Since 2011, River Aggregates has been supplying sand and gravel products to producers in the Houston, Beaumont and East Texas markets. They have two sand and gravel operations: one in Conroe, Texas, and one in Rye, Texas.
The Rye site includes 1,300 acres of coarse sand and gravel perfect for making concrete sand. The deposit, which has been determined to yield 60% concrete sand and 40% fine sand after the removal of 5-8% gravel, has a lifespan of about 20 years.
When River Aggregates began looking at developing their Rye site, they considered their options for processing equipment that would provide them with the best concrete sand product for their customers.
“We knew that technology was out there that would make a better product,” said Carl Davis, Managing Partner of River Aggregates.
River Aggregates, who has a history of working with McLanahan from using McLanahan Classifying Tanks and Screw Washers at their Conroe plant, knew that McLanahan had the equipment they needed to make the sharp cuts required for concrete sand.
“We knew that McLanahan was a leader in the industry with Hydrosizer™ technology,” Davis explained, “so we started our conversations with them and their sales and engineering group and came to the conclusion they had what we were looking for.”
McLanahan designed and developed a Round Hydrosizer™ plant to maximize the coarse fraction of the feed, then allow River Aggregates to blend the fine fraction in as needed to make the in-spec C-33 concrete sand. After the sand, gravel and water slurry is pumped from the pond via a dredge to the primary scalping plant for oversize and clay removal, it enters the sump of the Hydrosizer™ module. From the sump, the slurry is pumped to a pair of Hydrocyclones to remove excess fines. The product sized material exits the Hydrocyclones into an entry well that feeds the slurry to the Hydrosizer™.
Inside the Hydrosizer™, the settling solids meet a rising current of water, which cause a hydraulically fluidized, or “teeter,” bed to form. Coarser particles pass through the teeter bed and discharge via the Hydrosizer™ underflow to a Dewatering Screen, which removes excess moisture in preparation for stockpiling.
The finer particles are collected in the overflow launder of the Hydrosizer™ and flumed to the feed sump of the Ultra Sand Plant, where they are then pumped to a bank of Separators™. The Separators™ remove excess fines and discharge the material onto a Dewatering Screen for moisture removal before stockpiling.
“We knew that moving to a Hydrosizer™ new technology was going to be a learning curve for us,” Davis explained. “McLanahan has done a great job of understanding what we want to do and helping us design and develop the plant that we know that will do what we want in making concrete sand.”
With the Hydrosizer™ plant, River Aggregates is able to offer a better quality product to their customers.
“We determined early on that when we developed a new plant for processing and making concrete sand, we wanted something that was going to give us a better quality product and a more consistent product, and the Hydrosizer™ plant does that for us,” Davis explained.
“The Hydrosizer™ makes a very consistent, a very good quality sand,” said Davis. “With a better product and a more consistent product, we feel like that gives us a competitive edge with our competitors, and we can provide our customers with a better product.”
The Hydrosizer™ provides extremely sharp classification and allows the operator to have tight control over the product.
“One of the things I like about the Hydrosizer™ plant is that it is very easy to adjust the cut of sand,” Davis said. “There are always going to be variables in your deposit, and you want a plant that you can adjust easily to account for those variables and continue to make a good quality product.”
While concrete sand is their primary product, the Ultra Sand Plant allows River Aggregates to keep the fine sand particles out of their settling ponds and produce a fine sand product they can sell.
“It’s important for us to capture all of the fine sand we can that comes through the plant,” Davis said. “Our philosophy is: If we can put it into a stockpile, we may not sell it today, but we have an opportunity to sell it tomorrow.”
Since the Hydrosizer™ plant and Ultra Sand Plant have been installed, Davis has been pleased with their reliability.
“What I like about this plant is today I can walk in here, I turn it on, it runs. It makes sand every day,” said Davis.