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Industry

Cements

Particle size affects strength, development, transportation, quality and drying time of cement powders. Laser diffraction has emerged as the new sizing method in cement industry and competes with traditional methods. Current laser diffraction users in cement industry use both wet (alcohol) and dry laser diffraction analysis. Both methods, depending on their preference produce results that are in excellent agreement with each other. Another method to asses the strength of cement is by measuring the surface area. Gas sorption (both adsorption and desorption) at the clean surface of cement is the most popular method for determining their surface area and powders pore size distribution.

There are many stages in cement production that need size characterization. Figure 1 shows a typical cement production process. The most important size measurement is for the final product. The largest contribution to cement strength comes from particles smaller than 30µm,while particles smaller than 10µm contribute to the early stage and 10-30µm contributes to the later stage in the hardening process. Generally speaking, the more particles between 3-30µm, the better the cement quality is. The industry generally favors the size distributions where 60-70% of particles are in the range of 3-32µm and 10%-20% are smaller than 3µm. In the grinding process, over grinding will be at high costs and yield too many particles smaller than 3µm that in turn will produce too much heat during solidification, too fast sedimenting, and too many cracks. On the other hand, under grinding will result in too many larger particles that in turn will prolong solidification time and reduce strength.
 
cement manufacturing process diagram

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LS 13 320 MW - thumb

LS 13 320 Multi-Wavelength

A laser diffraction instrument for dry/wet samples with PIDS or Tornado technologies

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