Cement Kilns

Southam

Location:

  • Grid reference: SP42056398
  • x=442050
  • y=263980
  • 52°16'21"N; 1°23'2"W
  • Civil Parish: Long Itchington, Warwickshire: the Lias quarry extends into Stockton and Southam parishes

Clinker manufacture operational: 1875-2000

Approximate total clinker production: 20.2 million tonnes (22nd)

Raw materials:

  • 1875-1938 selected Blue Lias Limestone (Rugby Limestone Member: 195-200 Ma), then 1938 to date Limestone and Shale from quarries at:
    • 442100,263600
    • 442300,263400
    • 441900,263200
    • 442400,263800
  • 1938-1965: Grey Chalk (Zig-zag Chalk Formation: 94-97 Ma) by rail from Totternhoe, Bedfordshire (498700,222100)
  • 1965-2000: Upper (Lewes Nodular Chalk Formation: 88-90 Ma), Middle (New Pit and Holywell Nodular Chalk Formations: 90-94 Ma) and Grey Chalk pumped as slurry from quarry at Kensworth, Bedfordshire (502200,219800) – pipeline length 113 km

Ownership:

Sometimes called Long Itchington Works or Kaye’s Works. The site was for a long time used for Blue Lias lime manufacture and had its own dock on the Grand Union Canal for shipment as far as London. “Cement” was claimed as a product as early as 1854. However, as with Rugby, it was some time before a true Portland cement was produced, beginning around 1875. Dry process bottle kilns were used. Of the six in use in 1875, probably three were making cement, at 90 t/week. Kilns were added piecemeal: by 1887 there were twelve kilns. Four more were added in 1892-4 and another four in 1902-4, giving Davis’ 1907 capacity of 600 t/week, although the kilns had not all been used for Portland cement, capacity for that being only 240 t/week in 1901. The bottle kilns were decommissioned when the rotary kilns were installed in 1908, except for a few kept for lime production. The new rotary plant was described in The Engineer. Read these articles.

The initial use of dry process seems not to have lasted long, and kilns A1 and A2 were probably converted to wet process not long after the installation of the wet process kiln A3. In any case, they were shut down from 1915 to 1927 and were only used intermittently thereafter. The plant was on its knees by the depression of 1932, with only one kiln operational and went into receivership in 1934, at which point Rugby bought it and commenced a major re-build. Kilns A4 and A5 essentially re-sited the plant, and A3 was only used as top-up capacity from then on. The conversions of kilns A6 and A7 to semi-wet process were “energy reduction demonstration projects”. The use of a Lepol grate on A6 provided a pilot for the much larger Rochester A6. The 2-stage preheater and crusher/drier on A7 was a development of the method used on Pitstone A5, and prefigured subsequent semi-wet developments, including that of Rugby A7. Both kilns were dogged by alkali build-up problems, and neither gave particularly good energy performance. In the end, they were too small to be viable. In addition to the canal, the plant also had a railway connection through the L&NWR Weedon-Leamington branch from 1895. This branch closed in 1963, but the plant still connected with Rugby through the Rugby-Leamington branch until the latter closed in 1985. The plant was demolished in 2011-2012. The quarry is still active, supplying Lias to Rugby.

Rawmills

  • The dry process kilns had two Kominor ball mill and two tube mills: size not stated.
  • Subsequent wet ball mills - not known
  • 2 FLS ball mills in 1961

Seven rotary kilns were installed.

Kiln A1

Supplier: Fellner & Ziegler
Operated: 1908-1915, 1927-1937?
Process: 1908-1915 Dry: 1919-1937 Wet
Location: Hot end,: Cold end,: hot end enclosed
Dimensions: Metric 30.00 × 2.000
Rotation (viewed from firing end): anticlockwise
Slope: 1/17.5 (3.276°)
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2000: 30000×2000: tyres at 2400, 13500, 25500: turning gear at 13750
Cooler: rotary, metric 16.20 × 1.450 beneath kiln
Cooler profile: 0×1300: 16200×1450: tyres at 1200, 13500: turning gear at 4000
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: indirect: ball mill
Exhaust: via dry drop-out chamber direct to stack.
Typical Output: 60 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1908-1915 8.4 MJ/kg: 1927-1937 8.8 MJ/kg


Kiln A2

Location: Hot end,: Cold end, : hot end enclosed
Identical in all other respects to A1


Kiln A3

Supplier: Krupp?
Operated: 1913-5/1957
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end,: Cold end,: unenclosed
Dimensions: metric 48.50 × 2.450
Rotation (viewed from firing end): anticlockwise
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2450, 48500×2450: tyres at 1500, 15250, 29750, 44250: turning gear at 31250
Cooler: rotary: metric 18.00 × 1.700 beneath kiln
Cooler profile: 0×1700: 18000×1700: tyres at 900, 11700
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: initially indirect with ball mill: replaced with direct Atritor ?late 1930s
Exhaust: via dry drop-out chamber direct to stack.
Typical Output: 1913-1918 87 t/d: 1919-1937 96 t/d: 1938-1954 89 t/d: 1955-1957 115 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1913-1918 9.21 MJ/kg: 1919-1957 9.00 MJ/kg


