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Method and apparatus for thermally processing viscous, shear sensitive materials

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #4658891.

There is provided a thermal processor and method for thermally processing non-Newtonian, shear sensitive, viscous materials which are difficult-to-dry and difficult-to-handle, in particular dewatered waste water sludge from industrial plants such as metal hydroxide sludge from surface finishing and plating operations. The thermal processor includes a container having two parallel shafts disposed longitudinally therein for counter-rotational movement therebetween, a plurality of working tools attached by radially extending arms to said shafts and extending towards and substantially up to the sidewalls of the container. The parallel shafts are spaced from each other such that the paths of travel of the respective working tools attached to the shafts overlap therebetween in an area of material interaction. The working tools are double wedge shaped having two substantially triangular sides converging toward each other at their connection to the shaft and converging toward each other to define a forward edge which forms the leading edge of the tool. The bottom surfaces of the tools are recessed from the bottom edges of the triangularly shaped sides. A radiant heater is disposed in communication with the container of the thermal processor to uniformly heat all of the sludge particles in the material being processed as the material is impelled and divided in the free space of the container.

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