Plant engineering

Expansion plants / peripheral plant engineering

BUBLON® systems are always designed with particular regard to the specific requirements of the customer. These vary with respect to production capacity, the target product, material supply, and integration into existing production facilities, etc. The minimum scope of supply usually includes all the plant components that are crucial for ensuring product quality, such as material dosing and supply, the actual expansion process, including the regulation of temperature and pressure conditions in the expansion furnace, conveying the product right up to transfer into silos, as well as further processing or packaging. In order to avoid process interfaces, Bublon also supplies raw material and product silos as well as bulk bag discharging and filling stations.


Bublon GmbH offers customised turn-key plants from one single source. Apart from its core technology – expansion – it covers all necessary up-stream and down-stream process steps with Group-internal products.
To this end the company has full access to over 110 years of experience of its parent company in the fields of mechanical engineering and plant construction as well as the latest technological developments that are implemented jointly with our cooperation partners.

Bublon GmbH offers with BUBLON®  systems process components and entire plants, covering both BUBLON’s core technology as well as up-stream and down-stream process steps such as crushing, screening, thermal conditioning and packaging with group-internal products.

The BUBLON® expansion process starts out at the raw sand silo, which is filled with high-quality and clearly specified raw sand. Preparation (crushing and screening: see below for further information) of the raw material can be carried out either by the mining operation itself or on-site at the BUBLON® plant. An elevator conveyor moves the material to the plant feed section. Depending on the need and product requirements, drying or thermal conditioning can be installed using a circulating fluidised bed dryer (thermal conditioning: see below for further information). A storage container is located in front of the discharge point to provide a buffer stock that is necessary for dosing. Dosing can be performed gravimetrically or volumetrically as required.

The mechanically and, where required, thermally treated raw sand is then continuously fed gravimetrically into the electri-cally heated expansion furnace and conveyed through the expansion zones. Here, the energy applied is fully converted into heat for expansion of the granules. Dust-laden and environmentally harmful flue gases that are unavoidable in conventional processes are eliminated in the BUBLON® expansion process. To ensure product quality, continuous in-line bulk density measurement is carried out by means of a measuring point that has been specially developed and patented. (In-line bulk density measurement: see below for further information)

At the end of the processing shaft, the expanded BUBLON® spheres are removed, cooled down and gently conveyed by air. Further physical post-processing may be used for special product specifications.
Using a high output cyclone, specially designed and developed for this purpose, (see below for further information) the BUBLON® spheres are then separated from the conveying air stream. The expanded BUBLON® spheres can be packed, palletised and stored according to the requirement and application.



COMEC impact crushers are used to crush different types of rock. They achieve an optimal grain shape and a low propor-tion of fine material, even with high flow rates. Thanks to easily adjustable impact walls, screen characteristics can be adjusted very well to individual requirements of any relevant job.
Before the down-stream screening process, the material can be improved in terms of quality by way of optical sorting, if the raw material composition should make it necessary.



The comprehensive screening machine program by Binder+Co allows using the best machine for the relevant area of application. The precise and efficient screening of difficult bulk goods is performed with the top product BIVITEC. Circular, linear and resonance screening machines are used for conventional jobs.
Comminution process cycles are optimised using intermediate screening, thus enabling the minimum expenditure of energy to produce the required raw sand grain sizes.


Thermal conditioning

Drying and cooling are basic process steps in the preparation of bulk goods. Apart from constant quality of the final product, high availability of the plant and its profitable operation are vitally important factors. With DRYON, Binder+Co offers a flexibly usable technology that is known for its long service life and efficient use of energy.


Expanding – the core process of the plant

The expansion furnace is the centrepiece of the BUBLON technology. This process takes place in a vertical, well insulated tall fabric chamber made from high-temperature resistant steel. Electric heating is used exclusively for the expansion furnace. As a result, there are none of the flue gases typical with a conventional expansion furnace. Just like solar energy, energy transfer takes place exclusively by thermal radiation. This ensures that virtually 100% of the energy is transferred to the perlite sand and that none of the hot process air is released to the atmosphere.

The expansion furnace contains no moving parts so wear is minimal. Only the exposure to high temperature must be taken into account. The different heat expansion rates of the materials used is taken into account by a sandwich construction of the insulation as well as by relocating supporting parts to the outer, cooler areas.
In combination with the pneumatic conveying of fully expanded materials, the operation of the expansion furnace takes place under a slight vacuum, avoiding the emission of dust and particulate matter.

If the unexpanded fraction in the end product is too high, due to the grade of the raw sand used in the raw input materials, the quality can be improved through optional physical post-processing.


High output cyclone

The high output centrifugal separator, developed by Binder + Co, offers customers a robust and low-maintenance solution across a wide variety of industries.
Its reduced height also facilitates retrofitting into existing systems. The cyclone separator from Binder + Co also ensures highly efficient and precise separation, and has a particularly attractive payback due to the low maintenance costs and only 30% of the investment costs compared to standard filter systems.


In-line bulk density measurement

The patented bulk density measurement, which permanently controls 50-90% of the product in terms of bulk density, is integrated in the material flow directly after the expansion furnace. With deviations from the specified value, adjustments can be made to the temperature and pressure conditions, either by manual intervention following alarm signals or by automatic control, which compensates for fluctuations as far as possible.


Packaging and palletizing

High speed, compact construction and various areas of application characterise the packaging technology by Statec-Binder, another Group company of the Binder+Co Group. With the simple and quick exchange of the filling clamp, PRINCIPAC ensures high availability even with varying jobs. Bag palletizing also requires speed and efficiency. Apart from the high-performance system PRINCIPAL, Statec-Binder also offers palletizing robots for smaller bag quantities.