Kiln A4

Supplier: FLS
Operated: 12/10/1937-?/12/1977
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end,: Cold end,: entirely enclosed
Dimensions: Metric 91.86 × 2.700B / 2.250C / 2.400D
Rotation (viewed from firing end): clockwise
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2700: 33450×2700: 35400×2250: 65700×2250: 67350×2400: 91860×2400: tyres at 2640, 13380, 29790, 47010, 64080, 83580: turning gear at 49800.
Cooler: FLS bucket grate
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: ?
Exhaust: initially via dry drop-out chamber to ID fan then direct to stack. Sturtevant electrostatic precipitator added after ID fan around 1961.
Typical Output: 1937-1947 256 t/d: 1948-1957 263 t/d: 1958-1965 260 t/d: 1966-1977 253 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1937-1947 6.94 MJ/kg: 1948-1957 6.82 MJ/kg: 1958-1965 6.62 MJ/kg: 1966-1977 6.29 MJ/kg


Kiln A5

Operated: 2/1938-?/1/1982
Location: Hot end,: Cold end, : entirely enclosed
Typical Output: 1938-1947 255 t/d: 1948-1957 261 t/d: 1958-1965 259 t/d: 1966-1977 249 t/d: 1978-1982 223 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1938-1947 6.92 MJ/kg: 1948-1957 6.82 MJ/kg: 1958-1965 6.62 MJ/kg: 1966-1977 6.28 MJ/kg: 1978-1982 6.95 MJ/kg
Identical in all other respects to A4


Kiln A6

Supplier: FLS
Operated: 15/5/1957 -2/2000
Process: 1957-1/1/1977 Wet: 15/11/1977-2000 semi-wet – cake from four Johnson-Progress presses nodulised and fed to 31×4m Lepol grate
Location: Hot end,: Cold end, : hot end enclosed
Dimensions, metric:

  • Original 97.92 × 3.300B / 3.150C / 3.450D
  • From 1978 70.00 × 3.300B / 3.150C / 3.450D

Rotation (viewed from firing end): clockwise
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×3300: 25200×3300: 27600×3150: 52200×3150: 54750×3450: 96600×3450: 96600×3000: 97920×3000: tyres at 6900, 31860, 61320, (87270): turning gear at 55740, cut back to the 70000 mark in 1978.
Cooler: Folax ?624 grate.
Fuel: Coal: in the 1990s, 80-90% of this was replaced with Petcoke and - to a small extent - recovered solvents.
Coal mill: direct: on wet process, 2 No18 Atritors: from 1978, Babcock roller mill
Exhaust: initially via dry drop-out chamber to ID fan then direct to stack. Sturtevant electrostatic precipitator added after ID fan around 1961. From 1978 new precipitator after grate exhaust fan.
Typical Output: 1957-1965 350 t/d: 1966-1977 386 t/d: 1977-2000 530 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1957-1965 5.67 MJ/kg: 1966-1977 5.71 MJ/kg: 1978-2000 4.87 MJ/kg


Kiln A7

Supplier: FLS
Operated: 11/1961-2/2000
Process: 1961-13/1/1982 Wet: 30/04/1982-2000 semi-wet – cake from four Johnson-Progress presses fed to crusher/drier plus 2-stage preheater
Location: Hot end,: Cold end, : hot end enclosed
Dimensions (from cooler ports): Metric 115.00×3.450
Rotation (viewed from firing end): clockwise
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile (from cooler ports): -2800×3450, 113700×3450, 113700×3000, 115000×3000: tyres at 3000, 23000, 46000, 73000, 100000: turning gear at 50000 ?
Cooler: Unax planetary 10 × 10.80 × 1.350
Fuel: Coal: in the 1990s, 80-90% of this was replaced with Petcoke and - to a small extent - recovered solvents.
Coal mill: direct: on wet process, 2 No18 Atritors: from 1982, Babcock roller mill
Exhaust: Sturtevant electrostatic precipitator before ID fan: from 1982 preheater main fan followed by new precipitator.
Typical Output: 1961-1965 459 t/d: 1966-1981 511 t/d: 1982-2000 685 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1961-1965 6.74 MJ/kg: 1966-1981 6.33 MJ/kg: 1982-2000 4.61 MJ/kg



Sources: Cook, p 100: Francis, p 215: Jackson, pp 258, 284, 298: Pugh, p 114: “Cement Works at Southam”, The Engineer, CVII, 1 Jan 1909, pp 8-9, 12 and 8 Jan 1909, pp 28, 29, 38. Read the Engineer articles.


© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 19/07/2011: last edit 31/12/2016.

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Old Maps

A detail plan of the plant has been partially completed, but further progress is prevented by lack of information on the layout of kiln 7.

Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Southam Capacity

Southam 1908 Picture
This shows kilns 1 and 2 and was taken in 1908, shortly after commissioning, viewed from the west. It shows a number of features of early Fellner & Ziegler kilns: long (5 m) kiln sections; no wrapper plates under tyres and turning gear; tyres and turning gear attached directly to the shell; double support rollers; common drive via belts.

Southam 1932 Picture
Picture: ©English Heritage - NMR Aerofilms Collection. Catalogue number 39083. A high-definition version can be obtained from English Heritage. This was taken on 16/7/1932, viewed from the east, and shows the old rotary kiln plant. All three kilns are running, and kiln 3 is visible. The canal arm passes under the railway at bottom right, and goes through the middle of the plant.

Southam 1938 Picture
Picture: ©English Heritage - NMR Aerofilms Collection. Catalogue number R5064. A high-definition version can be obtained from English Heritage. This was taken on 12/9/1938, viewed from the west, and shows the new plant (Kilns 4 & 5) established under the Rugby regime, started during the previous year. This more than tripled the size of the plant. The plant was not at that time fully reliant on grid electricity, and a power house had been installed (centre), with two cooling towers. The old kilns are still in place (left) although not running. Kiln 3 remained until around 1970.