Cement plants take a harsh toll on their equipment. There is abrasive material involved from the beginning to the end of the process: limestone, shale, iron ore, clay. The plant needs to handle everything from dust to large rock pieces at hundreds of tons per hour. Every material handling station is a potential bottleneck if it fails. Plant owners, plant managers, and maintenance managers bet their business on every piece functioning as advertised.
After the material is removed from the quarry and goes through the hammer mill, the first piece of equipment that takes the harshest beating during plant operation is the rotary feeder. (If your plant uses a “triple gate” method, please continue reading.) While cement plants are engineered and constructed differently, the end product is basically the same. Rotary feeders are typically used to meter raw materials at a controlled rate, going into the primary rock crusher and then from the crusher into the kiln for firing.
Additional rotary valves control the flow of clinker material from the kiln, and others control dust from the baghouse, as well as the flow of finely ground cement mix into the bagging and shipping operation.
Each vendor constructs rotary feeders differently to withstand cement manufacturing abrasion and stresses. Some rotary feeders are made from a steel casting that uses a replaceable barrel liner made of a harder material. The barrel liner is sacrificed as the rotary feeder wears out and is then replaced. Other rotary feeders are fabricated and machined from a hard steel material that is specially treated in order to withstand heavy abrasive wear. Still, other rotary feeders are constructed from bolt-together components that can be serviced quickly to minimize plant downtime and plant inventory when service is required.
Learn more about our feeders and valves engineered and built for the cement industry.