14 September 2020

Back to the Future

At the door to 2021, we don’t yet have hoverboards or flying cars like the DeLorean of “Back to the Future” and not everything predicted in the pop culture movies of the 1980s became a reality. Nonetheless, technology is having a huge impact on our lives and also upon our industrial output, with technology helping to achieve increasingly high peaks of efficiency. Automation is taking a huge role in all industries, making the processes safer, and improving quality standards.

In a world where the phones in our pocket count steps, read the weather forecast and allow us to control heating and lighting of our homes, have you ever wished to know how much water is present inside the raw material you are buying and using?

It would be incredibly useful to be able to know exactly how much water is contained inside the sand and aggregates because depending on particle size, these materials can retain between 2% to 20% of water.

For example: imagine buying 1,000 kg of sand at 10% moisture … you would end up having only 909kg of sand and paying for 91kg of water!
Now imagine using the same sand to make concrete:

  • 500kg of cement
  • 1,200kg sand (10% moisture = 1091kg sand + 109 litres of water)
  • 600kg aggregate
  • 250 litres of water

In this example, the mix will end up with a water/cement ratio and aggregate/cement ratio completely out of specifications, resulting in a liquid and weak concrete. Luckily, we can use technology to know precisely how much water our raw materials contain.

With online digital microwave moisture sensors, it is possible to control the average moisture level in sand and aggregates, enabling us to accurately calculate the right amount needed, consequently removing the guesswork and the need for laboratory sampling.

Compared to other solutions, digital microwave moisture technology is more accurate, it has a high sensitivity to water, it is not affected by impurities or temperature, and most importantly, it is cost-effective. This solution can also be implemented inside mixers, to monitor the target moisture levels and automatically calculate the amount of water needed in the mix as well as controlling the water addition.

With this solution, the over-design of strength for the final product can be minimised, allowing great savings.

Digital microwave moisture control technology, if used correctly, allows to reduce waste and improves efficiency saving you money… and since we are at the door of 2020, with Hydronix we can also check the moisture level from our phones!

Alessandro Mario

Alessandro Mario

Alessandro Mario is a Technical Sales Engineer at Hydronix Ltd.
© 2024 Hydronix Ltd. Registered in England No. 01609365