by Lars Bräunling, MAJOR Director of Product Technology
Self-cleaning screen media offers a number of benefits, including the elimination of pegging and blinding for aggregate and mining operations. However, certain design characteristics, such as limited opening sizes, leave producers with little option on where to employ self-cleaning screen media in their operation. Because of this, self-cleaning screen media is often thought of only as a bottom deck solution.
Recognizing the opportunity to take the principles of self-cleaning screens a step further, engineers looked for ways to increase durability and provide application-specific customization for a productivity-boosting solution producers could use on any deck. The result was a new category of screen — high-performance screen media. Here’s what makes it different.
Increased wear life
One of the biggest drawbacks of using traditional self-cleaning media on upper decks is that it cannot stand up to the impact and abrasive forces of larger material. High-performance screen media addresses these issues by incorporating enhanced wire and a unique structure to maximize durability and wear life.
It begins with the wire. Wire quality plays an essential role in screen performance. Many manufacturers choose their wire based on current market prices, resulting in fluctuating wire quality and inconsistent performance. Some manufacturers, on the other hand, rely on high quality wire for their screen media to ensure consistent quality and durability. It offers improved molecular structure over other techniques for optimum tensile strength, hardness and ductility, resulting in the highest quality, longest-lasting wire.
High-performance screen media’s strategically engineered wires are held together with polyurethane strips, eliminating the need for cross wires with high wear spots. This innovative design maximizes open area and extends wear life as much as five times longer than wire alone — even on top decks.
More efficient stratification
Taking advantage of these design benefits, producers who employ high-performance screens on the top deck are able to realize the screen media’s payoffs earlier in the screening process, as well.
Stratification, for example, is one of the key benefits. High-performance screen media wires vibrate independently from hook to hook under material contact, supplementing vibrations from the screen box with additional frequency to accelerate the stratification process. This added frequency can be as high as 8,000 to 10,000 cycles per minute — up to 13 times higher than the standard screen box vibration — helping fine material to stratify and pass through the screen faster.
Optimizing stratification at the very start of screening results in faster screening and optimal throughput. Greater quantities of fine material pass through the screen media’s open area earlier in the process, which increases the effective capacity of the machine and virtually eliminates carryover. Some aggregate and mining producers have shown as much as a 40% increase in overall production with high-performance screen media.
Reaping the benefits of early stratification on the top deck relies on producers being able to acquire screen media with larger openings, though. Unfortunately, options for self-cleaning media are often limited to very small apertures, only suitable for use on lower decks.
High-performance media, however, offers more specific customization, allowing producers to find a solution for every deck that amplifies production. Some manufacturers can create openings as small as .02 inches up to 6 inches (.5 millimeter – 150 millimeters) for a custom-fit media solution that best suits an operation and application. In one example, a producer required a combination of self-cleaning media in .250-inch and .187-inch openings to ensure their material was within spec. This near-fit solution worked, but there were production drawbacks. The manufacturer was able to create a custom .217-inch opening for use across the entire deck. This allowed the producer to reduce necessary inventory and costs, as well as boost efficiency during change-outs.
In addition to providing the precise opening size needed, high-performance media is designed to properly align with the support bars on a vibrating screen to give the most open area. This results in media that is 100% aligned to a piece of equipment for more throughput and the lowest cost per ton.
Working with media dealers and manufacturers to provide a custom screening solution tailored to the application will ultimately lead to maximum performance. As part of a comprehensive plan, high-performance screen media offers producers optimum stratification and increased throughput while providing industry-leading wear life — no matter the deck.