by Lars Bräunling, MAJOR director of product technology
With screening typically occurring at both the beginning and end of production, optimizing the process is vital for overall plant efficiency. There are a number of screen media options on the market but selecting one that best fits an operation is key to maximizing production potential. The right choice can provide high-quality results — increasing throughput and decreasing downtime. The wrong choice can lead to pegging, blinding, breakdowns and product that doesn’t meet spec or quality standards — resulting in lost production and profits.
Working with OEM-certified screen media dealers or directly with media producers ensures screen media is ideally suited for an operation. Additionally, understanding the difference between screen media options can help producers figure out where to start the conversation.
The vibration capabilities of a particular screen media, for example, are often overlooked by aggregate and mining producers, but have a huge impact on overall performance.
Traditional screen media — such as perforated plate, woven wire mesh and engineered polyurethane or rubber media — is static, relying on the vibration of the screen box to do the majority of the heavy lifting. This limits vibration to 800 or 900 cycles per minute.
In most cases, this does not hinder traditional screen media from achieving adequate production and throughput, but it is not fully utilizing screening equipment, either. In situations where the screen media is not the ideal option for the process, this limited vibration could, in conjunction with other factors, contribute to pegging and blinding.
More than Buzz
To maximize screening potential and minimize the risk of pegging and blinding, producers should consider integrating high-performance wire screen media, which features wires that vibrate independently to amplify the screen process and increase throughput. Unlike static screen media, high-performance screen media uses bonded polyurethane or rubber strips to hold individually vibrating wires. These wires move freely within opening size specifications, creating more screening action and increasing overall efficiency. High-performance screen media can amplify the work of the screen box for vibrations of 6,000 to 10,000 cycles per minute — up to 13 times greater than the standard vibration of static media options.
Crunching the Numbers
Increasing vibration with high-performance screen media produces several efficiency-enhancing results. Because each wire is vibrating independently at high speed, high-performance screen media virtually eliminates screen buildup from blinding, pegging and clogging. This can significantly reduce downtime both for cleaning and premature replacements.
Additionally, operating at a higher frequency than traditional static screen media, high-performance options accelerate natural stratification. The design achieves maximum throughput thanks to better material-to-screen contact. The high stratification and a wider material spread results in greater quantities of fine material passing through the open area, resulting in less carryover and higher throughput.
With the right high-performance screen media, operations can amplify the screening process, resulting in production increases of up to 40%.