Laterlite comes from a particular selected clay that is found in hill locations. The extraction is from an opencast mine with normal earth moving machines. Once the mine is exhausted it rehabilitated to its original green state.
Initial Clay Processing
The extracted expanded clay is left in the open air, to season, for a number of months. Heat, cold, rain and ice are all part of the initial “processing”. The clay is then homogenized, moistened, and broken up with with grinding equipment and rolling mills.
Drying, heating and espansion.
This phase in the production cycle takes place in a one hundred metre long rotary kiln. The clay enters the kiln from one end and it moves systematically along the whole length, gradually increasing it’s temperature. At the other end of the kiln the temperature reaches approx. 1200 °C; at this point the clay is in a molten state and the expansion process commences providing a cellular interior to each pellet. The rolling of the pellets within the kiln gives them a round shape and creates the hard outer shell, compact and resistant. The whole production cycle is completely monitored and the fumes are filtered with an electrofilter (of which one of the biggest installations in Europe can be found in the Laterlite plant at Rubbiano). The expanded clay pellets are then screened into their various fractions. The production and raw material selection processes are strictly controlled to insure a uniform, high quality product that is structurally strong, stable, durable and inert, yet also lightweight, with high insulation properties.
One division of the production plant is dedicated to the production of readymix products with Laterlite Expanded Clay and Laterlite Più. In this division one finsd the silos for the binders, the dosing equipment and the mixers as well as the packing line. A wide range of pre-mixed, pre-packed lightweight and insulating readymix products, ready to use, are produced here including the Latermix, Latermix Cem and structural lightweight concrete CLS ranges, aswell as the thermal mortars Latermur, Laterlite Thermal Sismic Mortar and the only conducting ready mix product Massettomix PaRis.
Laboratories are located next to each plant and control the chemical, physical and technical characteristics of both the raw materials and the finished products. Each day, consistently at fixed intervals, the principal characteristics of expanded clay, the readymixes and lightweight thermal insulating blocks are tested and controlled. Laboratories are located next to each plant and control the chemical, physical and technical characteristics of both the raw materials and the finished products. Each day, consistently at fixed intervals, the principal characteristics of expanded clay, the readymixes and lightweight thermal insulating blocks are tested and controlled.