With the concept of the UCOM having established itself as an alternative grinding system for the sugar industry, Bauermeister is constantly looking for new applications. With respective UCOM plants placed around the world including Australia and New Zealand, two additional applications have been cleared for marketing.
With successful tests having been completed in the laboratory, a German producer of citric acid placed an order for a UCOM. The fine ground citric acid powder (99% < 50 micron) is utilized as an additive for concrete and gypsum and acts as a hardening retardant. However, despite the most meticulous testing, there are sometimes aspects that have not been considered and unknowingly cause a problem. Such was the case after the mill was placed into operation. The ground citric acid would not discharge from the mill’s hopper.
The ground product becomes very sticky due to the releasing of its own internal humidity during the grinding process. In fact so sticky, if it is scooped up on a spoon, it will stick to the spoon even when inverted. The remedy was found very quickly by reworking the internal surface of the hopper to a super fine finish.
A material with very good grinding properties, but highly toxic, corrosive and explosive when coming into contact with water (hydrochloric acid). All problems that needed to be overcome when one of the companys Korean customers in the chemical industry, needed to replace an existing mill to meet tightened local regulations.
Operating as a closed system, being explosion pressure resistant, dust tight, with the drive section having provisions for a gas/air seal purging system and a compact build the UCOM had ideal prerequisites and necessitated only a few minor modifications to fulfil all requirements to process Aluminium Chloride.
With an exchange of all seals to corrosion resistant materials and purging the complete grinding plant, including the feed and discharge lines and the seal in the drive section with nitrogen, the Bauermeister mill overcame the problems and the plant has been successfully operating since May 2005.
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