The National Establishment for Agricultural and Industrial Sulphur [NEAIS], Dammam, Saudi Arabia, is about 10,500 kilometers from the east coast of the USA. But the distance posed no problem when the company asked Schutte-Buffalo Hammer Mill, Buffalo, NY USA, to supply machinery to mill aluminum sulfate.
Aluminum sulfate is a white to offwhite abrasive, corrosive chemical used in agriculture, water treatment, and papermaking. "It's a stiff, hard product, like a stone," said Khalid S. Kaidbey, NEAIS's general manager.
The goal was to reduce the size of aluminum sulfate flake from about 10 millimeters thick and 4 to 40 millimeters long to particles 0 to 6 millimeters in diameter. "The market for water treatment wanted it in a powder form instead of the flake, because it dissolves better as a powder," said Steve Lassu, who was a plant supervisor at NEAIS. The mill would have to fit at the discharge of a 1-meter-wide belt conveyor that moved the material at 3,000 kilograms per hour away from the process to the packaging area.