Clay is a very fine-grained type of soil with unique properties. Clay is plastic, or moldable, when mixed with the right amount water, but after heat-treatment it turns into a ceramic material that is very hard. It has been used for thousands of years in construction as a key component of bricks and tiles. It is also used to make various goods and utilized in many industries including: paper making, cement production and as a chemical filter.
Mine and Move
Clay is an important industrial raw material. It is found in natural deposits where it has formed through gradual weathering of silica-bearing rocks. Heavy deposits of clay can also be found in ancient dry lake beds, where the clay was washed down and accumulated over time. Clay therefore has to be removed from its natural location and moved to where it is needed.
Dry Bulk Clay Powder
Although clay is almost always mixed with water for use, water is heavy and bulky. For ease of transport, raw clay is usually dehydrated into a powder. Transporting clay powder is very similar in principle to transporting any bulk powder. Storage silos and loading/unloading equipment designed for any fine powder will work with clay. Because it is so fine, it needs to be contained inside an airtight structure for transportation or it will blow away as the truck moves down the road.
Specialized Tankers and Trailers
When moving very large amounts of dry clay, it’s easier and cheaper to just move it as a bulk, non-containerized powder. Special bulk powder tankers designed to carry mineral products, such as cement, are ideal for transporting bulk dry clay. These trailers are similar in principle, and superficially resemble, the tankers used to transport liquids. The main difference is that pneumatic trailers designed for powder are pressurized to prevent outside air and moisture from reaching the product.
Prior to transport, non-containerized dry clay is often stored in silos. It is then poured from the silos (usually utilizing gravity) into these specialized bulk powder trailers for transport. Once it reaches its destination, clay is unloaded using compressed air into a silo or storage hopper.
At CCC Transportation, we have over 50 years of experience in transporting bulk dry powders. If you need to transport clay, contact us today.