Malvern Particle Sizer Shines in the Most Demanding Industrial Scenario for Clay Supplier

The success of a novel process interface developed by Malvern Instruments to provide Arciblansa (Alcora, Spain) with on-line particle size analysis has demonstrated the effectiveness of laser diffraction technology as an analytical tool for even the most demanding of wet process applications.

Arciblansa is a leading supplier of atomized clay for porcelain tiles. The process stream being analyzed is a hot, viscous, highly concentrated, pressurized suspension which contains particles that are less than 200 microns in diameter. The analytical solution installed utilizes Malvern’s Insitec technology and includes fully automated sampling and sample preparation steps. Complete particle size distribution data can be generated as frequently as every 30 seconds, 24/7.

Samples are extracted from the process stream using a device similar to a rotating ball valve. Slugs of material are flushed through the valve with water, beginning the dilution process necessary for effective laser diffraction analysis. Two sequential diluent powered diluters, designed using CFD, are used to reduce the concentration of the suspension further.

This gradual dilution process avoids shocking the suspension and delivers a representative sample to the measurement zone of the analyzer. Following analysis, the diluent used is recycled to the process, together with the sample. The ability of the system to operate over prolonged periods without blocking is indicative of the effectiveness of the design approach adopted.

With such equipment in place, the plant can now produce every batch right first time. This continuous and optimal process control has resulted in substantial energy and time savings and has enabled the company to manufacture to the highest quality criteria.

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