Raw materials in construction products manufacturing: lime in focus

Lime is a very important material that is largely used in the construction and repair industries. Lime is oftentimes added to various surface treatment solutions (e.g. whitewashing or restoration). The structure of this material consists mainly of calcium oxide. In case lime is used to whitewash or knead some solution, it would be required to slak it. Hydrated lime is obtained from the lump. Slaking means pouring the water and kneading it until it gets smooth. Lime is oftentimes classified into quick (the process takes up to eight minutes), moderate (the process takes up to 25 minutes) and slow (the process takes more than 30 minutes) types.

There are a few binders which relate to the hydraulic lime group. Lime itself represents a binder, which is used for the preparation of various solutions and widely used during the repair or construction works. Lime can be be lump or ground. For slaking ground lump is used as the hardening of this material takes place in the air after treatment with water. Slaked lime or hydrated lime is often added to the dry mixture to ensure protection from various pests. If lime is slaked in dough, it can be stored in for a very long time, and the quality of this dough gets even better.

The process of slaking

The process of clearing should be carried out in the open, ventilated place. To make powder lime, it is necessary to take a ton of lime hundred liters of water. If you use either pits or boxes, it is necessary to adjust the amount of materials beforehand. However, the process of getting hydrated lime takes different amounts of time – depending on how slaking occurs.

Hydrated lime application

The properties of hydrated lime are so extensive, that it has been applied in many areas, such as:

  • Whitewashing
  • Protection from decay and of wooden fences and rafters.
  • Preparation of mortars.
  • Preparation of silicate concrete.
  • Mitigation of water – to remove carbonate hardness.
  • Production of bleach.
  • Production of lime fertiliser.
  • Formation of various compounds of calcium as well as for neutralising acid solutions, organic acids, etc.
  • Production of E526 food additive.
  • For the preparation of the lime water – solution of calcium hydroxide, which is used to detect carbon dioxide.
  • Preparation of lime milk to be used for the preparation of sugar and cooking.
  • Disinfection of dental root canals.

Construction works – even the huge UK companies, like Telling Co (a far-famed construction agency) largely shift to hydraulic lime and lime mortar.

Slaked lime and lime putty

Lump lime is a crude product which, after quenching, is used in a mixture of hydrated lime or test. Hydrated lime mixture is obtained after quenching quicklime with certain amount of waters, whereupon the mixture becomes a liquid, as the oxides of calcium and magnesium transferred into hydrates. Lime paste is obtained from slaked lime and a small amount of water, after which it turns in doughy mass.

In the manufacture of hydrated lime and lime putty water is used. In both cases manipulation of the lime must be slaked – processed with water to the collapse occurred pieces of lime. Thus, the smaller decay pieces are, the more valuable the final product is.

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Cassandra Nelson

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