Non-traditional media often improves wear life and quality over woven wire
by Serge Raymond, manager-product technology, MAJOR
Choosing screen media for a screen box isn’t as simple as it used to be. What once was just woven wire now includes a variety of alternative options, such as rubber, polyurethane, metal plates, high vibration wire, combinations of different materials and more. With each type comes countless new options for customizations of a screen deck to provide enhanced efficiency and throughput — whether by using one type of media or blending multiple.
Standard woven wire is often the cheapest — at first sight — option, but that’s no reason for these alternative options to be passed over without careful consideration. Depending on the application, these innovative products can improve wear life; reduce pegging and blinding; speed up the stratification process and better remove fines, increasing the overall quality of the screened product.
Here are a few reasons to consider high performance screen media:
• Prolong Wear Life: Most types of specialized screen media offer a much longer wear life than traditional woven wire. Thick rubber and steel plate media clearly mean greater durability, but sometimes sacrifice open area. High performance media is made up of highly engineered wires held together with polyurethane strips, which eliminate cross wires with high wear spots that are common to woven wire and a few types of self-cleaning media. This results in optimal open area and a wear life as much as five times longer than wire alone.
• Minimize Screening Issues: High performance screen media can offer exceptional open area — in some cases 30% more than traditional woven wire and 50% more than traditional polyurethane and rubber panels. It is often a good solution for issues such as pegging, blinding or material contamination. Some media is tapered to help solve these problems, while others use unique designs to allow wires to vibrate independently from hook to hook under material contact. The result is high frequency vibrations from the wires, in addition to the vibration from the screen box. This virtually eliminates near-size pegging on the top decks and fine material blinding and clogging on the bottom decks. It also means less risk of material contamination and cleaner retained product through the middle decks.
• Improved Efficiency: Because screen machines are often placed at both the beginning and end of production, the right screen media can be key to the quality and volume of production. High performance media can offer the necessary efficiency boost because some kinds accelerate stratification and increase material separation.
High vibration wire screens operate at a high frequency to accelerate the stratification process. That frequency can be as high as 8,000 to 10,000 cycles per minute, as much as 13 times higher than the standard vibration of a screen box. The increased screening action spreads material over the entire screen’s surface area on all decks. This moves the material faster, while maximizing contact to ensure optimal throughput with no carryover. The result is a higher-quality end product.
This type of screen media can also be extremely effective in removing fines. The result can be less water needed to wash material or, sometimes, a complete elimination of necessary water use.
One type of screen media isn’t always the option, and the answer isn’t immediately obvious. Consult with a dealer and manufacturer to determine the best type of media to solve screening problems and improve performance. The right solution could mean turning a screen that was a bottleneck into a profit maker.