There are many different ways that concrete can be cooled. In some cases it is enough to add ice and chilled water, but in others you actually have to cool the aggregates using special technology from manufacturers like Semco. There are different methods of cooling aggregates, but let’s take a look at one popular and effective method in today’s article: concrete aggregate cooling with flooded silos.
Effectiveness of Aggregate Cooling
Pouring concrete, especially for large batches, has its risks. Because the hardening of concrete is actually an exothermic chemical reaction, it gives off excess heat. This can cause the concrete to expand, crack and lose tensile strength. That is why it is necessary to cool cement in the first place. Simply using ice water to mix with the cement is not always enough, especially for large-pour projects.
Aggregate cooling is effective because it cools the granular materials that are mixed in with the cement mix and water. When these materials are cooled before the mixing process, it actually reduces the issues that can arise due to the heat. The mixture starts off cooler, so it doesn’t get as hot. You want to make sure that your cement is very cool.
Benefits of Flooded Silos
When you use aggregate cooling by water, it typically takes a lot of space and equipment. You have to have a conveyor belt to flood, so that the aggregates can get cooled. You then have to have a water removal process and a settling tank. That can take up a lot of space, and depending on your situation, you may not have that amount of space for cooling.
The flooded silo method is beneficial because it doesn’t require as much space. You have silos that your aggregate is stored in anyway, and then you just flood the silo. Typically you want to have at least two silos, so that one can be flooded while another is being drained. Everything happens in that silo from the flooding to the water removal to the settling. It doesn’t take up a lot of space.
How Does It Work?
When you do a lot of large-pour projects, you have to have an effective way to cool your aggregates. Aggregate cooling with Semco flooded silos allows you to pre-cool a large quantity of aggregates. Your aggregates start in silos, which are then flooded with ice cold water. The water is recirculated through the silos after it goes through a sediment basin. This basin catches mud, and gets the water ready to be reintroduced to the aggregates.
Once the aggregates have been completely removed from the water, they are ready to be added to the cement mixture. Now the aggregates are cooler, which means that the overall mixture is going to give off less heat.
Getting the Technology
Finding a reliable, durable and innovative cooling system is important. You don’t want to spend money on something that isn’t going to work. Thankfully Semco is committed to helping our clients get exactly the technology that they need. Our commitment to customer satisfaction and quality means that we only provide systems that are industry-leading and dependable. Talk with a representative today to find out what system would be best for your company.