Gypsum Powder Production Steps

The production methods of gypsum powder involve several key steps. Firstly, the raw gypsum ore is crushed into small particles smaller than 30mm using a crusher. This crushed material is then transported to a storage bin for standby. Subsequently, the gypsum raw material goes through a grinding system where it is finely ground into powder. The ground gypsum powder is blown out by the air blown by the mill blower and classified by an analyzer. 

The final product is collected after meeting the required fineness specifications. Following the grinding process, the powder is calcined in a calciner to further refine it. The calcined powder is then stored in a finished product warehouse. Overall, the production process involves crushing, grinding, classifying, and calcining the raw gypsum to produce the final gypsum powder.

Gypsum powder production methods

Different Types of Methods

The different types of gypsum powder production methods include various processes to create gypsum powder with different properties. One method involves heating the dihydrate gypsum raw material using microwave irradiation, then mixing it with additives and reacting in a closed reactor to obtain different strength products through blending. Another method includes grinding the raw gypsum ore or industrial by-product gypsum, then heating and calcining it to dehydrate and decompose the dihydrate gypsum, resulting in building gypsum or plaster of paris. Additionally, methods like pressure steaming, calcining block gypsum, pulverizing, and grinding simultaneously are used to produce gypsum powder with specific characteristics.

The raw materials required for gypsum powder production

The raw materials required for gypsum powder production include natural dihydrate gypsum ore (raw gypsum) or industrial by-product gypsum like phosphogypsum. These raw materials are ground in a special mill and then heated and calcinated at a specific temperature to dehydrate and decompose the dihydrate gypsum, resulting in the production of gypsum powder. The main component of the final product is β hemihydrate gypsum (CaSO4·1/2H2O), commonly known as building gypsum or plaster of paris.

The safety Precautions

Here are the key safety precautions to be taken during gypsum powder production:

Gypsum is a non-hazardous, non-toxic material, but proper precautions should still be taken. Gypsum-based products are classified as non-hazardous in the UK and have no known adverse health effects.

Plaster powders and dust may potentially irritate eyes, sensitive skin, or the respiratory system, but any effects should be short-term. Rinse with water if irritation occurs.

Suitable care and correct handling should be used when handling gypsum products. Plaster sacks are limited to a maximum of 25kg by voluntary agreement. Plasterboard handling should be assessed for risk before lifting and carrying.

The risk is predominantly due to the weight and unwieldy nature of plasterboard. Manual handling needs to be minimized by using equipment and following good practices. There needs to be proper training and implementation of safe handling procedures.

If gypsum waste must be landfilled, it is controlled by specific rules. Large volumes mixing with rainwater and organic waste could produce hydrogen sulfide, so gypsum waste is not permitted in mixed waste but must be landfilled in dedicated, non-hazardous ‘high sulfate’ landfill cells.

Overall, while gypsum is a safe material, proper precautions should be taken to minimize dust exposure and use mechanical aids when handling heavy gypsum products to prevent injuries. Strict safety protocols should be followed in the production process and waste disposal.

Safety measures during gypsum powder transportation

During the transportation of gypsum powder, several safety measures should be taken to ensure the safety of the personnel involved, the environment, and the quality of the product:

Proper Packaging and Stacking:

Gypsum powder should be packaged in appropriate containers to prevent leakage and shifting during transportation. Stacks of gypsum powder should be checked regularly to ensure stability and prevent accidents.

Clean and Dry Bilge Wells:

Bilge wells should be kept clean, dry, and covered to prevent the ingress of gypsum powder.

Trimming and Stowage:

Gypsum powder should be trimmed in accordance with the relevant provisions required under section 4 and 5 of the IMSBC code.

Ventilation and Hold Cleanliness:

No special ventilation requirements are mentioned, but general guidelines for bulk cargo should be followed.

Discharge and Cleanup:

Prior to washing out the residues of gypsum powder, the decks and the cargo spaces should be shovelled and swept clean, as washing out of this cargo can be difficult.

Toxicity and Environmental Considerations:

Gypsum powder is generally non-toxic and non-hazardous, but it can cause eye irritation, skin rashes, coughing, sneezing, and nasal drainage if inhaled. The extraction process of gypsum can cause environmental degradation, and Phosphogypsum, a byproduct of phosphate production, is radioactive and more dangerous to humans.

Fire Safety:

Gypsum is non-combustible and prevents flames from spreading, making it a safe material for building products.

Personal Protective Equipment:

Workers handling gypsum powder should wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves and eye protection, to prevent irritation from the powder/dust.

By adhering to these safety measures, the risks associated with transporting gypsum powder can be minimized, ensuring a safe and efficient transportation process.