Material Buildup? Blow it away!

Flow Activation

Material Buildup? Blow it away!

Air Cannons hammer Preheater Buildup at Nebraska Cement Plant
An American cement producer faced severe problems of material buildup in his preheater. Manual hydro-lancing meant process disruptions. With a new air cannon network now in place, the need for water blasting has been significantly reduced, material flows more efficiently, and maintenance personnel have drastically reduced the man-hours that were spent on manual removal.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 26/2/2015)
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“Efficient material flow is a critical element of dry-process cement manufacturing, and accumulation or blockages can take a big bite out of a plant’s profitability,” explained Martin Engineering’s Andy Marti. “Although many plants still use manual techniques to remove build-up, the cost of labor and periodic shutdowns has led many producers to investigate more effective methods for dealing with this type of maintenance,” he said.

Air-Powered Solution

In order to prevent the loss of efficiency and clinker quality at Ash Grove Louisville, a group led by process engineer Mark Junkins investigated possible solutions. They met with material handling experts from Martin Engineering, and together the group designed a network of Martin XHV Air Cannons for the main production line.

Martin Engineering technicians installed the air cannons during a scheduled maintenance outage, starting where the accumulation appeared most severe: below the riser orifice, where the duct is reduced in size to increase velocity. The unique cannon design requires no high-temperature discharge pipes or special mounting plates, and discharge nozzles are embedded directly in the refractory lining of the preheater tower.

All of the air cannons in the main production line network are equipped with the Martin Engineering XHV Valve, designed specifically to deliver premium performance and long service life in preheater towers, clinker coolers and other high-temperature applications. The negative pressure-firing valve was developed to provide reliable operation and long service life in challenging applications.

The cannons discharge in a timed sequence that moves in an upward spiral around the tower firing about 20 seconds apart, with the entire cycle taking just over eight minutes to complete. Control room operators can alter the schedule to accommodate a range of kiln pressures and operating conditions, extending the sequence to as much as 45 minutes.

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