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3 Years Experience with an IKN Pendulum Cooler at Union Cement Company, Ras

Al Khaima, United Arab Emirates

By
Tor Gautestad, Works Manager, Union Cement Company
Mirko Koehler, IKN GmbH

Introduction
In the North of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE large limestone deposits are found.
The limestone mountains rise from the sea up to an altitude of 2087 m. They extend from
the outside of Ras Al Khaimah town to the picturesque Musandan peninsula directly at
the straight of Hormuz. High quality limestone is exported, even as far as Australia, and
four Cement Producers utilize this resource, including one White Cement Producer.
Union Cement Company (UCC) was the first Cement Company established in the United
Arab Emirates in 1972. UCC is a publicly listed company; its shareholders include the
Government of Ras Al Khaimah as well as private entities.
Production started in 1975 with two long dry kiln lines by IHI, Japan each with a rated
capacity of 725 t/d. A third line with a 4 stage pre-heater, pre-calciner kiln and an initial
capacity of 1500 t/d was built in 1979 as well by IHI.
Since the start of operations, the management of UCC was contracted to Scancem now
part of by Heidelberg Cement.

Fig. 1: UCC Cement Works, Line #3

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Upgrading of Line #3:
The gradual increase in cement demand in the UAE required higher clinker outputs. Part
of the necessary plant improvements was the upgrading of kiln line #3.

The capacity of line #3 was gradually increased to 1,800 t/d and the existing
conventional clinker cooler became the bottleneck of the pyro line.

Originally design features of the existing conventional Cooler:


• Capacity: 1,500 t/d
• Aerated grate area: 48 m²
• Grate loading: 31.25 t/m²*d
• Crusher: Hammer Crusher
• Spillage transport: Internal Drag Chain
• Installed Cooling air: 3.5 Nm³/kg
• Housing width: 4.2 m

Fig. 2: Backend of the existing clinker cooler

Limitations of the Babcock Hitachi Cooler:


• High maintenance requirements due to frequent grate plate changes
• Production loss due to frequent unscheduled cooler stops
• Low cooler efficiency
• High maintenance and operational cost on the down stream gravel bed filter due to
high dust load and exhaust air amount
• High clinker outlet temperature of 160 - 180 °C

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In view of the need to overcome these limitations together with the envisaged capacity
increase above nominal by almost 50 % to 2,200 t/d UCC decided in 2001 to replace the
clinker cooler. The result of the evaluation process by UCC was the selection of the IKN
Pendulum Cooler, to be installed into the existing housing. The clinker transport system
had sufficient reserves and could be reused.
IKN’s design work had to focus on fitting the pendulum grate into the limits of the existing
cooler housing without moving the discharge point to the clinker conveyor. The features
of the IKN scope of supply included
• KIDS:
The fixed inlet spreads the clinker over the entire width of the following grate and
prepares the clinker bed for best air permeability by lifting the fines to the bed
surface.
• Pendulum grate:
The grate area consists of Coanda nozzles, generating horizontal air jets for an
air saturated clinker bed resulting in high efficiency and low clinker exit
temperature. The suspension of the movable grate structure realized with the
patented IKN wear free pendulum suspension.
• Single grate drive with Hydraulic Power Pack:
The movable grate section is driven by one hydraulic cylinder located underneath
the fixed inlet. The hydraulic power pack consists of two pumps with motors, of 22
kW each, where one pump is in operation with the second pump is a back-up unit.
The system is designed for a maximum grate speed of 15 spm while the speed at
full production is only 9 spm. The sizing of the pump benefits of the high transport
efficiency of the suspended IKN grate above 80%. At the UCC plant, this results
in a power requirement for the clinker transport on the grate of 0.21 kWh/tclinker.
• Roll Crusher:
The roll crusher is located at the cold end of the cooler with a roller speed of 5
rpm. Each roll is driven by an electric gear motor with 11 kW. Compared to the
existing hammer crusher, operationally security is gained, since large lumps will
not cause blockages or crusher overloads. Furthermore, the dust load in the
exhaust air is reduced as well as the maintenance costs. Due to the low rate of
wear, the crushing rings match the service life of the grate surface. Refacing of
the crushing edges on the rings is possible.
• PHD (pneumatic hopper drainage)
The existing internal drag chain was replaced. IKN installed a new compartment
floor and added 14 discharge points, each equipped with one PHD unit. Clinker
fall through is limited in size and amount and removal is realized by pneumatic
conveying.
Compared with an internal drag chain a better sealing of the under grate
compartments is achieved. Conveying air for the PHD is supplied by cooling fan
#2 at an operational pressure of approx. 80 mbar. No additional equipment is
required.

