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EDSGN 100 Introduction to Engineering Design

Section 10, Team #8


From left to right: Jordan Woods, Srivattsan Ramesh, Arthur Cruz, Sabharish Nandan and Dan Reifenstein

Submitted by: Arthur Cruz, Sabharish Nandan, Dan Reifenstein, Jordan Woods, Srivattsan
Submitted to: Xinli Wu, Ph.D., P.E.

Date of Submission: May 4th, Spring 2015


This report compactly documents the usage, specifications, conceptualizing, prototyping and the
design of the Brick Crushing and Energy Generation System. The documentation includes
project management, technical analysis and design graphics for the course EDSGN 100 at The
Pennsylvania State University as part of the design project for the ArcelorMittal Company.


Table of Contents
Cover Page .........................................................i (Sabharish)
Abstract ..ii (Srivattsan)
Introduction 1 (Srivattsan)
Description of Design Task

Problem Statement 1 (Joint Effort)

Mission Statement .1 (Joint Effort)
Design Specifications ....2 (Dan)

Concept Generation and Design Approach

Gantt Chart 2 (Joint Effort)

Concept Generation ...2 (Joint Effort)
Design Selection Matrix 8 (Sabharish)

Final Design and Prototype

System Diagram 9 (Arthur)

The Prototype Model ...10 (Arthur + Joint Effort)
Dimensioning of the System 15 (Arthur)
Design Features 15 (Jordan)

Analysis of the System

Assessment of the Amount of Waste.15 (Dan)

Concept of Operations...16 (Jordan)
Life Cycle Assessment..16 (Arthur)
Economic Viability Assessment17 (Arthur)

Summary18 (Sabharish)
Conclusions18 (Sabharish)
Acknowledgements...18 (Srivattsan)
Attachments ..18 (Joint Effort)

We define sustainability as the ability of a system, organism or element to assume
multiple users across time, through an indefinite amount of generations by means of reducing,
reusing and cycling. Therefore, the motive of our project is to reduce the waste products through
steel manufacturing, at the ArcelorMittal Steelton Company. As a result, the focus was on the
type of waste producing the highest amount of waste, i.e. the 1586 MT of ladle bricks. Since the
main chemical, Magnesium Oxide (MgO2), doesnt contain any serious damage to the
environment, the bricks can be used again after breaking it down so that it could be added to
other construction materials to give out a stronger compound.
The brainstorming for the problem resulted in the Brick Crushing and Energy Generation
System to help break down the bricks before it being used elsewhere, while it helps produce
energy for the machine to run on significantly less energy. The main highlight of the design is
that crushed bricks produce a major portion of the energy required, through a piezoelectric
generator, to run the machine. With that, the cost required to run the machine is reduced and it
creates an environmental advantage.

Description of the Design Task

Problem Statement
The Problem is that at the ArcelorMittals Steelton facility, the disposal of furnace and ladle
refractory bricks on landfills represents a hazardous impact on the environment, as well as
misuse of potentially valuable resources. A solution to this problem would decrease the industrial
ecological footprint, and shift the production process from a Cradle to Grave to a Cradle to
Cradle doctrine. The increasing awareness regarding waste disposal in the industry has led to
efforts in recycling rejected materials.

Mission Statement
The mission is to design a system that provides effective means to transform the waste of
refractory bricks into reusable resources for industry, in an economically feasible way.

Design Specifications

The system must be easy to maintain.

The system must be energy/cost efficient.
The system must by compact and user friendly.
The system must be able to crush bricks faster than the bricks are produced.
The system must be environmentally friendly.
The system must eliminate most forms of physical labor.
The system must be durable and dependable.

Concept Generation and Design Approach

Table 1. Gantt Chart








Information Gathering
Concept Generation
Concept Selection
System Diagram
Concept of Operation
Life Cycle Assessment
Assessment of important
Prototype Building
Project Documentation and

Concept Generation

A set of five designs was generated in order to fulfill the design specifications and mission
statement, with special emphasis on the solving the ladle bricks disposal problem.


