Maintaining Your Rotary Kiln Drum While Creating Roofing Granules (Part 1)

With housing construction continuing unabated, as well as people starting to do more home repairs that they put off during the COVID-19 crisis, demand for roofing granules is high.  As one of the main components in all standard asphalt roofing shingles, construction supply companies need all the granules they can get, making them a highly lucrative product for manufacturers running industrial rotary kilns.

Unfortunately, no matter how well the original rotary kiln manufacturers made your kiln, roofing granules can quickly damage the interior of the drum.  By their nature, as a collection of tiny rock fragments, they’re extremely abrasive and will wear down the drum lining more quickly than many other materials you might fire in the kiln.

Proper preventative maintenance and an awareness of potential problems will be critical if your company is creating roofing granules.  So, in the next two articles, we’ll be talking about how to maintain your rotary kiln when making granules.

The Importance Of Maintenance When Creating Roofing Granules

Roofing granules are created almost entirely within a kiln, starting from the pre-heating through the curing process.  If any element of your kiln breaks down, it stops the entire production process – and that’s a problem if you have asphalt tile manufacturers waiting for delivery.

The issue is that most standard rotary kilns lack proper protection against the level of abrasion caused by roofing granules.  Heavy-duty kiln drum linings do exist, but many facilities switching over to roofing granule manufacturing lack these upgrades.  Plus, the older the kiln is, the more susceptible it will be to damage in general. 

Equipment upgrades can mitigate the problem, but that isn’t an option for many factories.  So, instead, inspection and maintenance are key to keeping everything running.

You should employ regular inspections throughout your facility, on at least a weekly basis, to ensure everything is still functioning properly when creating roofing granules.  Some of the most important elements to check include:

  • Thrust rollers and assemblies
  • Motorized belts
  • Lubrication on the gears, chains, and other areas
  • Condition of the roller bearings
  • Reducers and couplings
  • Contact points, such as between rollers and tires, or tires and trunnions
  • Any signs of warping, which could indicate drum lining problems

We also strongly recommend an annual inspection from the original rotary kiln manufacturers or a qualified kiln repair company.  Experts can dig into every aspect of your kiln and ensure it’s in top condition, even if it’s doing a punishing job.

If you ever need repairs, maintenance, inspections, or consulting on your rotary kiln, Kiln Technology Company is here to serve!  In the next article, we’ll break down more specific ways to protect your kiln from damage when creating roofing granules.  Until then, if you need assistance, please contact us!