Nonmetallic Mineral

The Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing subsector transforms mined or quarried nonmetallic minerals, such as sand, gravel, stone, clay, and refractory materials, into products for intermediate or final consumption. Processes used include grinding, mixing, cutting, shaping, and honing. Heat often is used in the process and chemicals are frequently mixed to change the composition, purity, and chemical properties for the intended product. For example, glass is produced by heating silica sand to the melting point (sometimes combined with cullet or recycled glass) and then drawn, floated, or blow molded to the desired shape or thickness. Refractory materials are heated and then formed into bricks or other shapes for use in industrial applications.

Assembly Line

Flexshuttle automated formulation laboratory

Cement recycling method could help solve one of the world’s biggest climate challenges

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Sarah Collins

🔖 Topics: Recycling

🏭 Vertical: Nonmetallic Mineral

🏢 Organizations: University of Cambridge

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a method to produce very low-emission concrete at scale – an innovation that could be transformative in the transition to net zero. The method, which the researchers say is “an absolute miracle”, uses the electrically-powered arc furnaces used for steel recycling to simultaneously recycle cement, the carbon-hungry component of concrete.

The Cambridge researchers found that used cement is an effective substitute for lime flux, which is used in steel recycling to remove impurities and normally ends up as a waste product known as slag. But by replacing lime with used cement, the end product is recycled cement that can be used to make new concrete. The cement recycling method developed by the Cambridge researchers, reported in the journal Nature, does not add any significant costs to concrete or steel production and significantly reduces emissions from both concrete and steel, due to the reduced need for lime flux.

Read more at University of Cambridge Stories

Laser Optics Fabrication in the Florida Laser Optics Center

Bulk handling system cuts dust, improves accuracy at graphite plant

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: David Boger

🔖 Topics: Quality Assurance

🏭 Vertical: Nonmetallic Mineral

🏢 Organizations: Flexicon, Matec Techniek, Asbury Graphite Carbons

Asbury Graphite & Carbons is one of the largest global processors of graphite and other carbon materials used in the plastics, automotive, lubrication, powder metallurgy, petroleum and coatings industries. Its European installation in the Netherlands opened in 2014 to take in raw graphite from around the world, reduce it into fine particles through a variety of milling and screening processes and fill 2,200 lb bulk bags and smaller bags, based on customer needs.

The plant operators had experienced problems with inaccurate fill weights of milled graphite, as well as issues with dust control. The bulk bag filler frames operated with a poorly designed bag spout seal that wasn’t reliable. “Very often, the seal inflated incorrectly or wasn’t strong enough or exploded,” Stassen said. As a result, dust and fine particles escaped, putting the plant’s compliance with Dutch health and safety guidelines at risk. Spills were also occurring with the original bulk bag dischargers. “We had to do something else,” Stassen said.

On the recommendation of Dutch distributor Matec Techniek, the company turned to Flexicon (Europe) Ltd., which specializes in bulk bag filling and discharging systems. “We tried one bulk bag filling station, and that reduced our dust big time,” Stassen said. “So we chose to go forward with Flexicon for all 11 stations, followed over the years by nine bulk bag dischargers and numerous flexible screw conveyors. They reduced dust tremendously in the plant.”

Read more at Plant Engineering

A New Type of Glass Promises to Cut Glass Manufacturing's Carbon Footprint in Half

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Materials Science

🏭 Vertical: Nonmetallic Mineral

🏢 Organizations: Penn State

The invention, known as LionGlass and engineered by researchers at Penn State, needs considerably less energy to produce and is highly damage-resistant compared to the standard soda lime silicate glass. The research group has filed a patent application as an initial step toward bringing the product to market.

Mauro believes that the enhanced strength of LionGlass means that the products made from it could be lighter in weight. Since LionGlass is 10 times more damage resistant compared to present glass, it could be considerably thinner.

Read more at AZO Materials

Vitriform3D’s Story: How Glass–an Infinitely Recyclable Material–is Fueling a Startup

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: 3D Printing

🏭 Vertical: Nonmetallic Mineral

🏢 Organizations: Vitriform3D, University of Tennessee

Pulled from the Latin word vitri for glass, Vitriform3D is forming new products through 3D printing. With their patent-pending technology, they plan to make coasters, tiles, countertops, even architectural accent walls by embedding recycled glass into 3D printing. It’s a small start-up for now of only Alex Stiles and Dustin Gilmer, who may have never met without IACMI – The Composites Institute. We joke, “All roads lead to Uday Vaidya,” and in this case, it’s true. Dr. Vaidya, Chief Technology Officer for IACMI, was Alex’s advisor during his PhD program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT). In one of Uday’s many collaborations with outside research groups, Dustin and Alex first worked together on novel methods for 3D printing washout mandrels for composites

So, what gives them hope their startup will succeed? Dustin and Alex have discovered that by reducing glass to a powder, their 3D printed product is more predictable than conventional thermoplastic printed parts. Low expansion and contraction during heating makes it an excellent potential material for autoclave tooling. The binder jetting process can maintain high resolution at large scale, requiring less post-production than a typical large scale thermoplastic 3D print. The finishing process is often what adds considerable time and therefore costs to additive manufacturing. Not here. All that’s left is proving they can scale up for commercialization, which admittedly takes time and money..

Read more at IACMI

Vidrala How glass is made (subtitled)

An App for Bulk Material Handling and Analysis in Cement Manufacturing

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: material handling, conveyor system

🏭 Vertical: Mining, Nonmetallic Mineral

🏢 Organizations: Thermo Fisher

Cement analyzers provide real-time online elemental analysis of an entire raw material process stream using technologies like Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA) and Pulsed Fast Thermal Neutron Activation (PFTNA) technology. These analyzers can aid in consistent stockpile quality, reduced chemistry variability, decreased kiln upsets​ and kiln fuel cost​s, extended quarry life, and minimized use of highest cost materials.

Read more at ThermoFisher Blog

Glass Bottle Manufacturing Process (2021 Updated) - Roetell

Glass production » Pharma bottles | Stoelzle Pharma Health & Safety