The Fluidizable Material Solution

One of the challenges of storing cement in large quantities is efficient handling of those materials out of the storage structure.  When St Marys Cement Group evaluated options for their new storage projects, Laidig Systems, Inc. was able to provide them with an innovative solution. 

St Marys Cement is a leading manufacturer of cement and related construction products in the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, St Marys Cement supplies cementitious materials to the Great Lakes Region and is also a significant producer of concrete and aggregates in the Great Lakes Region.
There have been several traditional methods of reclaiming cement from large capacity structures.  The methods vary significantly from the complete aeration of structure floors, to partial aeration with manual final clean out (using front end loaders), to large mechanical reclaim systems.  All of these options offer advantages and disadvantages, which primarily involve overall cost, level of automation and safety. 

Laidig worked with other cement companies and St Marys to develop a solution that best fit the needs of the industry.  Laidig developed the Fluidized Screw Series Reclaim System as a cost effective and automated solution to unload fluidizable materials, such as cement, fly ash, and talc powders, in large capacity storage structures.  The Fluidized Screw integrates a rugged mechanical screw reclaimer with an efficient air-gravity conveyor system to unload and clean out the dome.  A series of air slides are used to fluidize the floor and cleanout a portion of the material in the dome.  Combined with that, a Laidig FS1010 Fluidized Screw Reclaim System is used to clean out the remaining material.  The air slide system is comprised of radial air conveyors designed like spokes on a bicycle wheel, extending out from the center.  The air slides operate sequentially around the dome – not all working at once – which reduces the amount of power to operate them and reduces uneven loads on the dome and foundation.  This process will reclaim approximately 80% of the stored material, leaving behind large pie-shaped piles of material between each air slide.  The Laidig FS1010 Fluidized Screw Reclaim System then is engaged to unload the dome and complete the clean-out process. 

Safety is a priority for companies storing materials in silos and domes, which has made it more difficult to allow plant personnel to enter the storage structure.  New product innovations and pioneering technology from Laidig have changed how companies approach material storage from a safety perspective.  With plants continuing to expand, there has been a focus and value placed on automating storing larger volumes in the material handling process. 

Laidig is a leader and key partner in developing solutions for the storage and reclaim of bulk materials.  With over 50 years of experience, Laidig continues to pioneer the industries and develop innovative material handling solutions.