Asphalt is one of those things we use nearly every day and rarely think about unless it’s in repair or needs to be. But where would we be without it? And behind the scenes, the Asphalt Plants and Industrial Fans pave the way to building our roads and highways.
Asphalt plants often require several industrial fans. The fans serve the vital purpose of drying and heating, as well as controlling emissions. A combustion fan helps heat and dry the aggregate, and an induced draft (ID) fan helps minimize waste and pollution.
The fans can also play a role in keeping the plant up and running (or not). Road construction is hard physical work, and it’s not any easier on fans. Robust fan construction with regular fan maintenance is necessary for reliable asphalt plant operation. Testing and correction of vibration levels can minimize fan impeller and bearing failures, and having spare fan parts on hand can greatly reduce downtime, keeping the asphalt on the road to the highways.
The Nitty Gritty of Asphalt Plants
There are two primary types of asphalt plants – batch mix and drum mix (also known as a continuous mix plant.) Batch and drum asphalt plants essentially dry an aggregate mixture of sand and rock and mix it with hot asphalt cement or bitumen.
Batch Asphalt Plant
The batch asphalt plant moves the aggregate through a dryer, and stores it until a “batch” amount is reached. It is then emptied into a pug mill, where it is mixed with the hot asphalt cement and sent to the construction site for immediate use.
Drum or Continuous Mix Asphalt Plant
The drum mix plant also moves the aggregate through a dryer, but it mixes the hot asphalt cement with the aggregate while still in the rotary drum dryer. This allows for increased and faster production, as it combines the two processes into one.
Industrial Fans Hit the Road Running
Both types of asphalt plants use industrial fans in the drying/heating process and in controlling emissions. A combustion fan used with a burner heats and dries the aggregate. A baghouse system minimizes waste and pollution by collecting fine sand and dust as the asphalt pavement is created, using an induced draft or ID fan to suck the sand and dust through the baghouse collectors and return these particles to the mix.
At AirPro, we are happy to help asphalt plants and industrial fans build more roads and highways with our on-site service. We provided an overview of how it all comes together in this 2½ minute video.
Related Content: Industrial Process Fans
There are many factors to consider in every industrial fan application. We’ve seen it all. Here are two more articles and videos that might be of interest as you think about your application:
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