We are surrounded by lots of concrete structures like, buildings, bridges, houses, etc. These concrete structures are constructed using several varieties of concrete, which are prepared by Concrete Plants. A Concrete Plant combines various ingredients to form concrete. Concrete Plant is also known as a batch plant. Some of the ingredients used in a Concrete Plant are cement, sand, water, aggregate (rocks, gravel, etc.), additives, fly ash, potash, etc. A concrete plant is a complex machine comprising of different parts and accessories. Some of them are conveyors, radial stackers, aggregate bins, Cement Mixers, dust collectors, etc. The Mixer truck even though not part of the concrete plant plays an essential role in the whole process. in Out of all the parts mixer is very important. The Concrete Plants are of three types:
- Ready Mix Plant:
In a ready mix plant except for water, all ingredients are combined together. After mixing them properly, the mixture is cleared into a ready mix truck. During transport to the job site, water is added to the mix and mixed.
- Central Mix Plant:
In a central mix plant, including water, all the ingredients are combined together. After mixing them properly, the final product is transported to the destination. The central mix plants prepare much better and consistent product because all the ingredients are mixed in the mixer. It also has computer assistance, which ensures consistency in the product.
- Mobile Concrete Batch Plant:
This is the most recent concrete plant. It is designed for preparing all types of concrete, mixed cements, etc. The mobile concrete plants are engineered and designed in such a way that their multiple containers can separately transport all the elements or mixture necessary for the production of concrete, at the specific destination. This provides mobility to the operator to produce the desired product, at his desired place and in the desired quantity by using an on-board computer. This plant can be easily transported or can be fixed-mounted on a truck.
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An Asphalt Plant is a combination of multiple mechanical and electronic units where a series of processes including drying, heating, blending, and mixing of aggregates with binder and other additives is carried out to form asphalt mixture. Asphalt Plants are available in several configurations. Broadly, they can be classified into two categories namely, Stationary Asphalt Plants and Portable Asphalt Plants. Asphalt Plants are also categorized as Batch Plants and Drum Mix Plants
- Batch Mix Asphalt Plants
In case of Batch Mix Plants, specific proportions of hot aggregates and binder are added to prepare one batch. After the process of blending, the asphalt mixture is discharged in one batch. This is not a continuous process.
- Drum Mix Asphalt Plants
In Drum Mix Asphalt Plants, blending of aggregates and binders takes place by means of a continuous process in a rotating drum.
Asphalt Plants: Components
An Asphalt Plant comprises of the following main units: Cold aggregate storage bins, vibrating screen, drying drum, filtration or pollution control system, asphalt load out conveyor , computerized metering and mixing system and in most cases a mixed material storage silo. A series of processes takes place in all these units to yield a uniform asphalt mixture.
Asphalt Plants: Operation
Irrespective of the type of Asphalt Plant used, the purpose is to prepare uniform asphalt mixture. The process of preparing asphalt mixture more or less remains the same in different types of Asphalt Plants. The process begins with cold aggregate feeding. Aggregates in different sizes (sizes depend on specific road requirements) are weighed and sampled to ensure uniformity and balance in the preparation. The process is followed by drying and heating of the aggregates, and immediately after the liquid asphalt is pumped to blend both materials. During the whole process, weight and proportion of aggregates, weight of asphalt content and mixing temperature are strictly monitored. After the mixing process is over, the asphaltic concrete is directed to load out conveyor set up with a batcher and eventually into the trucks, or in cases that asphalt storage silos are present the load out conveyor lifts the material to the Silo that is well above ground.
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