Process control & Clinker Quality Monitoring through Mineralogical and Micro-structural indices

Process control and quality monitoring are most important functions  in the cement manufacturing process. The process & Quality parameters of importance could be Raw Mix proportion, fineness and homogeneity of kiln feed,  burnability characteristics, quality and type of fuels used, burning conditions, temperature profile, cooling conditions and many others etc.

In general chemical composition was being used as a major input for the evaluations of materials and for the quality monitoring of raw materials, clinker and Cements. However mineralogy and microstructure of raw material (limestone) & clinker have a very significant role in product quality and product performances.

Quantitative estimation of mineralogical phase assemblages of clinker is a very important parameter in the quality of clinker.  Microscopic techniques can be used effectively to monitor and control the clinker mineralogy and phase developments. There are many mineralogical and micro-structural parameters which can be used as diagnostic tool for assessing the process conditions and quality aspects of Cement Clinker. These Micro-structural features are imprints of the pyro-processing and cooling conditions experienced by the clinker and finally determine the clinker grindability and reactivity.

At the authors labs these process and quality imprints in the clinker have been defined in terms of Textural & Morphological Properties such as Homogeneity index, Linear density of clusters and Mean chord length, diffusion distance etc  are used  to characterize quantitatively the distribution of clinker phases and its textural homogeneity.

This paper discusses how effectively the various mineralogical parameters and microstructural indices can be utilized for the diagnostic evaluations of the industrial clinkers and for process control and quality monitoring in Cement manufacturing process. The Paper was presented and Published at 14th NCB Int Seminar

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