Materials Conveyed: Zircon (CMZ)
Type of Conveying System(s):Batch Dense Phase , Ball Mill Unloading
Customer:Saint Gobain, Corhart Refractories | Buchannon, WV

The Challenge

The Saint Gobain Plant in Buchannon, WV has 2 ball mills that they use to condition Zircon (CMZ). The ball mills drop the conditioned Zircon into a series of screw conveyors which then transported the material into a process bin where it was used in their ceramic manufacturing process. The screw conveyors posed a number of issues, but the most pressing was the release of hazardous dust leaking from the screw conveying system. Because of the volume of dust leaking from the screw conveyor system, operators wore full chemical suits and air respirators to insure their health and safety. Also, due to the abrasive nature of the material, the screw conveying system was a constant maintenance and production downtime issue.

The Solution

To eliminate the dust release caused by the leaking screw conveyor system, two JDB Dense Flow Dense Phase conveying systems were installed (one system under each of the ball mills). The Dense Phase systems are fully enclosed and create zero dust release during normal operation, eliminating the need for operators to protect themselves with suits or respirators. The Dense Phase systems featured a proprietary Dense Flow Air Control System which minimizes wasted energy, lowers conveying velocity, and features touch screen displays on the electric control panels that allow operators to monitor the systems, as well as make on the fly changes to the conveying system settings. Each Dense Phase system is capable of conveying 7,500 #/hr. of material approximately 100’ in total distance. In addition to the Dense Phase systems, a Dense Flow Compact Bin Vent was installed to vent the receiving bin that the material was being conveyed into. The high efficiency rating of the cartridges within the Dense Flow Compact Bin Vent insured operators were safe from harmful dust.


The JDB Dense Flow Dense Phase conveying systems installed at the Saint Gobain - Buchannon, WV facility allowed operators to work safely and eliminated the need to wear protective clothing or air respirators. In addition to improving the air quality, the Dense Phase systems improved the ball mill material transfer systems reliability over the existing screw conveying system. The low material velocity and minimal moving parts within each Dense Phase system has also decreased the plants downtime, and maintenance costs which in turn has helped to increase production and overall profits.

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