Heyl & Patterson Blog

Processing of Roofing Granules for Use on Asphalt Shingles

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Sep 02, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Now that September is here, autumn won't be far behind.  The fall season is often associated with harvests, the start of a new school year, colder weather and it is considered to be the best time to re-shingle a roof.  Weather conditions are optimal, and the shingles have time to form an airtight barrier prior to the first snowfall of winter.  Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing option in the United States.  They are affordable, durable and need minimal maintenance, so it is not difficult to understand why they are the preferred roofing material by roofers and homeowners alike.  Many types of asphalt shingles are expected to have a lifespan of about 20-25 years.

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Tags: calciners, powder & bulk solids, mineral processing

Follow Heyl & Patterson on Social Media for Industry Info

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 @ 09:41 AM

Social media enables users to interact with one another online to create, share and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities.  Some people credit the birth of social media as we know it to the networking website Six Degrees, which pioneered the idea of social circles in 1997, but gave way to Friendster, followed by MySpace and later Facebook.  It actually goes back much further.  The concept of an online social network evolved from a number of sources, including the CompuServe file-sharing service launched in 1969, the world's first email sent in 1971 and the dialup Bulletin Board System (BBS) and Usenet newsgroups of the late 1970s and early 1980s, before the World Wide Web took over in the early 1990s.  Arguably, prehistoric cave paintings could even be considered the very first form of social media.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, social media

Lithium Mineral Processing for a Variety of Uses

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 @ 09:04 AM

Lithium has quickly become one of the best and most popular material choices for batteries.  The main reason the lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery supplanted its predecessor, nickel cadmium (NiCd) was because the former is capable of producing a wider, stronger range of voltages, without suffering from a "memory effect" that makes it remember the point in its charge cycle where recharging began.  Given an equal voltage, a lithium-ion battery is smaller in size and lighter in weight than a corresponding nickel cadmium or even nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery, and has virtually no self-discharge.  This allows a lithium-ion battery to be stored for months without losing charge, and they also tolerate a wider range of temperatures.

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Tags: process equipment, calciners, mineral processing

Industrial Dryers Convert Waste into Usable Energy

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Aug 12, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

The United States produces 220 million tons of municipal solid waste a year.  That means there is enough to fill a line of dump trucks all the way to the moon.  Unfortunately, that waste does not end up in space (at least not yet).  Approximately 120 million tons ends up in a landfill each year, where it sits completely useless, releasing greenhouse gases into the air and polluting the ground.  However, there is an alternative.  Various technologies, including thermal and non-thermal methods, can recover energy from dried and processed municipal waste.

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Tags: industrial dryers, rotary dryers, power generation, biomass

Yellowcake Processing to Remove Impurities From Uranium

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Aug 05, 2015 @ 10:06 AM

Yellowcake is a mixture of uranium oxide that is produced from the milling of uranium ore.  It is an intermediate step in the processing of uranium after it has been mined, but before fuel fabrication takes place.  The material is characterized by small, coarse granules with a pungent odor.  Even though it is radioactive, it is safe when stored and handled properly.  This yellow cake is typically created from ore at the mine site through a leaching process, and is what remains after drying and filtering, before being stored in drums to be transported to an enrichment plant.

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

Rare Earth Elements Processed with Rotary Calciners

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 @ 09:38 AM

Rare earth elements are a set of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table, and are known to the U.S. Department of Energy as "technology metals." Their magnetic, phosphorescent and catalystic properties are greatly responsible for our 21st century high-tech society. Despite the name, they are relatively abundant in the Earth's crust, but it is unusual to find them in quantities significant enough to support economic mineral development. Rare earth elements have become a hot commodity as more and more uses for them are found. Used in everything from computer memory to nuclear reactors, rare earths are becoming increasingly important in the development of modern technology.

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

Maintain and Upgrade Railcar Dumpers for a Lifetime of Unloading

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

Maintenance involves any actions that are necessary to conserve the condition of a piece of equipment to achieve its maximum useful life, while compensating for normal wear and tear. Routine operations are performed to both keep the device in working order and prevent trouble from arising. Different machines often have their own best practices and maintenance schedules that are unique to their own operation. Similarly, upgrades are the replacements of mechanical or electrical systems with a newer or better version, in order to bring the entire system up to date and improve its overall functionality.

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Tags: maintenance, wagon tipplers, upgrades, railcar dumpers

Frac Sand Dryers: Analyzing the Merits of Rotary and Fluid Bed Styles

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

Frac sand plays the essential role of preventing fractures in oil and gas wells from closing prematurely.  Fluid bed and rotary dryers are used to thermally treat the sand to remove impurities before it is injected into the fissures.  Both methods of frac sand drying have their merits, and a decision between them ultimately comes down to equipment costs and maintenance issues. Heyl & Patterson recently explored the two types of frac sand dryers in an article published in Process Heating magazine's June 2015 issue, entitled "Using Rotary and Fluid Bed Dryers for Drying Frac Sand."  The article was featured as the cover story.

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Tags: industrial dryers, rotary dryers, fluid bed dryers, sand

Pilot Plant Testing Leads to Better Results from a Fluid Bed Dryer

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Jul 08, 2015 @ 09:46 AM

A pilot plant is a small-scale industrial plant in which problems can be identified and solved before the corresponding full-scale facility is built. In terms of thermal processing, such a testing ground is a basic laboratory that uses stock process equipment to provide valuable data for the design of a larger version, so that any anomalies in the process can be worked out before the full-scale plant is constructed. Scientific data about reactions, material properties and even corrosiveness may be gathered, and it helps to predict the behavior of a process. Plant designers use data from the pilot facility to refine their design of the production scale facility. When bulk materials must be dried as a part of the process, a fluid bed dryer is often a key component.

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Tags: industrial dryers, process equipment, fluid bed dryers, testing lab, dewatering

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