Cement producers have many concerns throughout the cement production process. How can the life of the quarry be extended? Is the product blended correctly to meet customer requirements? How can product variation be reduced? Is there a way to make the plant more efficient, less costly, and yet still maintain safe, clean production lines?
We have addressed these concerns and more in our Cement Analysis and Production Information Center on our website. Visit these pages to get an overview of the cement production process, which begins with the extraction of limestone and clay from the quarry. The material is then blended, crushed and fed to the kiln. Post-kiln, the clinker is cooled and goes through a final grinding method before it is ready to ship. Portland cement, the most common type of cement, is formulated in a variety of strengths and colors, depending on its intended use. Cement composition is based upon their customer’s requests, each requiring a different elemental chemistry in recipe.
Here are the five stages of cement production and the steps to help maintain consistent raw material quality with minimal chemistry deviation, from quarry to silo to customer:
- The Quarry
- Extracting limestone and clay from the earth — which provides the key elemental components of cement, begins the process. If you are involved in cement manufacturing, you should also be aware that there are types of cement raw materials mining equipment that will help extend the life of the quarry.
- The material is crushed to reduce the particle sizes, and blended to reduce variability in cement composition.
- Additives, such as sand, iron ore, marl, shale and fly ash are proportionally fed to the raw mill to ensure the correct “blend” to meet customer requirements.
- Coal helps to deliver the energy needed for the heat inside the kiln which helps control the blend. There are also clean air standards and guidelines that must be followed when processing minerals into cement.
- While the cement production process before the kiln is focused on the elemental make-up and proportions of the raw materials, after the clinker is produced, the focus shifts to the molecules these elements form — which plays an important role in the physical characteristics of cement such as color and strength.
You can learn more about the Cement Analysis and Production process by accessing our educational materials — including infographics, technology primers, application notes, FAQs, product comparison tables, brochures, videos, as well as additional blog posts — on the Cement Analysis and Production Information Center on our website.