Nowadays, the main trend in fiber cement manufacturing, as in every building material sectors, is to implement each production process in a logic of cost-optimization.
With that perspective, maintaining a close control over autoclave fiber cement manufacture costs without compromising the technical properties of the final board, is of primary importance.
Your fiber cement consulting expert Widerange gives you some advices on how to make it happen in the following article.
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Reducing costs in fiber cement production process
One of the most common ways to achieve a cost reduction is to use industrial manufacturing by-products, such as ashes from coal burning at high temperatures or through the fluid method.
Autoclaved fibre cement technology allows to use these by-products in your production process, simultaneously keeping a high level of quality.
Fiber cement autoclaved boards have demonstrated excellent building material thermal and technical properties in relation to its strength.
Moreover, they are also economic and extremely malleable. In particular, their strength is carried by an ore called tobermorite : this mineral is created by the reaction of silica oxides and calcium in hydrothermal conditions. It belongs to the group of calcium hydrosilicate.
The creation of tobermorite in fiber cement manufacturing
The ratio of CaO/SiO2 and hydrothermal process temperature are the most important factors in tobermorite formation.
Some initial phases of tobermorite formation might occur due to atmospheric conditions, as well as by the level of hydration of cement. Tobermorite is created at a specific temperature inside the fiber cement autoclave system and with a specific ratio of components.
It is extremely important to keep this production process monitored, because this material could further crystalize into xonotlite, which demonstrated lower levels of strength than tobermorite.
Autoclave fiber cement technology : hydrothermal process effects
During the process of autoclaving, a continuous transformation of crystalline takes place. In the first stages of hydrothermal synthesis, the specific surface area of these crystals increases, due to creation of microstructure and the crystallization of material.
This result can be observed after at least 20 hours of autoclaving.
In fiber cement board manufacturing, an extension of isothermal endurance enhances the mineralogical composition and mechanical properties of the product.
Your fiber cement consultant Widerange recommends a longer hydrothermal treatment process to ensure a better crystallization of tobermorite and a more homogeneous structure.
However, it is important to control the pressure of autoclaving, as it might cause the break of crystals in case of exceeding pressure.
With regards to tobermorite formation, it is formed in higher amounts in higher molar C/S ratios, due to high level of environment saturation, with Ca2+Ions. A lower ratio can cause oversaturation of silicon ions, because it creates high CSH phases, which can crystalize into tobermorite with greater difficulty.
Raw material balance in fibre cement manufacturing process
In the process of fiber cement sheets manufacturing, a good raw material mix balance can increase your board strength and durability, allowing even to reduce raw materials costs.
Thanks to its long experience in fiber cement board production and building material technologies, Widerange can help you optimize your production process and raw material mix, reducing raw material waste and, hence, your production costs.
Call our consultants to help you optimize your fiber cement equipment and machinery, in particular with regards to :
- Reduction of raw materials costs;
- Enhancement of product physical and mechanical characteristics;
- Fibre cement boards durability;
- Reduction of plant energy waste.
If you want more information on raw material mix and ways to optimize your fiber cement production plant costs, or more generally about fibercement board technology, contact Widerange to receive extra documentation.