The new BG series modular asphalt batch plants from Astec deliver sound performance in a compact and easy to set-up design. Astec Australia’s Business Line Manager – Infrastructure, Jorge Boil, explains.
Across the industry, Astec is well known for its range of highly versatile asphalt plants, from its compact and portable plants, such as the Astec Six Pack, Astec Vantage, Astec Voyager and Astec Ventura, to higher capacity asphalt plants, such as the M-Pack series, which achieve production rates of between 200 and 600 tonnes per hour (TPH).
Astec’s new BG series modular asphalt batch plant complements the company’s current line-up, providing customers with batch plants capable of processing 120 to 240 TPH, while still being fast and economical to set-up.
Jorge Boil, Astec Australia’s Business Line Manager – Infrastructure, says the BG series plant is suitable for small- to medium-sized asphalt manufacturers, such as those in smaller cities, who may not need to relocate often but who still want to reap the benefits of a faster and more cost-effective setup.
“We call these grocery-style market plants,” he says. “For example, manufacturers might need to produce 20 tonnes of one type of asphalt mix, 50 tonnes of another mix and so on. To do that they need a batch plant that is not only versatile, but one that is able to expand as the business grows and higher production rates are required.”
Boil says that’s exactly what Astec’s new BG series modular asphalt batch plants offer. With a compact and containerised design, the plant is both economical to transport and easy to setup. More importantly, the plant can readily accommodate upgrades to higher production rates, more storage capacity and higher incorporation of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) content.
Astec offers its BG series plants for batch size capacities ranging from 1800 kilograms (BG 1800) to 3200 kilograms (BG 3200), with multiple options in between.
The modularity of the BG series batch plant, as Boil observes, helps lower transport costs, both for initial setup, as well as for potential future relocations.
“A real advantage of this plant,” he says, “is that you can set them up on compact areas. The plant can be erected on a steel base without major civil works. The modular design also enables fast setup without dealing with ducts or a large number of interfaces. All the ducts and wirings come pre-assembled from the factory.”
Flexible RAP processing
With the drying drum in the BG batch plant’s design sitting at the ground level, Boil says there are additional advantages in terms of ease of maintenance.
The plant also offers flexibility with the choice and design of the drying drums.
The counterflow dryer drum featuring Astec’s V-flights helps enhance heat transfer into the aggregates. The V-flights provide greater uniformity of the aggregate veil through the gas stream during the drying process, across a wide variety of mix designs. Combustion flights, on the other hand, prevent aggregate from impinging on the flame while spreading the material to maximise radiant heat transfer.
For plant owners looking to incorporate higher RAP percentages, a combination solution with a double barrel drum can deliver higher rates of recycling.
That said, Boil suggests a 30 to 50 per cent RAP percentage is optimal for the size and scale of the BG series plant.
“Although the BG series plant is capable of higher RAP percentages – up to 60 per cent through design customisation – a 30 to 50 per cent RAP capacity is more than sufficient for the size and scale they will be operating on. In Australia, particularly in smaller cities, there’s often not enough RAP to run those higher numbers,” he says.
Uniform bitumen mixing
The mixing process in the BG series takes place in a synchronised double shaft mixer. This process, facilitated through specially designed tips and shanks, ensures a homogenous mix within a short time span, Boil says.
“In most batch plants, the bitumen is fed by gravity. By spraying the bitumen into the mix using spray bars, Astec has ensured more homogenous mixing and better aggregate coating. The pugmill is a twin-type pugmill where all material is mixed for 45-60 seconds. This design is unique to Astec,” he says.
Modular storage solutions
Boil says the plant is equipped with modular under mixer storage silos, however storage options can be customised to requirements.
Short-term storage can be accomplished with 30-200 tonne capacity surge bins located under the mixer unit. Another option is storage bins or silos beside the plant.
“Most small plants do not need storage beyond a few hours. This can be achieved by providing short-term storage under the mixer or to the side,” says Boil. “However, if a plant needs long-term storage – up to 72 hours – Astec’s patented storage silos are also available on request.”
Boil says the Astec Australia team works with clients to achieve the optimum design that suits their operations.
“Before the plant is ordered, we sit down with the client and find out what their requirements are, the types of bitumen and the percentage of RAP they want to run through the plant. That, in turn, affects the type of drum, mixer and RAP bins they need,” says Boil.
“Then we consider the production rate the client wants to achieve to work out the size of the baghouse and the bitumen tanks. Every asphalt plant is different, and we’re able to work extremely closely with our clients to design the plant that meets their exact needs.”
Despite being in the market for less than a year, Boil says Astec’s BG series batch plants have already been successfully installed in countries including India, Malaysia and Israel. And the feedback from customers has been positive.
“Astec has a long track record when it comes to offering big city asphalt plants in the 280-300 TPH range, and we’ve also been very strong with mobile plants. The small to medium batch plant category is new for us, but the introduction of this innovative new plant means we have complete flexibility in meeting the needs of our customers,” he says.
“The BG series modular asphalt batch plant is an important addition to our product range. And with it, Astec will continue to deliver the level of performance and outstanding support our customers have come to expect.”
This article was originally published in the June edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.