Reliable Powder Production

The Chloride Challenge: How Powder Producers Handle Abrasive and Hygroscopic Materials

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Cutters resist “nasty” CaCl2 effects

Davis points out that the cutters are “near bulletproof” when it comes to processing CaCl2. This toughness is needed due to the nature of CaCl2, which is abrasive, generates heat when collected in large volume, attracts moisture, and generally is a “nasty product” that “does strange things to whatever equipment it comes in contact with.”

He notes that as little as 84-112 g of CaCl2 in a cup with water will become too hot to hold in minutes. In fact CaCl2’s heat-generating and hygroscopic properties become an asset in snow melt and deicing treatments for sidewalks and driveways.


The Opelousas plant operates SCC-30 models, which have 76 cm long feed throats that, like all SCC units, are 28 cm wide. The power range is 15 to 30 kw. Cal-Chlor operates them at between 1,200 to 1,800 rpm.

The units feature a helical rotor design with dozens of cutter tips attached to a helical array of staggered holders called “interconnected parallelograms” to continuously shear oversize materials against twin, stationary bed knives. The cutter tips are aligned along the entire shaft, making total contact with the product.

The helical pattern of cutter tips eliminates dead spots and hot spots by moving material throughout the length of the rotor, taking full advantage of the screen area for maximum throughput with minimal fines and little to no heat generation, while ensuring uniform wear. The cutters are typically made of stainless steel, which in Cal-Chlor’s case is vital to resist abrasion, corrosion and other problems that CaCl2 presents. Cal-Chlor also operates a sixth SCC-48 model (122 X 28 cm feed throat) at its plant in Ludington, Michigan, to fill oilfield demand for CaCl2 powder in the Rockies, New York and Pennsylvania.