The new refractory drying technologies by Marcheluzzo Ceramics


Marcheluzzo Ceramics, an Italian company based in Caldogno in the province of Vicenza, recently commissioned a new dryer supplied to Eco-Inter, an Italian producer of refractories for the ceramic and food industries located in the province of Verbania.

The static chamber dryer has a drying capacity of 10 tonnes of refractory materials with cycles ranging from 6 to 24 hours depending on the type of product.

The main components are a multi-damper Air Handling Unit (AHU), a humidification system based on high-pressure spraying, and an external air and moist air injection/extraction control system to manage the thermodynamic parameters of the drying process.

The AHU supplies hot air mixed with part of the external air to ensure ideal temperature and humidity values inside the dryer chamber. The calibrated perforated metal sheet located on the walls of the dryer guarantees the maximum air flow homogeneity over all material inside the chamber. An indirect fume/air heat exchanger with a forced draught gas burner is used to avoid the presence of fumes inside the dryer. This means that the plant can perform complete air recirculation, resulting in considerable energy savings (combined manual and automatic reset thermostats and gas shut-off valves guarantee the safety of the system).

The air flow inside the dryer is controlled in terms of both speed over the material (control on the flowrate of the air handling unit) and direction (Alternative Blowing System, air flow programmable from right to left wall alternating with flow from left to right wall).

The plant is able to operate from room temperature with 100% relative humidity up to a maximum internal temperature of 100°C, while the speed of airflow over the ceramic material can range from below 0.2 m/s to more than 1 m/s, depending on the phase of the cycle.

The temperature, humidity, pressure and air speed sensors are able to withstand the most extreme conditions of dust and humidity. The system is controlled by a latest-generation PLC and touch screen operator panel, where the parameters are managed and controlled on screen with the option of saving all the values.

Operation can be either automatic or manual, while the supervision system allows the user to connect to the electrical panel from other locations or from smartphones.

This new plant follows recent agreements by Marcheluzzo Ceramics with leading international groups for the production of pre-dryers, dryers, air conditioning systems and thermal plants for sanitaryware in Mexico, Russia and China.

All Marcheluzzo Ceramics technical and plant solutions, including the ViscoSmart system for automatically controlling the rheological parameters of casting and glazing, will be presented at the forthcoming exhibitions Ceramitec (Munich, April 10-13), Ceramics China (Guangzhou, May 30), and Tecnargilla (Rimini, 24-28 September).