Elevating quality and consistency at River Aggregates

By |  November 20, 2019
An Ultra Sand Plant, Hydrosizer and Separators are now in the plant arsenal at River Aggregates’ site in Cleveland, Texas. Photo courtesy of McLanahan

An Ultra Sand Plant, Hydrosizer and Separators are now in the plant arsenal at River Aggregates’ site in Cleveland, Texas. Photo courtesy of McLanahan

River Aggregates has been supplying sand and gravel products to producers in the Houston, Beaumont and east Texas markets since 2011.

The company has two sand and gravel operations: one in Conroe, Texas, and another in Cleveland, Texas. The Rye Plant in Cleveland includes 1,300 acres of coarse sand and gravel that’s perfect to make concrete sand. The deposit, which has been determined to yield 60 percent concrete sand and 40 percent fine sand after the removal of 5 to 8 percent gravel, has a lifespan of about 20 years.

The challenge

When River Aggregates sought to develop its Rye site, company leaders considered processing equipment options that would provide them with the best concrete sand product for customers.

“We knew technology was out there that would make a better product,” says Carl Davis, managing partner of River Aggregates.

River Aggregates, which has utilized McLanahan classifying tanks and screw washers in Conroe, knew McLanahan had the equipment necessary to make the sharp cuts required for concrete sand.

“We knew McLanahan was a leader in the industry with Hydrosizer technology,” Davis says. “So we started our conversations with them and their sales and engineering group, and came to the conclusion they had what we were looking for.”

The solution

Settling solids meet a rising current of water inside the Hydrosizer, causing a hydraulically fluidized, or “teeter,” bed to form. Photo courtesy of McLanahan

Settling solids meet a rising current of water inside the Hydrosizer, causing a hydraulically fluidized, or “teeter,” bed to form. Photo courtesy of McLanahan

McLanahan designed and developed a round Hydrosizer plant to maximize the coarse fraction of the feed, then allowed River Aggregates to blend the fine fraction in as needed to make the in-spec C-33 concrete sand.

After the sand, gravel and water slurry is pumped from the pond via a dredge to the primary scalping plant for oversize and clay removal, it enters the sump of the Hydrosizer module. From the sump, the slurry is pumped to a pair of Hydrocyclones to remove excess fines. The product-sized material exits the hydrocyclones into an entry well that feeds the slurry to the Hydrosizer.

Inside the Hydrosizer, the settling solids meet a rising current of water, causing a hydraulically fluidized, or “teeter,” bed to form. Coarser particles pass through the teeter bed and discharge via the Hydrosizer underflow to a dewatering screen, which removes excess moisture in preparation for stockpiling.

The finer particles are collected in the overflow launder of the Hydrosizer and flumed to the feed sump of the Ultra Sand Plant, where they are then pumped to a bank of Separators. The Separators remove excess fines and discharge the material onto a dewatering screen for moisture removal before stockpiling.

“We knew that moving to a Hydrosizer – new technology – was going to be a learning curve for us,” Davis says. “McLanahan has done a great job of understanding what we want to do and helping us design and develop the plant that we know will do what we want in making concrete sand.”

The results

River Aggregates leaders were determined to find a concrete sand plant that produced a high-quality, consistent product. Photo courtesy of McLanahan

River Aggregates leaders were determined to find a concrete sand plant that produced a high-quality, consistent product. Photo courtesy of McLanahan:

With the Hydrosizer plant, River Aggregates is now able to offer a better quality product to its customers.

“We determined early on that when we developed a new plant for processing and making concrete sand, we wanted something that was going to give us a better quality product and a more consistent product, and the Hydrosizer plant does that for us,” Davis says.

“The Hydrosizer makes a very consistent, very good quality sand,” he adds. “With a better product and a more consistent product, we feel like that gives us a competitive edge with our competitors, and we can provide our customers with a better product.”

The Hydrosizer provides extremely sharp classification and allows the operator to have tight control over the product.

“One of the things I like about the Hydrosizer plant is that it is very easy to adjust the cut of sand,” Davis says. “There are always going to be variables in your deposit, and you want a plant that you can adjust easily to account for those variables and continue to make a good quality product.”

While concrete sand is its primary product, the Ultra Sand Plant allows River Aggregates to keep the fine sand particles out of its settling ponds and produce a fine sand product the company can sell.

“It’s important for us to capture all of the fine sand we can that comes through the plant,” Davis says. “Our philosophy is: If we can put it into a stockpile, we may not sell it today but we have an opportunity to sell it tomorrow.”

Davis has been pleased with the reliability of the Hydrosizer plant and Ultra Sand Plant since they were installed.

“What I like about this plant is today I can walk in here, I turn it on, it runs,” he says. “It makes sand every day.”


Information for this article courtesy of McLanahan Corp.


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