High Temp Dryer Application in Concrete Block and Brick Industry 

Recently, I received a call from a client in the brick and concrete block industry to come out and look at some air quality issues they were having daily. The issue was shutting down production during a very high demand season. They believed their dryer was working but it was not getting the air dry enough. Dry air is critical for their application since they use the air to move powdered materials into forms to create landscape block and bricks, pavers, etc. The moisture in their air was causing the materials to clump together and prevent material from being transferred properly, slowing and sometimes shutting down their production completely. While many industries have slowed production during the Covid-19 pandemic, the brick and block industry is busier than they have ever been. The end user told me that they had sold through one year’s worth of product in three months to the major home improvements stores. Needless to say, they could not afford any hiccups in production.

Once I arrived at the customer’s facility and he took me into the compressor room the root cause was quickly determined. The customer's main air supply is provided by a 15HP reciprocating compressor with no after cooler. The refrigerated dryer on the system was sized for the air flow but not the inlet air temperature or ambient conditions. Their refrigerated dryer which worked great in the winter was immediately undersized once ambient temps began to rise. While I was there the dryer even shutdown due to high head pressure. I explained to the customer that even though the dryer was sized correctly for the flow it was not sized correctly for the conditions. The combination of high inlet and high ambient temperatures greatly reduced the dryer’s actual capacity and was allowing liquid water into their processes. We determined the best solution for the application was a 100 scfm capacity High Inlet air temperature refrigerated dryer by Mikropor. The integrated pre-cooler in the dryer would reduce inlet temperature while upsizing the dryer capacity would offset the occasional higher ambient temperatures in the compressor room.

The customer agreed and within 24 hours issued a Purchase Order for a MH-US-100 High Inlet temperature Mikropor refrigerated dryer. By the end of the week the dryer had been delivered and installed. We explained to the customer how it may take a couple of days for the liquid water in his system to be cleared out, but he should see improvements starting next week. When I followed up with them, they were incredibly happy with the equipment. A problem that was causing production delays daily had now become non-existent and down time related to air quality disappeared. My contact was so impressed he will be recommending our products at their other facilities in the area.