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• Heat Shield
The hydraulically driven heat shield is located at row #22 (neutral point at row
#19). It separates the bright hot zone of the cooler from the cold back end. Losses
due to radiation will be minimized and the cooler and kiln process is stabilized.

Fig. 3: Cross section of the Pendulum Cooler

Design features of the Pendulum Cooler:


Throughput: 2200 t/d
Grate width: 3.0 m
Grate length: KIDS 7 rows
Grate 44 rows
Aerated surface: 48.7 m²
Grate loading: 45.2 t/m² day
Installed fans: 6 pcs, 2 existing fans reused, 4 new fans
Crusher: Roll Crusher, 3 rolls, 11 kW each, 3.0 m wide
Installed cooling air: 2.00 Nm³/kg clinker
Clinker outlet Temperature: 65°C + Ambient
Kiln heat consumption: 860 kcal/kg
Cooler efficiency: 74.5 %

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Erection
In August 2002, the project was executed turnkey whereby the local erection was carried
out with a Dubai based contractor Petron. The demolition of the original cooler internals,
civil works; mechanical and electrical erection together with the refractory work and cold
commissioning took place within a timeframe of 32 days (flame off to flame on).

Fig. 4: Extension of housing and preparation of roll crusher support

Fig. 5: New mobile frame in the existing Cooler housing

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Cooler Operation
The cooler went into operation without problems and nominal production of 2100 was
reached within days. Right from the start-up there was no doubt about te increase in
production rate of the kiln line. The convincing performance figures are still maintained
today as shown in table 2.
The grate is operated at a speed of 9 spm which results in continuous operation with a
clinker bed depth of 550 mm. Further increase in bed depth is restricted by the high
portion of fines in the clinker (40 % < 4mm), which limits a uniform air distribution at
deeper bed depths. The performance figures are summarized in table 2.

During the first year of operation, the cooler experienced one unscheduled stop of 3
hours which was caused by a malfunction of a motorized inlet vane damper of a
compartment cooling fan. Since this has been the only unscheduled shutdown since
start-up in 2002, the cooler availability is above benchmark at > 99 %.

It is worth mentioning that the project goal of decreased dust emission was achieved
through the significant decrease in exhaust air volume and increased stability in cooler
operation. Additionally, the reduced dust generation within roll crusher lowered the dust
load to the gravel bed filter and hence increasing the availability of the filter in line with
the cooler.

The replacement of the gravel bed filter with a new bag filter, as planned earlier, was
therefore not required anymore.

Before After After


Modification Commissioning 3 years
October 02 September 05
Kiln Throughput [t/d] 1800 2130 2000
Grate Loading [t/m2*d] 36.7 43.8 41.0
Outlet Clinker Temperature [°C a.A.] 148 85 65
Cooling air [Nm³/kg] 2.50 1.80 2.00
Tertiary air Temperature [°C] 758 935 941
Secondary air Temperature [°C] 861 1007 1008
Cooler efficiency [%] 65.1 77.0 75.5
Kiln heat consumption [kcal/kg] 915 858 860
Vent air Temperature [°C] 225 255 234
Table 2: History of cooler performance

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Maintenance
In addition to the high cooler availability, UCC reports that the maintenance requirements
are greatly below the anticipated budget. The main benefit is attributed to the long wear
life of the Conada nozzles. During the first three years of operation, the cooler grate
surface did not require maintenance. The blades of the Coanda Nozzles still show all four
wear indicators as shown in the close up below. Minor maintenance work was required
for the scheduled re-facing of the crusher rolls. This could be performed by the in-house
maintenance team through hard facing of the rings, which work is scheduled within a two
year intervals.
Until now, zero (!) maintenance expenses have been recorded for the grate surface,
hydraulic power pack, cooling fans and PHD system. This is a remarkable result that
contributes greatly to the low operating cost of the cooler.