Design A
Refractory bricks are placed on a brick crusher that divides the material into small stones with
roughly 1 cubic inch. Those stones are transported by a conveyor belt to a truck bed, where they
are disposed in order to be transported to a local construction company. The conveyor belt that
transports the stones has piezoelectric generators attached to it, and these generators harvest the
mechanical energy of the motion of the stones and converts it into electric energy in the form of
an alternated current. The electric energy generated is used for powering part of the conveyor
belt itself. In the end, the crushed stones are mixed with gravel and then are used for diverse
applications in the construction industry, such as foundations for buildings, houses, roads and
sidewalks, etc.
Figure 1. Design A

Figure 2. Design A CAD model

Design B
The wooden pallets generated as waste by Steelton facility are placed into a fire that heats up a
large pot of water. The steam from the water is collected and harnessed to clean out the metal
barrels. Once the barrels are clean they are reused in making of new steel.

Figure 3. Design B

Design C
The wooden pallets will be placed in a big wood shredder. The shredder will tear apart the
wooden pallets and the metal nails. The leftover pieces of wood and metal combined will travel
up a conveyor belt and the metal pieces would be separated with a strong magnet at the top of the
ramp, the metal pieces would be recycled and reused for the production of steel. The wood will
be sold as mulch.

Figure 4. Design C

Pile of Mulch

Design D
The wooden pallets will be placed in an industrial chipper that is strong enough to cut through
metal as well as wood. The freshly chipped wood and nails will then be deposited in a large
water vat. Due to their differing densities, the metal and wood chip mixture will begin to
separate. The metal will sink to the bottom of the vat, while the wood will remain to float. From
here, the wood chips will be skimmed off the surface and used as mulch in local areas. The metal
will be collected, dried using an industrial fan, and finally put back into the industry as an input
in the steel production.

Figure 5. Design D

Design E
Starting with the hollow barrels, we need to seal off any openings that may create the barrel to
become filled with water. Then it is important to attach rocks to a heavy duty string, this will be
used as an anchor for the dock. Once the bricks have been attached to the barrels it is imperative
that one ties four to five barrels together in order for the dock to stabilize. Once the barrels and
bricks are emplace, the dock is now ready to be placed in water. Once in the water, the wooden
pallets are then placed on top of the barrels to create the dock.

Figure 6. Design E

Table 2. Weighted Design Matrix

Weight in

Easiness to

Overall Size







Amount of
waste than
can be



Skill required





Sum +s


Sum 0s



Sum -s


Net Score















By the weighted design matrix analysis the concept design A was selected for further
development. It is the design that best meets the criteria of assessing the problem with the ladle
bricks disposal, is energy efficient and has the highest potential for a positive environmental

Final Design and Prototype

System Diagram
This diagram represents a comprehensive view of the designed system.

The Prototype Model

Figure 7. CAD model overall view

Figure 8. CAD detailed view of brick crusher

Figure 9. CAD detailed view of piezoelectric system

Note: The arrows show the path of the crushed stones over the piezoelectric generators

Figure 10. CAD overall view of piezoelectric generator

Figure 11. CAD section view of piezoelectric generator

Figure 12. Schematic representation of piezoelectric generator

Note: Image credit:

Figure 13. CAD side view of system




Truck Bed

Note: The arrows show the path of the crushed stones

Figure 14. Physical prototype side view

Figure 15. Physical prototype top view

Figure 16. Physical prototype of piezoelectric generator

Note: The prototype was scaled to 1:10 with respect to the actual dimensions.

Dimensioning of the system

Brick Crusher: Length of 50, width of 50, height of 48

Conveyor Belt: Length of 200, width of 18, inclined 40 degrees with respect to the
horizontal plane, giving ground clearance of 10ft

Design Features

The design begins with the accumulation of many bricks. Bricks are placed at the top of the
machine and fall through two strong rotating crushers that pulverize the brick into small rocks
and pebbles. The small rocks fall through the cracks of the roller onto a conveyer belt. The
conveyer belt rotates with two axels, one on each side of the belt. The rocks travel up the ramp
and are dumped into a big dump truck. Before the rocks hit the bed of the truck they travel over
two piezoelectric generators. The concept behind the generator is that by rocks traveling over the
top of the generator creating the spring to move up and down which in turn creates a change in
magnetic flux which finally produces electricity that can be used to power the whole machine.
Once the crushed bricks are at rest on the bed of the truck it will then be transported roughly 25
miles away to a construction company that will use the bricks in the construction process.

