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NEUMAN & ESSER Fine-Grinding System for Dolomite Marble

Erzgebirgische Kalkwerke GEOMIN use a NEUMAN & ESSER grinding system for the dolomite marble treating. The new grinding system is part of a long-term strategy aimed at developing new applications for marble in the filler material sector. After the first year of operation the system has proved its cost effectiveness and reliability in the production of various finenesses.

The area of Lengefeld in Saxony, situated close to the German-Czech border, looks back on a 500-year history of marble mining. For the last 20 years, GEOMIN Erzgebirgische Kalkwerke GmbH has been continuing this long tradition using modern technology. The Lengefeld dolomite marble CaMg(CO3)2 is mined underground. It is very pure and characterized by a high degree of hardness and compressive strength, as well as excellent resistance to frost and weathering. Its outstanding raw material properties, such as low pigment content and low residual porosity make it ideal for the manufacturing of high-grade products for the construction, chemicals, plastics, concrete, plaster and paints, lacquers, and varnish industries. At its Lengefeld location, GEOMIN had previously produced medium-grain to coarse filler materials and a range of dried grain suites and terrazzo grains.

GEOMIN is the largest German supplier of white crystalline carbonate products. To develop new applications in the sectors of construction chemistry, the plaster industry and concrete aggregates, GEOMIN needed a new fine grinding system. The products manufactured at the Lengefeld location since 1994 in a classical fine sand plant were too coarse for use in these areas of application. The new grinding system was the only way for the company to supply the demand for fine and ultrafine filler materials.

GEOMIN’s search for a provider of a suitable grinding system ultimately brought them to NEUMAN & ESSER. With 80 years’ experience in the fine grinding of minerals using robust pendulum mills, we were the right partner for the project. Following successful grinding tests at our Test Center GEOMIN contracted us to supply a type PM08U3 pendulum mill. Final handover of the system took place in summer 2011. The grinding system has been reliable in its industrial operation since then.

The raw material is conveyed to the surface via a hoisting shaft in mine carts and is pre-crushed there. It is then supplied to a processing plant for drying, comminution in a hammer mill, classification, sorting and mixing to produce various grain suites. The surplus products of size 0-1 mm from the fine sand plant are then fed via a screw conveyor system to the grinding system. This material is extracted from the pre-silo and supplied by a further screw conveyor to a buffer bin that feeds the mill.

A weighing screw feeder with variable conveying speed continuously doses the feed material into the grinding zone of the pendulum mill. Compression and shear forces comminute the feed marble in the layer of material between the grinding ring and the grinding rollers that roll against the inside of the ring. The stream of air entering the grinding zone from below removes the ground material from the grinding zone and carries it to the dynamic classifier wheel. This separates the over-sized material, which is returned to the grinding zone. Only the fine material passes through the classifier wheel and is carried by the air stream to the filter for collection. The fine material collected is then conveyed to finished material silos. If the raw material sized up to 10 mm from the optional external feed is too moist, it is dried by a hot gas generator installed upstream of the grinding system. Grinding and drying of the material take place in a single pass.

For the fields of application, it is essential to achieve a precise maximum particle size of the ground dolomite marble. The dynamic classifier wheel installed above the mill rotor separates the material using the principle of countercurrent centrifugal force classification.

The maximum particle size limitation or fineness of the ground marble is directly dependent on the rotational speed of the classifier wheel. The faster the rotation of the classifier wheel, the finer the particles passing the classifier wheel are. This means that the fineness of the particles is infinitely adjustable. A sealing air system for the gap between the classifier wheel and the classifier housing reliably keeps oversized particles out of the finished material and thus ensures that the maximum particle size is sharply limited.

Measurement and control of all relevant operating parameters are the prerequisite for achieving a continuous and stable grinding process with the maximum possible output rate and consistent finished product quality. In addition to the customary measurements of negative pressure, temperature, speed and motor current draw, the grinding system measures further decisive process parameters such as air volume flow, feed material mass flow and hot gas temperature.

Modern grinding systems with pendulum mills are so controlled that after alteration of the single control value, i.e. the rotation speed of the separator, the other operating parameters are automatically readjusted so that the optimum operating data are restored. Prior to implementation of the project, we had determined the necessary operating data in its pilot plant under consideration of the required particle sizes and the material properties.

The PM08U3 grinding system fulfills the requirements of high product quality and cost-effective operation. The achieved operating data are better than those specified in the contract. After one year of continuous operation, the system has proved itself to the full satisfaction of GEOMIN. For the Erz Mountain company, the new grinding system is a profitable and long-term investment that has enabled new markets to be accessed and has ensured that the 500-million-year-old raw material will remain competitive in the long run.

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Gustavo Angeloci Dos Santos
Account Manager
+1 281 497-5113
NEUMAN & ESSER Process Technology USA, Inc.
1502 East Summitry Circle
Katy, Texas 77449