polab® Cal - The first fully automated isothermal calorimeter
The ultimate target in many thermal processes is a product of a certain reactivity or energy content. Chemistry and mineralogy are well known to monitor the stability of processes; however, reactivity can only be anticipated from chemical and mineralogical data. Reactivity can be quantified by measuring heat release over time. A classic example is the heat of hydration of cement. thyssenkrupp has partnered with Calmetrix to pioneer a new field of laboratory automation: the integration of a calorimeter in automated product quality control closes a gap between process and product quality control.
Laboratory automation system or stand-alone unit in R&D and product development
polab® Cal is the first automated calorimetry system that can be fully integrated into polab® laboratory automation systems, or used as a stand-alone unit in R&D and product development. polab® Cal samples are prepared and analysed fully automatically by adjusting binder composition, adjusting w/c ratio, mixing samples, introducing samples into the calorimeter (I-Cal Flex; Calmetrix®), and automated data evaluation. polab® Cal is a modular unit able to operate single or multiple calorimeters. Samples are processed along a time scale based on available free channels in the calorimeters, and according to prioritisation of the user. Spot samples can replace composite samples to correlate reactivity and chemistry and mineralogy results of individual samples in the process control.
polab® Cal – advantages at a glance
Highly reproducible automated mixing procedures
Very fast and accurate sample preparation with proven visibility of initial peak
Reactivity data is available in less than 60 minutes, and measurements can be extended according to requirements
In an air-conditioned housing, all materials and the calorimeter are maintained at an ideal temperature
24/7 operation to increase throughput and asset utilisation
Integrated data evaluation package with predefined mathematical routines
polab® Cal at the kiln improves maintains consistent clinker quality, polab® Cal at the cement mill facilitates optimised separator operations and reduced clinker content in cement. Overall, an optimised specific cost of clinker and cement
Breakthrough in digital process control and of construction material development
polab® Cal analyses calorimetry curves with predefined or user-implemented mathematical routines. Automated data evaluation supersedes traditional visual inspection of calorimetry curves relative to each other. Calorimetry results can be correlated with analyses from the laboratory automation system or a LIMS database. In the cement industry, the user can tune reactivity targets of clinker and cementitious products to improved consistency and market requirements, while simultaneously reducing the costs of the clinker production process.
polab® Cal is controlled via commercial PLC units and proprietary software for data analysis and storage. Applications for polab® Cal are cement plants, research centres, cement admixture developments, and binder application. polab® Cal represents a breakthrough in digital process control and construction material development.