Analysis of the System

Assessment of the amount of waste

On average, ArcelorMittal produces 1586 Metric tons of ladle brick each year, amounting
to 60% of the total brick that is produced as a byproduct of their quality steel. Currently, this
brick has no use in the industrial world, and as a result it becomes added waste to the already
abundant landfills. Treating these bricks as waste not only adds to the obvious and existing
problems with environmental harm, but also sends a perfectly good resource to its grave.
Assuming each brick is about 20x17x10 cm, it can be approximated that there are 450,000 ladle
bricks currently being sent to local landfills. If the Piezoelectric Brick Crushing System (PEBC)
performs as planned, it will crush ten bricks per minute. At a rate of eight hours a day for five
days a week, PEBC will have the ability to crush up to 1,152,000 bricks in a year and send this
freshly crushed gravel away to local construction companies. As clearly shown by this amazing

potential in crushing bricks, all 1586 Metric tons of ladle brick will be easily diverted from its
destination of landfill, and will instead be recycled back into the industrial world.

Concept of Operations
Obtaining bricks from the furnace and other areas of the facility is mandatory for the next step to
occur. Once the bricks have been collected it is imperative to put all remaining bricks in a pile
close to where the factory places the bricks. Then it is recommended that one places bricks onto
the woods brick crusher. Once the bricks are in the crusher it will start spitting out refined brick.
Once the brick is refined it will then be shot off of a conveyer belt into a large holding tank in
order for the refined brick to be shipped off to the nearest construction company.

Life Cycle Assessment

In the diagram above, bullets represent inputs/outputs, and boxes represent processes. It is
expected that the overall inputs of the system will be:

Bricks, that are the output from the steel production

Fuel, used to power up the brick crusher and the roadway trucks

The overall outputs for the system are:

CO2 from the combustion of fossil fuels in order to provide energy to the system
Dust, from the process of crushing stones
Crushed stones, that will comprise the main output

The process of producing electric energy through piezoelectric generators constitutes a

subsystem integrated within the main structure. The input for its process is:

Mechanical energy associated with the motion of falling stones

The output for its process is:

Alternated current (electric energy)

This output is used as an input for the motion of the conveyor belt. The electric energy is used
for providing 60% of the energy consumed by the conveyor belt.

Economic Viability Assessment

The main purpose of the design selected in economic terms is not to generate a net profit
or increase the revenue for ArcelorMittal Steelton. The reallocation of resources is intended to
decrease the overall costs associated with landfill waste disposal, by decreasing the output of
material for that use. The system designed transforms the output material from the steel
production into an economically exploitable input for construction industry, which may or may
not be used as a source of revenue for ArcelorMittal Steelton itself.
There is a relatively high upfront cost associated with implementing the system, and a
weekly cost of running the system (fuel + maintenance). However, the process is expected to
reduce by 60% the amount of refractory waste disposal. This would represent a proportional
decrease of 60% on costs related to landfilling itself. Considering that the crushed stones then
would be shipped to any construction company near Harrisburg via roadway, and if the distance
travelled was less than the distance from Steelton to the landfill, there would be a net decrease in
cost associated with transportation as well. It is a choice for the company to split the cost of
transportation between Steelton facility and the construction company, but it is advisable that the
companies do so since the construction company would make an economic use of the material.
In a nutshell, there is an overall decrease in 60% on costs associated with the refractory
disposal. This economic benefit compensates the initial cost associated with implementation of
the system in a long run.


To sum it all up, there was a lot of effort put in by the team on how to approach the presented
problem. Brainstorming emerged as a critical process as far as this project was concerned. The
goal was to reduce the waste stream by designing an opportunity to reuse and/or recycle the
waste refractory bricks with a special emphasis on the ladle bricks. Five individual designs were
created and the best one was picked using the decision matrix. The next step was to create a
computer-based model of the final design with the use of CAD software called SolidWorks. The
benefits of the final design cover almost all potential needs. It is simple, environmentally friendly
and economically viable.

This report has discussed the development of a Piezo-Electric Brick Crusher (PEBC) for
reducing ArcelorMittals waste streams at one of its facilities. The model that the team worked
on was potentially the best design that the group could come up with. The team was always
pumped up, motivated and engaged which helped in generating one of the most efficient ideas.
The team believes that the use of the piezo-electric generator was the stand out part of the entire
design. Thanks to ArcelorMittal for providing the opportunity to be part of their finest projects of
the year.

We thank ArcelorMittal for the opportunity and chance to work on such a project and
acknowledge the help and information given to us through the project introduction report.

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