In 2007 Lafarge Cement Romania contracted with Dome Technology to build what would be the world’s largest clinker-storage dome. The dome was completed in 2009, designed to increase capacity at Lafarge’s cement-production plant in Medgidia, Romania.
Client requests + customization
According Wieslaw Krynicki, who acted as the Lafarge project manager, the company’s main requests included capacity, durability, temperature resistance, and cost effectiveness. A dome from Dome Technology was selected “because of (its) innovative and cost-optimized solution,” he said. “All requests and expectations were fulfilled. I am rather sure that in case of similar need, Lafarge would go for the same solution.”
Storing a large volume of heavy product like clinker requires an appropriate foundation, and “the dome was appealing to (Lafarge) because the cost was less than silos, primarily due to mitigating of deep foundations,” said Dome Technology sales manager Lane Roberts. “We were able to do a Geopier foundation system that greatly reduced the cost.”
Geopier RAP systems are constructed by applying direct vertical ramming energy to increase the lateral stress and improve surrounding soils. This method results in foundation settlement control and greater bearing pressures for design. The RAP system often results in 20 to 50 percent cost savings compared to supporting a structure on a deep-foundation system, and the construction schedule is also reduced because installation happens quickly.
Not only did Dome Technology provide the dome, but also three tunnels underneath the dome for reclaim equipment, project superintendent Bryan Butikofer said. The tunnels allow for reclaim via gravity and front-end loader.
The dome’s ability to sustain large loads at the apex was a boon to the project, which required a 50-foot head house for the filler conveyor, a restraint system to secure the head house in the event of seismic forces, and a dust-collection system perched atop the dome.
Dome Technology’s team worked closely with Lafarge to ensure the end product would complement their specific storage and handling requests. “Dome Technology was a very good partner during this project, showing a lot of responsibility, respect, and transparency,” Krynicki said.
Romanian and Polish crews completed most of the dome construction—part of the model Dome Technology’s team strives to follow by hiring local help. “We purchase local supplies and materials and work with local crews to strengthen and build the economy of the area where we’re working,” Roberts said.