Fig.6: Grate surface in September 2005 after 3 years operation; General view and close up

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Fig. 7: KIDS in September 2005 showing no wear after 3 year operation

Economic Outlook
The investment activity of the cement producers in the Gulf region on the one hand is
fueled by an optimistic demand outlook, and, on the other hand, is still influenced by past
experience, since regional growth rates are still linked to the level of oil prices.

Based on this background, UCC recognized the need for new production capacity and
towards the end of 2004 decided to install a new production line with lowest possible
production cost to ensure long term viability of the project past the present building boom.
The new kiln line has a capacity of 10,000 t/d. Project responsibility is with CBMEC from
China, building on the most modern and efficient components of their project partners.

10,000 t/d IKN Pendulum Cooler for line #4


The very good results of the IKN Pendulum Cooler of line #3 at UCC and the positive
experience of IKN with large capacity coolers in Korea and Thailand led to the logical
decision to select an IKN cooler for line 4.

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Line #4 Cooler Design:
Grate width: 6.8 m
Grate length: KIDS 10 rows
Grate 95 rows
Aerated surface: 229 m²
Grate loading: 43.9 t/m² day
Installed fans: 12 pcs
Crusher: Roll Crusher, 6 rolls, 15 kW each, 4.8 m wide
Installed cooling air: 1.95 Nm³/kg clinker
Clinker outlet Temperature: 65°C + Ambient
Kiln heat consumption: 720 kcal/kg
Cooler efficiency: 74.5 %

Fig. 8: IKN’s 10,000 t/d Pendulum Cooler at UCC Kiln #4

Line 4 is now under construction and the installation of the IKN clinker cooler is
scheduled to start early 2006 with commissioning in September 2006.

In comparison to the cooler of line 3, the 10,000 t/d cooler has one central drive point
consisting of two hydraulic cylinders. They will be installed underneath the fixed inlet,
which makes them accessible during operation. The size of entire line requires a tertiary
take-off from the cooler housing, which will be realized with two separate tertiary air ducts
in order to achieve low secondary and tertiary air velocities together with a low dust
return rate.

The IKN Pendulum Cooler selected for the 10,000 t/d new line of Union Cement will be
the largest clinker line in operation in the Middle East.

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Design Features of the 10,000 t/d cooler
Wear parts such as the Coanda nozzles will be interchangeable with the existing IKN
cooler of line #3. However, the following technical improvements - developed by IKN
since 2002 – are included in the design of the new 10,000 t/d cooler.

1. Linear Pendulum System


The Linear Pendulum System (LPS) enables a quasi linear movement of the mobile
rows while keeping the advantage of the maintenance free pendulum suspension.
The LPS is integrated in the cooler housing for easy installation.

Fig. 9: LPS System installed in the Cooler Housing

2. Coanda nozzles with Mini Blades


Mini Blades create more openings in the grate surface into the clinker bed for a finer
and more uniform aeration, resulting in improved efficiency and clinker cooling.

Fig. 10: IKN Mini Blades with 9 Slots

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Conclusion
The IKN Pendulum Cooler installed in 2002 at Union Cement line #3 has successfully
been in operation for more than 3 years with 99.99% availability and lowest overall
maintenance. Based on these results and confirmed by positive reports from customers
of large kiln lines in Korea and Thailand, UCC decided in favor of IKN for the new clinker
production line. The new cooler will come into operation in September 2006.

The outstanding operating results and lowest operating costs of the IKN coolers in
operation have made IKN the natural choice for many of the new kiln lines in the Middle
East. For the projects in the Arabian Peninsula currently under construction or design, the
IKN Pendulum Cooler has a market share of more than 50 % at the time of writing this
paper, having been selected in 7 of the last 12 projects awarded.

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