also be used for such functions as blending, heating, cooling and for liquid or gaseous additives. They are used for drying a wide range of food substances, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

The PATTERSON ConaformŽ Vacuum Dryer has uses in processes requiring pre-blending, addition of liquid additives, heating the contents to bring out a reaction, removal of excess moisture and finally cooling of the batch of product.

Design Features:

The interior of the ConaformŽ Dryer consists only of the smooth sidewalls, through which the heat is transferred to the product. The unique double-cone shape of the drying compartment achieves the mixing and blending action. Intersections of cylinder and truncated cones are obtuse angles, so no material is trapped. There are no internal scrapers, plows, scoops or vanes to trap and hold material or prevent uniform drying.

The ConaformŽ can be easily cleaned for quick change of products or colors, with minimum process hold-up. This feature enables one Dryer to be used for many different reagent-grade chemicals of highest purity without cross contamination of products.

The ConaformŽ has one stuffing box-at the entrance of the vapor pipe. A highly efficient vacuum is easily maintained, as excess vacuum capacity is not required to provide for leakage. Other dryers of the stationary cylinder type with horizontal shaft agitator require two stuffing boxes, or a bearing inside of the batch.

All bearings of the ConaformŽ are installed outside of the drying compartment. There is no possibility of product contamination from lubricants.

To maintain highest product purity and dust-free operation, the ConaformŽ Dryer is fitted with a specially designed vacuum-tight discharge valve. The valve is a smooth plate seated with a worm drive. There is little effort required to firmly seat the valve. It opens fully, for unobstructed flow, similar to a gate valve, but has no grooves or channels to trap material. The rim around the valve provides a seat for attaching a sleeve, so there is no loss of product and no contamination during discharge.

The ConaformŽ Dryer is gentle in action. The entire absence of moving parts within the ConaformŽ ensures against disintegration of crystals or abrasion of sharp edges or corners. This is of special advantage where a dust-free final product is desired.

As the ConaformŽ rotates, and the vacuum draws off moisture, the particles constantly change their position. There is no caking, or contamination in the ConaformŽ, as in dryers of other types. Crystals of plate or elongated shape do not pack but take random orientation, leaving open space for vapor to escape.

The PATTERSON ConaformŽ Dryer is particularly useful for drying materials of high value. Solvents or liquids extracted from the materials being dried may be recovered by the use of condensers. Auxiliary equipment, such as condensers, decanters, etc., can be supplied with any size ConaformŽ Dryer.

The ConaformŽ can be used for drying many materials without condensers or other equipment.

ConaformŽ vacuum drying is superior in many ways to tray drying. In tray drying, the circulating air warms the material and removes moisture from the surface layer only. All vapors do not rise to the surface but move to the place of lowest vapor pressure - often the center of the batch, because of poor heat penetration. Here it is condensed or is reabsorbed to cause caking. Heat conduction through a porous bed of material is always slow, and transfer by radiation is notoriously inefficient at the low temperature associated with vacuum drying. The ConaformŽ principle of simultaneous drying under a vacuum eliminates these deficiencies and delivers a consistent product everytime.

Units can be individually designed to customer's material specifications and process parameters. Complete the ConaformŽ Specification Sheet and submit by e-mail to PATTERSON for quotation.


Complete PATTERSON Vacuum Drying System consisting of the following components:

(A)  PATTERSON Model #5, 1'0" body diameter ConaformŽ Vacuum Dryer-Double Cone Dryer, Maximum Operating Capacity 0.32 cu.ft, Nominal Working Capacity: .32 cu.ft, Total Body Volume: 0.49 cu.ft, Approx. Heat Transfer Area: 2.9 sq. ft.  All parts contacting product 316 stainless, Jacket support stands and base 304 Stainless Steel.  Design Conditions:  Dryer Body:  Full Vacuum to 100°C (212°F), Jacket: 25 psig to 100°C (212°F) coincident with Internal Full Vacuum, Internal surfaces polished to 180 grit followed by electro-polishing, body insulated and covered with SS304 sheathing, complete with ˝ HP integral gear motor reducer, Body Speed: 10 rpms.

Application:  Cancer Drug Research/Manufacturing

(B)  Vacuum System with single stage Rotary Vane Vacuum Pump with 1.25 HP TEFC motor, bleed valve and inlet check valve.

(C)  One (1) only 4.5 kW Hot Water/Cooling Circulating System with electronic temperature and process controller with digital communication interface to main control panel. 

(D)  Control System with Panel.   The automatic micro processor based control system will maintain the set temperature over the length of the heating cycle.  The time for the heating cycle and other parameters will be set at the beginning of the process cycle.  Temperature and vacuum will be recorded over the length of the cycle and can be downloaded to a standard PC spread sheet or other format.  The system will automatically control the sequence for process cycle, Dryer rotation, heat, vacuum, cut off of heat at end of cycle. 

The Control System includes:

  • Main input disconnect switch
  • Panel-mounted HMI Touch screen PLC 8" Standard colour panel, 640 x 480 pixel resolution with appropriate graphics showing control of all devices such as Dryer, Vacuum System, and Heater.
  • Digital Temperature Indicator
  • Vacuum Pump Controls
  • Digital Vacuum Indicator
  • Dryer Controls
  • Resistive Analog Touchscreen as HMI interface
  • RS232 communications Port and RS485 for connection to PC for data acquisition etc. included

(E)  System is skid mounted with all components wired to the control panel and inter-connecting piping


Drive side view of System

Non Drive Side view of System

Front view of Control Panel with Hot Water/Cooling Circulating System

Close up view of Vacuum Pump

Main Screen

Dryer Control

Process Control

Vacuum Control

Set point Temperature

Increment Hour

Vessel Temperature

Temperature Monitor

Temperature Monitor

Adjust Contrast

Alarm History



Control Systems

Please note:  PATTERSON has in-house expertise to design and supply operating control systems for all of our process equipment, whether it is a simple start/stop with cycle time or complex multi-stage systems executing recipes or formulas and communicating with existing plant control systems.


Close up of Control Box with stop/start, jog/run and 0-12 hr timer.

Control Panel Overview including HMI Touch Screen.
Close-up of Inside of Control Panel with PLC and Variable Frequency Motor Controllers.