The Monitor

Production Process Insights

Solid Advice: What You Need to Know About Sampling Cement

Posted by Sentry Equipment on 8/6/19 2:23 PM


Portland cement is a type of cement used in virtually all concrete. It’s manufactured by heating lime, silica, alumina, iron and other materials at high temperatures. The resulting substance is a marble-like ball called “clinker” that is ground, mixed with limestone and gypsum, and used to create concrete. Concrete is a combination of sand and gravel or crushed stone that’s mixed with water and cement; all of which have a major impact on wear and tear of your equipment.

Hazards of cement on sampling equipment

Concrete and cement can be sampled in many forms – slurry, liquid, powder, clinker, slag and finished cement – to ensure product quality and safety. Typical sampling points include raw and finished product, load-out and custody transfer.

These materials can be especially hard on sampling equipment and plant operators, due to the large and hard particle composition of its components.

  • Additives found in concrete, including alkaline compounds (such as lime), are corrosive to human tissue, while crystalline silica is abrasive to skin and can cause damage to operator lungs, and chromium can cause allergic reactions.
  • Friction can develop between the sampler and walls, which can cause damage to the sampler.
  • Cement and concrete materials are abrasive and can produce large quantities of dust, which can be hazardous to operators.
  • Cement dust wreaks havoc on sampling equipment. It can stick to damp or greased surfaces, causing equipment damage or even failure. When that happens, the dust acts as a paste, making the pieces of equipment stick and wear faster. If equipment gets wet and has dust buildup, the dust can harden into concrete that’s difficult or even impossible to properly remove.
  • If your equipment is exposed to significant amounts of cement dust, you must maintain the equipment more frequently, which can increase overall operating costs.

Designed for reliability and repair

Sampling equipment must work correctly to ensure the safety of operators and the environment. Samplers are an investment that are designed to be repaired and rebuilt when damaged, not thrown away. When kept in good working condition, solid and powder sampling equipment can provide longer up-time and more value.

Cement and concrete plants need to have confidence that their solid and powder samplers are repaired correctly to eliminate downtime and minimize the cost of damaged parts when a sampler is “repaired” by untrained personnel.

Things to consider when repairing cement sampling equipment

It’s important to inspect and repair your equipment on a regular maintenance schedule to keep equipment up to date with the latest and best designs and options.

If your concrete or cement sampling equipment is worn, damaged or not working as it should, it can probably be repaired. When that happens, make sure your equipment service provider offers factory repair service, including:

  • Complete equipment disassembly, inspection and cleaning
  • Service repairs made by professional, factory-trained experts
  • Factory certification and testing of your samplers, minimizing rework and damage to parts caused by untrained maintenance personnel
  • Rebuilds that follow an ISO-approved process, beginning with a thorough cleaning of every component and ending with rigorous testing to ensure quality and performance

With proper care and maintenance, you can keep your cement sampling equipment running smoothly for years to come.

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Topics: Cement, Solids & Powder

Written by Sentry Equipment

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With proven sampling expertise since 1924, Sentry products and services provide business operations the critical insights to optimize process control and product quality. We deliver true representative sampling and analysis techniques to customers around the globe, empowering them to accurately monitor and measure processes for improved production efficiency, output and safety. Standing behind our commitments, we are determined to tackle any application, anywhere.