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MAXAM Foundation
The Congreve grainer

MAXAM Foundation - House of the Explosive - The Congreve grainer

This Congreve grainer or breaker was manufactured in Birmingham in 1890 and bought by the Spanish Army’s Artillery Unit which sent it to its powder factory in Murcia (nowadays integrated into EXPAL, spearhead of MAXAM Defence business unit). Loaned by the Ministry of Defence to the MUMI, the transportation, recovery and installation in January 2015 has been completely sponsored by MAXAM Foundation.

The grainer is a large machine (8 m long, 5 m high and 1.5 m wide) that was used to break black powder stones into small calibers and subsequently flatten them. Under its pinch rollers there is a sieve with various vents that classifies the different calibers of grains and lets them fall into wooden containers placed over trolleys.

It’s been built entirely with bronze, brass and copper; materials that facilitate the conservation and durability of the machine due to their low reactivity against chemical agents. For the sieve, the motion curves of the rocker joint and the storage hopper were made with mahogany and pinotea wood, all wrapped up in an elegant Victorian style bronze structure. The final result brings together the functional and dynamic beauty of the gothic forms with the rational United Kingdom industrial era design of the time.


Last update 2021.06.21
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