KWS Manufacturing

Insulated Screw Conveyors for Conveying Sodium Bentonite Wyo-Ben in Billings, MT

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General Description

Wyo-Ben is a leading producer of Wyoming bentonite clay based products that are used all over the world in applications such as oil & gas, environmental remediation, hazardous waste treatment, cat litter as well as many other industrial and consumer related products.

The Wyo-Ben facility in Greybull, Wyoming, is one of four facilities where bentonite clay is mined and processed. There are three main forms of bentonite: sodium, calcium, and potassium. Sodium bentonite is found in Montana and Wyoming. Sodium bentonite is an excellent absorbent and is used as an additive to the drilling mud for the oil & gas industry.

Screw conveyors are used throughout the mining and processing of bentonite at the Greybull facility. Wyo-Ben has determined that bentonite is easier to convey at elevated temperatures around 180-degrees F. Most of the screw conveyors are located outside and subjected to the harsh temperatures found in Wyoming during the winter months. Temperatures average around 2 degrees F with extremes of -40 F below. Wyo-Ben and KWS analyzed the problem and determined a simple solution for optimal conveying.

Insulated Screw Conveyors for Conveying Sodium Bentonite at Wyo-Ben in Billings, MT - KWS

Design Parameters

  1. Product Type – Sodium Bentonite
  2. Material Density – 37 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Conveyor Capacity – 10,000 Lbs per Hour
  4. Duty – 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days per Week

KWS Advantages

KWS worked closely with the Wyo-Ben maintenance manager to understand the application. Based on experience, KWS offered insulated screw conveyors to Wyo-Ben to convey the bentonite at around 180-degrees F. As the bentonite is processed, heat is added to the system. The insulated screw conveyors are needed to maintain the elevated temperature in the conveyors and to promote better bulk material flow. KWS researched the best insulating materials and determined that a mineral wool with a density of 8-lbs. per cubic foot would be the best fit under the conditions.

Insulated Screw Conveyors for Conveying Sodium Bentonite at Wyo-Ben in Billings, MT - KWS

Special Features

KWS provided screw conveyors with special insulated troughs and covers. The insulation was protected by light-gauge metal covers that could be removed so the insulation could be replaced when needed. Sodium bentonite can be slightly abrasive so KWS designed the screw conveyors with heavy-duty sectional screws that were continuously welded. The screw flights were constructed from AR-235 for abrasion resistance. In order to contain the heat of the sodium bentonite in the screw conveyors and to create a dust-tight assembly, KWS provided special double formed flange troughs. The double formed flange design made the assembly very rigid and the covers for the insulation were fastened to the double formed flange. The trough covers were bolted on 18-inch centers to create a fixed enclosure.


"The insulated screw conveyors provided by KWS have saved Wyo-Ben time and money in production. Once these were installed, the screw conveyors worked better than expected and Wyo-Ben was very happy to say the least. This was a big cost savings for Wyo-Ben. Job well done like usual! Thank you, KWS!"

John Swan, Account Representative – Motion Industries, Billings, MT

Insulated Screw Conveyors for Conveying Sodium Bentonite at Wyo-Ben in Billings, MT - KWS
Insulated Screw Conveyors for Conveying Sodium Bentonite at Wyo-Ben in Billings, MT - KWS

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