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Internal Fuel For Clay Bricks

In brick making, it is the firing technology that gives final shape to the raw product. Thus, it is of utmost importance that special care is given to the processing of raw materials and giving the right shape. Technical problems that brick making units suffer from include low-quality weak bricks; high breakage rate; no standardisation; lack of scientific knowledge; and experience on selective mechanisation to boost quality. Poor quality and high rejection rates are normally due to the selection of inferior clay and faulty production techniques. The use of internal fuel to lower external coal consumption is also relatively unknown. The choice of hollow bricks also significantly reduces fuel consumption without compromising on the overall quality

Mechanised brick-making technology combines the science of mechanised mixing and moulding, while accommodating the use of internal fuels for consistently producing quality green bricks. These types of green bricks can be fired in any technology. This technology ensures high energy savings through reduced coal usage as well as low breakage due to improved quality. The most important advantage is the reduction of dependence on skilled workers, thereby creating local jobs.

Use of internal fuel in brick making

Usage of internal fuel in brick making is based on the premise that incorporating waste materials into brick making process (either as substitutes for fuel, pore-opening or anti-shrinkage materials) can improve the profitability of brick making enterprises. This can also help reduce hazards to labourers and significantly reduce the environmental impact of brick making.

Sponge iron and rice husk as internal fuel

Sponge iron and rice
husk as internal fuel

Mixing process with pugmill

Mixing process with

TARA Brick Mek Super Machine

TARA Brick Mek Super

Many types of domestic, agricultural and industrial wastes have an acceptable heat value and therefore have potential for use in domestic or industrial processes requiring heat. Some waste (e.g. boiler ash, slag, charcoal wastes, rice husks) can be clean-burning and consequently less polluting than conventional fuels such as coal or wood. Certain industrial wastes acts as fluxes, thereby lowering the firing temperature and reducing the energy required to form ceramic bonds in clay mixes. Obviously, this will proportionally reduce fuel use and associated expenses. In the case of bricks typically produced by most South Asian countries, ceramic bonds are seldom formed. What is achieved is sufficient vitrification that demonstrates the necessary and required physical properties. The addition of fluxing materials can therefore aid in this process.

Choice of internal fuels

Any waste material which has a calorific value of more than 1000 KCal/kg can be used as an internal fuel in green brick-making. The use of waste materials in brick-making seeking to reduce external energy consumption should fit certain specifications of the following criteria:

• Type of clay used: plasticity, grain size, vitrification temperature and the phases present

• Type of fuel used: calorific value, grain size and volatility

• Mixing process of internal fuel with soil

• Drying and firing process

The mixing technique

For any usage of internal fuel in soil, manual mixing process cannot be implemented if the desired quality is to be achieved. Uniform mixing is the key to achieving consistency. Experience from India and various countries is clear evidence of this fact. Thus, a combination of mechanised mixing and the correct proportions of internal fuel impart the ultimate desirable properties. In India, various techniques and machines are used in mechanised mixing and moulding.

For mechanized mixing, the following may be used:

• Use of pugmill

• Tractor mixing

For mechanized mixing and moulding various soft mud moulding techniques can be used e.g.

• TARA BrickMek series of machines

• Laxmi Engineering series of machines

Advantages of mechanized internal fuel bricks

Following are the advantages of using mechanized internal fuel brick making technology:

• Can be used in any firing technology

• Reduces external coal consumption by more than 25-60%

• Improves environmental efficiencies by more than 50-70%

• Reduces dependency on skilled moulders and promotes local unskilled employment generation

• Consistent and improved quality product resulting in higher returns

• Low cost technology

• Can be easily integrated into existing brick production system


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