A fluid bed dryer and fluid bed cooler built by Pittsburgh-based Heyl & Patterson Inc. will soon be on its way to Zinc Nacional, S.A. of Monterrey, Mexico.

Designed to process zinc for the production of zinc sulfate, the equipment will be installed at Zinc Nacional’s main facility in Monterrey. During production, a mixture of zinc dust and aqueous sulfuric acid is sprayed into the dryer, and the particles stick to one another until they gradually agglomerate into beads of a certain size. The beads are screened and recycled back into the dryer (up to six times) until they are large enough to advance to the cooler and continue along the production process.

This fluid bed dryer processes granular, free-flowing bulk material at temperatures up to 250°F (121°C). The material being dried is completely suspended and surrounded by a stream of hot gas or air, causing the material to behave as a liquid. This action provides a very high rate of heat transfer while gently handling the solid materials. The fluid bed cooler works in much the same way, but with a stream of gas or air at lower temperatures to allow bulk materials to be handled far easier.

Both the dryer and cooler are scheduled for delivery and installation during the second quarter of 2015. Heyl & Patterson also plans to support Zinc Nacional with spare parts, upgrades, retrofits and field service for the life of the equipment.