Greetings from the United States! The 62nd Clemson Brick Forum is fast approaching. It will once again be held in Anderson, South Carolina (USA) on 3-5 October. This year’s Forum will deal with several big issues facing the brick industry. These include the new MACT (maximum achievable control technology) for air emissions that includes provisions for the emission of mercury and other metals deemed hazardous by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Mercury, for example, exists as ultra-trace (part per billion) levels in our raw materials, and the total annual emission from the entire US brick industry is very small. The extremely low levels of mercury in our materials makes measurement, capture and control very challenging. In addition to these air emission rules, we have also been faced with new rules for silica exposure which are significantly more stringent than previous versions.
In addition to these environmental challenges, we will also discuss building code challenges that face our industry. The National Brick Research Center’s thermal performance research, which is working to address energy code challenges, will also be highlighted.
While we will discuss emissions and building codes, we will not neglect the core mission of the Clemson Brick Forum, which is to provide practical information to brick makers on new developments and best practices. The Forum will begin with a seminar on body development entitled “From Raw Materials to Plant Mix”. The technical program will open with a series of presentations on manufacturing innovations provided by a number of industry leaders. New construction and upgrades to existing facilities will also be reviewed.
Finally, the sponsors of the Forum will once again host an excellent hospitality program in the evenings.
We hope that you can join us at the 2016 Clemson Brick Forum. For more information about registration, please visit: www.brickandtile.org.
John P. Sanders, Ph.D., PE
Director, The National Brick Research Center