Cement and lime raw materials are an integral part of their respective manufacturing processes. The chemical and physical characteristics of the raw materials, together with their spatial variation in the ground, determine not only their extraction, but the design of the plant itself, from stockpiling and blending through to the kiln system and product milling. Throughout the world, considerable financial investments in the cement industry are not generating the returns which they should, because the initial raw materials exploration and assessment was not to the necessary standard.
Variation in quality, blockages in the kiln system, excessive wear on refractories, even air setting of the cement, can frequently be found to have been caused by the raw materials. It is not uncommon for costly engineering solutions to be proposed for such problems. Analysis of the raw materials and their method of extraction and blending can often solve such problems at a fraction of the cost. Not only should the limestone, siliceous and argillaceous components be considered, but also the fuel and the gypsum, these also being raw materials in the context of the finished cement.
Thirty five years experience working for the cement industry all over the world, allows the independent consultancy Jefferson Consulting Limited, to apply unrivalled experience of the industry and its raw materials to the problems encountered in the manufacture of cement and lime. This experience is relevant, not only to modern high technology cement works, but also to alternative technology plant and mini cement works. Technology transfer to developing countries, helping to provide building materials on a local scale, is considered to be an important aspect of the work of the consultancy.