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Protect what keeps us warm

Kalenborn’s wear protection solutions are also needed in Northern regions. At the plant of Estonia’s leading producer of shale oil, oil shale is separated to produce shale oil and shale gas.

The raw materials which are obtained are required to produce fuel for households. Shale oil is also a popular fuel used by ships sailing in the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. The company produces more than 250,000 tonnes of shale oil per year. More than two million tonnes of oil shale are processed to produce this quantity of oil. This is a complicated process – resulting in challenges for wear protection.

The plant grinds wet oil shale around the clock and guides the rock via conveyor belts into a flash dryer where it predries. The fine-grained, dried oil shale is then blown at high speed and in air at a temperature of 800 degrees through a riser pipe up into laterally adjacent cyclones. At this level, the moist air escapes while the dry oil shale is discharged downwards in the cyclone.

The issue of wear protection in the flash dryer had hitherto largely been ignored. As a result, the plant components were sensitive and only had short service lives. Already in 2013, the company asked Kalenborn to develop specific wear protection solutions for the plant parts with a wide range of different geometries and operating conditions. These solutions were intended above all to guarantee long service lives for the components. With a wide range of wear protection materials manufactured internally and many years of experience in this field, Kalenborn was able to offer the right solution. Kalenborn installed a lining system comprising KALSICA-N and KALCOR-S offering outstanding resistance to abrasion at high temperatures and high thermal shock resistance in the lower heating section of the flash dryer. In the middle section, ABRESIST and KALMETALL-W were used due to the shape of the riser pipe. In order to improve the impact strength, the engineers from Kalenborn employed a structure comprising KALMETALL-W and 100 mm thick KALSICA-N bars in the upper section of the distributor. The cyclones were also lined with KALMETALL-W100. The plant was able to start operating the same year.

The adapted wear protection solutions from Kalenborn met the customer’s expectations. Two further plants were lined in 2014 and 2015. The longer service life now enables the company to manufacture products efficiently and reliably.