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Report - Shoreham Cement Works (Feb 2011)

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by TiDy, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. TiDy

    TiDy 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 2, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I know this location has been well covered and explored by members but I
    really wanted to get out there and have a look for myself seeing as it looks so impressive
    from the outside and from the fine pics of previous visiting members.

    I’ve added some info loosely based on each picture to add a little
    more background information but if your eyelids start drooping
    with the technical jizz, apologies and feel free to just stick to the pics.

    The quarry dates back to around the early 1850,s
    and cement manufacture goes back to just before
    the last century. Ceased production in the nineties
    and is now used for plant storage and logistical distribution.


    Materials from the quarry are blasted and transported
    to the crushers which usually consists of a two stage system,
    from sofa sized rocks to basketball-sized until finally into
    gravel. The crushers on this site are located further in,
    near the quarry mouth and the building is very exposed
    hence access is quite difficult, which is a shame as it’s
    supposed to be very impressive.


    From there, the material is transported by conveyor up and
    into the left side of the main building where it goes through
    some sorting, blending and further size reduction on large
    grinding wheels, the gear below is from that assembly and
    apparently weighs just under thirty tonnes.


    The material now enters the pre-heating tower, its more
    efficient for this stuff to be pretty hot before it enters the
    kiln so it doesn’t disrupt the kilns steady operating temperature.
    The pre-heaters are powered from excess heat drawn from the
    kilns so another example of efficient manufacturing, and also a
    delicate balance of juggling the settings of the two massive components.



    The material now enters the kilns. These are double layered,
    fire-brick insulated and slowly turn between 2-4 times a minute
    depending. They have securing tyres at determined lengths
    of the shaft and sit on rollers that are powered by a motor drive.
    The balancing of the kilns is such that when power is cut they
    swing pendulum-style a few times before coming to rest.


    The tyres around the kiln have to be “chairedâ€￾ from the main
    drums to avoid absorbing too much heat that could cause
    contraction between the tyre and the roller it sits on.


    These holding tablets are dampers attached to the underside
    of the kiln tyre. Obviously anything this size and weight if it
    started vibrating would start doing big damage very quickly ,
    so these concrete weights are designed to reduce that,
    so essentially are big shock absorbers. Been told that each
    ringlet was one tonne in weight, but don’t quote me on that.


    As the material is driven further along the kiln by the slight
    decline in angle and being pushed by new material coming
    in from the pre-heaters. Passing through steadily hotter
    zones turns the material into a semi molten state and
    changes its chemical composition.


    The control room, was the heart and pinnacle of responsibility of the whole operation.
    The biggest risk to the kilns was power outage that stopped them from turning
    and because of the differing temperature between the top-side and bottom-side from
    the superhot material, would cause them to warp and buckle on their rollers, turning
    them to expensive bits of elevated scrap metal. Therefore, there was significant
    back up diesel generators that would kick in to prevent this, which could only turn them
    very slowly, due to the huge torque needed, but enough to avoid permanent damage.


    Modern kilns of today, have infrared cameras monitoring the entire kiln, to identify any
    abnormal heat blooms that could spell problems, though doubt they had anything like
    that when these things were running.. or is that rolling.


    The flame burners are powered by either coal or natural gas and send a flame through
    the lower end of the kiln with a temperature up to three thousand degrees F, around
    a third of the reported surface temperature of the sun.


    Once cooked the material becomes “clinkerâ€￾ and exits the lower level of the kiln and transferred to huge coolers.

    From there, heat is taken out of the material (and transferred for efficiency back to the pre-heaters) through blowers.
    Then the material is transferred to a Ball mill, basically a huge drum that looks similar to the kiln that turns and has loads
    of steel balls in to mash it up into a fine powder.

    Then transferred next door to the holding silos for eventual bagging. The gasses and other nasties emitted
    through the heating process, are passed through a set of scrubbers before going up the stack.


    Just below this picture was an access hole to a room sized chamber directly beneath the stack,
    but there was nothing of interest in there except three drainpipe looking flues poking out the ceiling.
    This concludes the physics lesson, again apologies if this caused anyone to zone out, just thought it
    would be interesting to label, identify and therefore recognise things that future explorers may see at the place.


    The remainder shots are just what was left over.






    The steel ladders have been cut away to prevent access to the upper levels of the main building,
    but a couple are still easily found.





    Finally, many thanks for looking.

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