Production Process

  • * Production begins with Silica (sand), a loader shovels it into an underground conveyor.
  • * The sand particles which are about the size of beach sand, ground down to fine particles.
  • * The conveyor takes the sand into a revolving cylindrical grinder called a “ball mill” and inside it steel balls smash the sand particles into smaller bits.
  • * Water is piped in to keep its level down and eliminate the need of exhaust system, this also liquefies the sand to make it easy to pipe it thru the plant at the various stage of process.
  • * But the sandy liquid needs to be thickened substantially so it goes into a tank to absorb the extra water and 80% of sand is left inside.
  • * The next ingredient is wood pulp which gives the FCB cement strength, w/o it the FCB will be brittle and can be cracked easily.
  • * Add water and stir it to soften and liquefy the pulp so that it can be easily pumped around the factory for processing.
  • * At the end of the mixing process, the pulp looks like thick oatmeal.
  • * Next, lower cylindrical sieves into position.
  • * But first, they blend together the liquefied sand, cement and pulp, along with some additives creating a fibre cement slurry.
  • * The pipe mixture is transferred into conveyor belt, then to a laminating roll. This process is repeated and multiple layers of fibre cement are laminated to the required thickness.
  • * Rollers squeeze numerous sheets together and they are still moist enough to stick together and they fuse in one thick board.
  • * Another roller then presses a wood like pattern on the surface of the cement board.
  • * A spray of high pressure water then slices the cement sheet into planks.
  • * A robotic suctioning head gently picks up the fibre cement planks and transfers them to a palate (the planks are fragile at this point and needs to be handled with care).
  • * Loaded on the palate the cement planks are ready for some toughening up.
  • * Bake the FB Planks inside steel tubes, they are autoclaves – high pressure ovens.
  • * Pressurized steam enhances the chemical reaction between the ingredients to cure the cement board.
  • * Then they load the cement siding to a rail car goes down to the next station.
  • * Then with machine they do something called stack breaking.
  • * During the curing of siding, planks can get stuck together so these hydraulic cylinders lift and separate them into individual board.
  • * Then they do the test: they bend the board with a steel rod in the centre with the sides fixed to check the strength of the board.
  • * If it can stand the pressure, the production line moves forward.
  • * Then painting of the sidings is done.
  • * Entire process takes 3 days.