Heyl & Patterson Blog

Foundry Sand Reclamation via Thermal Processing

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jul 01, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Foundry sand, or molding sand, is essential to the metal casting industry.  It consists of a clean, uniformly sized, high-quality type of silica sand that can be used to form molds for ferrous and nonferrous castings.  Formed metal objects ranging from engine parts to building plaques are made with two halves of a sand mold that produce a pattern, and molten metal is then poured to into holes to fill the void inside.  Silica's high fusion point and low rate of thermal expansion produce sturdy molds compatible with a wide range of pouring temperatures and alloys.  Once the casting process is complete, the molds are broken apart and the foundry sand is recycled to produce new molds.

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Tags: process equipment, calciners, sand

Heyl & Patterson Compares Railcar Unloading Methods in World Coal

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Unloading railcars is usually accomplished in one of two ways:  a railcar dumper turns cars upside down in order to spill their contents, or bottom dump railcars drop their contents through chutes and gates. There are obvious differences between the two methods, but also some surprising similarities. Choosing between these systems calls for a number of factors to be considered, namely capital costs, maintenance, climate, versatility and economics.  Heyl & Patterson recently explored both sides of the matter in an article published in World Coal magazine's June 2015 issue, entitled "Which Unloading System?"

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Tags: bulk material handling equipment, coal handling, wagon tipplers, railcar dumpers

Heyl & Patterson Blog Celebrates Five Years

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 @ 09:44 AM

The word "blog" is short for "web log," and is a website with posts providing commentary on a particular subject, much like a newspaper editorial column.  Blogging grew out of the burgeoning digital communities of the 1980s, which included Usenet, CompuServe and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), and featured running commentary about various topics.  Early versions were a form of web diary that kept an intimate account of the authors' personal lives, and these ultimately evolved into the distinct class of online publishing we know today.  According to the web platform Technorati, there are now over 2.7 million blog posts published each day, and other recent statistics show that there are over 172 million Tumblr blogs and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, rotary dryers, torrefaction, MultiDisc thermal processor, conduction drying, wagon tipplers, company history, railcar dumpers

Drying Potash Leads to the Highest Quality Final Product

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 09:18 AM

Mined and manufactured salts containing water-soluble potassium are known as potash.  Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the primary means of obtaining it was by using water in a pot to leach it from wood ash, hence the name "potash."  In fact, the scientific name "potassium" was derived from the word.  It is now mined from ancient marine seas where it is found in abundance, occurring naturally as potassium salts, or as we know it, "table salt."  Potash is then processed from potassium compounds and potassium-bearing materials, usually as potassium chloride.  This salt is separated from the potash and used for a variety of salts -- table salt, livestock salt, water softener, and road de-icer.

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Tags: industrial dryers, fluid bed dryers, fertilizer, mineral processing

Thermal Processing of Zeolites for Catalytic Cracking

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jun 03, 2015 @ 09:11 AM

Zeolite refers to a family of more than 200 different minerals with a variety of interesting uses, ranging from water softeners to cat litter to industrial process catalysts.  Zeolites are aluminosilicate minerals, made from interlinked alumina and silica tetrahedrons.  Their porous crystalline structure is built from aluminum, oxygen and silicon, and water molecules and alkaline metals such as sodium, potassium and magnesium are trapped in the gaps between their lattice-like components.  The framework of zeolites is what makes them useful, allowing them to trap other molecules inside, where their bonds can be broken down.

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Tags: process equipment, calciners, upgrades, mineral processing, catalyst processing

Unit Train Positioning Systems for Faster Unloading

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, May 27, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

The railcars in a unit train all carry the same commodity, originate from the same location and travel to the same destination. High-volume bulk materials such as coal, coke, iron ore and aggregates are typically transported this way, as well as bulk liquids like ethanol, crude oil and condensate.  All the railcars tend to be nearly identical, inside and out.  Unit trains save time and money for a railroad, and eliminates any delays and confusion associated with assembling and disassembling the trains at railyards at both ends of the operation.  This type of service enables railroads to more effectively compete with truck transportation and river barges.

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Tags: railcar movers, side arm chargers, train positioners

Pittsburgh-Area Politicians Visit Heyl & Patterson to Discuss Energy

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 09:56 AM


Heyl & Patterson played host to Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) and Carnegie, PA Mayor Jack Kobistek on Friday, May 8.  They sat down with company president John Edelman and vice presidents Linda Wienand and Len Walnoha to discuss community involvement and the state of the energy and manufacturing industries, following a tour of the company's offices.  As a business in the energy industry, Heyl & Patterson is seen as an important player in Pittsburgh and the local region.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, company history

Heyl & Patterson to Present Frac Sand Drying at Oilfield Mineral Forum

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, May 13, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Heyl & Patterson Inc., a world leader in bulk material handling and thermal processing systems, will present “Fluid Bed and Rotary Dryers for Frac Sand” at the 2015 Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum on Thursday, May 28 at 4:30 PM CST at The Houstonian Hotel in Houston, TX.  The conference covers global shale gas development, utilization and outlook, and will be held on May 27-29.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, trade shows & conferences, rotary dryers, fluid bed dryers, sand

PET Processing by Calcination

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, May 06, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

PET flakes are the ground and processed material made from recycled water bottles and other items manufactured from polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  This plastic is semi-pourous and has a tendency to absorb molecules of the liquid or food substance it had been in contact with.  Also known by its brand name of Dacron, it is widely used as food and beverage containers, polyester fabric and clothing, as well as other applications for synthetic fiber.  Depending on past thermal history and processing means, polyethylene terephthalate can either exist as a transparent or semi-crystaline polymer resin.

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Tags: process equipment, calciners, PET flakes

Coal Ash Drying and Beneficial Reuse

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 @ 09:34 AM

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the two largest beneficial uses of encapsulated coal combustion residuals (CCR) -- commonly known as coal ash -- are as substitutes for portland cement in concrete, and for gypsum in wallboard.  The EPA concluded that these uses of coal ash are most appropriate because they are comparable to the original materials, or below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks.  Concrete and wallboard account for nearly half of the total amount of coal ash that is reused.  The extraction of raw minerals consumes energy, impacts the environment, limits the availability of natural resources and has a detrimental effect on water resources. The recycling and reuse of waste materials helps decrease these unfortunate impacts.

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Tags: industrial dryers, rotary dryers, fluid bed dryers, calciners, coal ash, tailing ponds