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.
Bulk handling system cuts dust, improves accuracy at graphite plant
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.”
A New Type of Glass Promises to Cut Glass Manufacturing's Carbon Footprint in Half
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.
Vitriform3D’s Story: How Glass–an Infinitely Recyclable Material–is Fueling a Startup
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..
Vidrala How glass is made (subtitled)
An App for Bulk Material Handling and Analysis in Cement Manufacturing
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 costs, extended quarry life, and minimized use of highest cost materials.