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Calmetrix and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions partnered up to develop polab® Cal, the first automated calorimeter for process control and R&D. Inspired by the global leading experts in isothermal calorimetry, and built by the best automation engineers, polab® Cal enables automated sample preparation and measurements of calorimetric curves, thereby increasing throughput and enhancing the precision, repeatability and reproducibility. For the first time the initial peak of cement hydration can be fully detected without error derived from internal or external mixing procedures.
True measurement of reactivity ... finally
With polab® Cal, you can assess reactivity of a sample tested for less than 60 minutes. In times of secondary fuels and raw materials, this means that the actual reactivity of clinker and cement can be quantified in line with production. This by far exceeds the capability of reactivity estimation based on XRF and XRD analyses.
A proprietary software package quantifies calorimetric curves to preset parameters or to those defined by the user. polab® Cal extends quality control to reactivity data. Each isothermal calorimetry curve is linked to individual clinker and cement samples. This means a substantial improvement in data density and reliability relative to physical testing of a single composite sample. Calorimetric data can also be quantified and linked to XRF and XRD analyses, and evaluated statistically to set up efficient control loops in a cement production plant. For the first time the initial peak can be used routinely and with confidence to facilitate hourly analyses of clinker and cement reactivity.
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Flexibility & reliability for accelerated R&D
Calmetrix designed its I-Cal Flex calorimeter with individual cells, separated by an air gap. This minimizes crosstalk between neighboring cells. Each cell can also be maintained and replaced individually to assure continuous and uninterrupted operation of the calorimeter. polab® Cal is designed for integration in thyssenkrupp's polab lab automation system, or alternatively it can be operated as a standalone unit with manual command of samples through a sample feeding system.
In R&D and product development environments a standalone polab® Cal greatly increases sample throughput. Multiple samples can be manually inserted through an input feeder and each sample is then processed according a predefined sequence. Automatic and highly reproducible sample preparation supersedes manual sample preparation traditionally plagued with considerable human error.
Once charged with samples, polab® Cal operates unattended 24/7 without need of any human intervention from the staff.
The large sample throughput accelerates R&D work during cement and admixture development. When testing large sample matrixes, as is often the case in development phases, heat maps can be set up to identify areas of promising composition rather than going through time consuming physical testing. Similarly, product development (Cement / admixtures) according to tender specifications for large scale construction projects can be accelerated with an automated polabCal system.