Heyl & Patterson Blog

Turning Powders, Dusts and Sludges Into Easy-To-Handle Granules

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Agglomeration and granulation are two common terms used in process industries, and they are actually synonyms.  Granulation is the process of forming a powder, dust or sludge substance into multiparticle entities, and the resulting granules can vary in size from either 0.2 to 4 mm depending on their specific use.  Agglomeration is also known as particle size enlargement, and is a general wide-spectrum term for granulation.  These technologies are excellent tools to modify mass product properties for further and easier processing.

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Tags: agglomerator/granulators, powder processing, powder & bulk solids, fluidized bed, pellets

Heyl & Patterson Introduces New Barge Unloaders Brochure

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 @ 09:20 AM

Since 1887, Heyl & Patterson has designed and constructed efficient, rugged and durable barge unloading equipment for use in bulk material handling.  These high capacity machines have solved a variety of unloading problems for many customers across several industries.  Diverse cargoes such as coal, corn, soybean, wheat, agricultural by-products, wood chips and limestone can be successfully unloaded.  As part of our continuing efforts to update our customers on our product lines, a new Barge Unloaders brochure has been added to the Bulk Transfer Division line of literature.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, barge unloaders, grain, literature, continuous barge unloader (cbu), grab unloaders

Silica Gel and Its Use as an Effective Catalyst

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

Silica gel is a hard, porous form of silicon dioxide that is commonly processed into beads or granules and used as a dessicant, and is inside the permeable paper packets marked "DO NOT EAT" that are found inside many products.  The substance is made from sodium silicate, and its strong affinity for water molecules causes it to adsorb wetness and prevent mold from forming, which spoils many products.  Chemically, silica gel removes water vapor through adsorption of its numerous surface pores rather than by absorption into the gel itself.  Most people may be aware of silica gel to some degree, but not everyone knows how it is made.

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Tags: process equipment, calciners, silica gel, catalysts

Unloading Iron Ore by Rail

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Feb 04, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

Mining-OperationMan has been mining stone, metals and minerals since prehistoric times.  The world's oldest known mine site is located in Swaziland in Africa, where the first mining of metals was recorded via carbon dating as 43,000 BC.  Mining of metallic minerals occurred in ancient Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire, and metals such as iron ore contributed to the industrial growth of Europe during the Middle Ages.  Iron is the fourth most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust, at about five percent, and it also represents 95 percent of all metal used in any given year.

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Tags: rotary railcar dumpers, railcar dumper unloaders, wagon tipplers, iron ore

Thermal Processing Equipment Benefits a Gypsum Operation

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 08:30 AM

Gypsum is a naturally occurring hydrated salt compound of soft calcium sulfate, and its use depends on the industry in which it is used.  It was formed millions of years ago as prehistoric sea beds evaporated, and can be found in large, thick beds or smaller, thinner ones.  Today, gypsum is typically mined in open pit quarries and processed similar to other such operations.  Through thermal processing, or pyro processing, it is broken down and refined into more recognizeable forms.  It is something that most people probably have not heard of but almost everyone uses, and on a daily basis.

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Tags: process equipment, calciners, powder processing, powder & bulk solids, gypsum

How a Fluid Bed Dryer Operates

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

The first industrial application of a fluid bed dryer was for a coal gasification project in 1922.  The design has been vastly improved over the years, and a modern fluid bed can process many types of bulk solid materials at a wide range of moisture levels and operating temperatures.  Drying rates can range from a few hundred pounds per hour to more than 100 tons per hour, with equipment size varying from a one-foot diameter circular pilot dryer to a rectangular production unit of 20 by 50 feet.

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Tags: industrial dryers, process equipment, bulk material handling equipment, fluid bed dryers, fluidized bed

Frigid Conditions Call for a Hammermill When Unloading Bulk Materials

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

The polar vortex is a year-round atmospheric cyclone centered over the North Pole, with low pressure centers stretching from northern Canada to Siberia.  It may seem to be a new term, but the polar vortex was first identified in 1853, along with an accompanying pattern over the South Pole.  In January 2014, a southward shift in the Northern Polar Vortex caused extreme cold over much of North America.  Minnesota became the coldest part of the United States at −37 °F, and even Texas experienced temperatures as low as 16 °F.  Such weather events can occur at least once a year.
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Tags: bulk material handling equipment, coal handling, hammermill

New Year's Resolution: Maintain Better Industrial Dryer Records

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 08:53 AM

A New Year's resolution is a decision a person makes on the first day of a year that will somehow improve themselves.  Despite being a mainly Western tradition, there is evidence that people as far back as the ancient Babylonians practiced this annual ritual, with promises to return borrowed objects and pay debts.  The most common reasons for failing to follow through on resolutions are unrealistic goals or simply forgetting about them.  One very realistic resolution that should never be forgotten is the correct maintenance of an industrial dryer.

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Tags: industrial dryers, rotary dryers, maintenance, process equipment, flash dryers, fluid bed dryers

Top 10 Heyl & Patterson Blog Posts of 2014: The Year in Review

Posted by David Phillips on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 @ 08:50 AM

The Heyl & Patterson Blog, or simply the H&P Blog as it is known on social media, has been posting articles regularly since 2010.  At Heyl & Patterson, our goal is to educate and inform you about the latest developments in your industries.  This forum has covered topics as varied as the industries we serve, from explaining the inner workings of conduction dryers to examining how a railway across Colombia could compete with the Panama Canal.  As the author of this blog, I've never broken the fourth wall, but I'd like to thank all of our subscribers for following us, and if you haven't yet read the Heyl & Patterson Blog, this is a good time to start.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, barge unloaders, industrial dryers, wood torrefaction, process equipment, H&P Process Spotlight, calciners, frac sand, continuous barge unloader (cbu), oil sands, coal ash, shale gas, tailing ponds, activated carbon, cbu upgrades, dust collection, algae, biomass

A Scale Model Railcar Dumper Can Be Part of a Holiday Tradition

Posted by David Phillips on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 @ 09:15 AM

Model trains are synonymous with the holiday season, often circling the base of a Christmas tree to the delight of children and parents alike.  These toys have existed since the first real railroads stretched across the early United States.  The earliest versions were made of cast iron, and some could even run on steam.  In the late 19th century, a German doll house manufacturer named Marklin sought to create an equivalent toy line for boys.  The company envisioned a constant revenue stream of add-ons that could be bought for years after the initial purchase.

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Tags: rotary railcar dumpers, railcar dumper unloaders