How Do You Make Cement? Start with Clinkers

Last week I wrote about the use of the Atomizing Nozzles to create a fog for wet room curing of concrete samples poured during road construction.  This week, I had the opportunity to work with another customer about concrete, but this time it was regarding the the manufacturing process.  Invariably, I always learn something new , and for this interaction, it was the term ‘clinkers.’

Concrete is a composite material composed of coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time.  The customer I was working with was a cement manufacturer.  Cement production is basically a 2 step process – 1) clinker is produced from raw materials and 2) cement is produced from cement clinker.

clinkers

Typical Cement Clinkers

To make the clinker (step one), several powder raw materials are fed into a rotary kiln.  The kiln is heated to very high temperatures, and when the materials are mixed and heated, new compounds are formed and hydraulic hardening occurs resulting in the formation of the clinker.

My customer needed a way to clean off the residual dust left on the transport belts, after the clinkers were transported to storage silos.  Due to the high temperatures in the area, we focused in on the EXAIR Type 303 Stainless Steel model of the Super Air Knife, as it can withstand temperatures up to 800°F.  The customer went with (3) of the Super Air Knife Kits, which include the Shim Set, Auto Drain Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator w/ Gauge, for easiest installation with maximum functionality.

The Super Air Knife is a tried and true product for cleaning, drying, cooling and general blowoff for conveyors.  And with widths up to 108″ available, any size conveyor can be handled.

To make cement (step two), the clinker is ground into fine powder with other ingredients including gypsum (calcium sulphates) and possibly additional cementitious (such as blastfurnace slag, coal fly ash, natural pozzolanas, etc.) or inert materials (limestone). It is then stored or packaged and ready to be made into concrete.

To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Super Air Knife can benefit your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Super Air Knife Helps Keep a Belt Clean for a Cement Factory

A cement factory was having some issues with spillage of cement powder underneath his conveyor. This 48” wide conveyor system used a cleated belt to carry the cement ingredients up an incline to a mixing chamber.  As the conveyor went around the end to dump the mix, some of it would stick to the cleats and corners where the cleats were attached to the belt.  At the conveyor return, any ingredients that were sticking to the belt would dislodge and fall to the ground.  Spillage is wasteful, costly, unsafe, and time consuming to cleanup.  He wondered if I could help him with his application.

I recommended the model 110248PKI Super Air Knife.  This model included a 48” (122cm) Super Air Knife, a filter, a regulator, a shim set, and a plumbing kit.  The filter would capture any excess water and contamination from the compressed air line that you would not want on the belt or in the cement mix.  The regulator and shim set would be used to control the amount of force required to remove the cement mix without creating a dust cloud.  The plumbing kit provides all of the necessary fittings and hose to prevent pressure drops and keep our customers from hunting down all the right fittings.

PKI

The Super Air Knife would be placed underneath the conveyor on the return side after the mix was dumped. It should be mounted about 6” (15 cm) away from the belt and at a 45 degree angle blowing back toward the end of the conveyor.  The force of the air would dislodge any excess mix and push it back to the opening of the mixer. As a result, the cement mix was not being wasted on the ground or creating a dust nuisance, but being used to make cement.

If you have excess waste and believe that we can help, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR at 1-800-903-9247.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

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