At the mine…

Locating-and-Evaluating-Resources-for-Mining

Locating and Evaluating Resources for Mining

Areas to be mined are mapped and drill holes sampled for quality testing.
Topsoil Stockpiling for Future Restoration

Topsoil Stockpiling for Future Restoration

Topsoil and organic matter are removed from the surface and stockpiled for post mining reclamation.
Extracting Ore with Precision

Extracting Ore with Precision

The ore is extracted with excavation equipment according to an open pit mine plan.
Perlite Crushing and Transportation

Perlite Crushing and Transportation

Perlite ore is crushed to an initial size at the quarry site and then hauled by truck to the processing plant.

At the ORE PROCESSING location…

01 Drying

Perlite ore is further reduced in size and sent through a rotary kiln dryer at 120 – 175°C (200 – 350°F) to drive off “free” moisture on the exterior of each particle.

Benefit:

The drying process is carefully controlled to keep from overheating the ore and driving off the “combined” moisture which allows the perlite to expand when heated to final temperature.

02 Sizing

The dried ore is crushed and processed through a series of screens with successively smaller openings, sorting it into various grades and sizes.

Benefit:

The ore may then be blended to meet customer specifications.

03 Loading

Delivery vehicles are inspected prior to loading to ensure they are clean, dry and contamination free.

Benefit:

A load sample is analyzed to ensure it conforms to specifications.

At the expansion facility…

01

In-Transit

Ore is transported by truck, rail or ocean-going vessels to the expansion location.
02

Ore Delivery

Oftentimes this is a dedicated regional expander specializing in manufacturing expanded perlite products. (In the case of cryogenic perlite, it may located at a job site where a mobile expansion unit will be used to produce the finished product.)
03

Ore Receiving

Ore received is inspected for size, quality and consistency.
04

Ore Storage

The ore is stored in large silos or bulk storage bins to protect from moisture or contamination.
05

Ore Feed

The ore is then fed into the furnace at a controlled rate via a bulk hopper, conveyor, and bucket elevator system. Various grades or sizes may be combined at this stage to achieve the desired final particle size gradation.
06

Ore Preheating

For larger particle sizes especially, preheat may be added prior to exposure to to the full heat of the furnace.
07

Expanding

The ore particles are fed into the furnace mid-way up the furnace barrel and levitate in a powerful stream of forced hot air heated to 900-1,000°C (1,800-2,000°F) by a combination burner and blower fixture at the base.  Once fully expanded, the particles are light enough to be pulled out of the top of the stack by a fan system at the top which also sends the particles to cooling.
08

Cooling

Finally, the newly expanded perlite particles undergo air classification (cooling and sorting) Once cooled, the particles.
09

Sorting

Once cooled, the particles then pass over a series of screens that further sort them into their finish grades. At times, only a single product is made at a time, whereas at other times, multiple products can come from the same stream.
10

Quality Control

Finished products are sampled and tested for conformance to specifications (particle size distribution and density mainly).
11

Packaging

The sorted particles are then feed into various filling systems for packaging in bags, bulk bags, automatic filling and palletizing systems, or bulk storage and loadout systems.
12

Loading

Once packaged, perlite is swiftly loaded into trucks, containers, or railcars. Our team secures the bags and pallets for safe transit, ensuring every shipment is delivered intact and ready for immediate use in construction, agriculture, or distribution worldwide.

The art and science of expanded perlite

It takes a combination of scientific and engineering know-how, and a skilled and trained workforce to produce consistent products from a continuous product stream as efficiently as possible. Production staff are trained in sampling, and analyzing outputs to ensure standards for quality and specifications are met while minimizing waste and using energy efficiently.
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