Red rivers of segregation
This month’s Technical Forum ponders the tendency of particulate solids to segregate at various stages of the cement manufacturing process with critical implications, especially in the clinker cooler.
As this month’s Technical Forum focusses on the phenomenon of segregation in the cement manufacturing process, let’s start with a definition of segregation. The Oxford English Dictionary states that segregation is: “The action or state of setting someone or something apart from others” – ie, the separation of people, or separation of objects. It is this separation of objects within a material that we encounter in the cement manufacturing process. Other sources state that the separation of objects can be an enrichment of a material constituent at a free surface or an internal interface of a material, the tendency of particulate solids to segregate by size, density, shape and other properties, or magnetic-activated cell sorting, a method for separation of various cell populations depending on their surface antigens.