Wire screens are generally considered to be the most effective form of screen because of the stable screening surface and higher open area, and by developing a wire with improved mechanical properties FLSmidth has enabled customers to lower the total cost of ownership on screening plants.
The company’s Vibro Optimax wire allows optimum throughput, while offering superior wear resistance resulting in an improvement in the overall working life of the physical screen.
“This increase in screen life coupled with a significant decrease in maintenance translates into significant bottom line savings for our customers,” explains Alistair Calver, general manager of screen media at FLSmidth.
“Our continued focus on developing screen media products and ancillary equipment that will improve current screen performance allows FLSmidth to offer quality screen media solutions to meet specific application requirements,” he adds.
Vibro wire was originally developed in the 1980s and over time this screening product has further evolved in conjunction with customer input to ensure optimum performance. Ongoing development of the product culminated in the introduction to market of the Vibro Optima wire screens a few years ago.
Vibro Optimax wire was developed in conjunction with Scaw Metals over an 18-month period and has a higher tensile strength than standard screen wires with better wear characteristics. It is suited to screening in hard rock applications such as aggregates, iron ore and manganese, and allows for a reduction in wire thickness which translates into an increase in the open area of the screen. This improves the screen’s efficiency while maintaining the original life of the screen.
“Significantly, when selecting Vibro Optimax there is the option to reduce the wire diameter resulting in a reduction in mass on the screen and therefore the cost whilst increasing open area,” Calver says. “Choosing this route does not impinge on the efficacy of the process and, in fact, actually increases throughput while still increasing the lifespan because of the mechanical property of the wire. Going for a lighter screen means less installed mass as well as increased ease of handling and correct installation with a direct positive impact on operator safety during the process,” he says.
Wire screens facilitate optimum versatility as they can be manufactured with different aperture sizes and with different wire sizes at a relatively low cost. Calver does caution, however, that the accurate manufacture of wire screens is a challenge for the industry as while many companies can manufacture screens not all can manufacture the apertures correctly and according to required specifications.
“It is essential that the correct aperture wire ratio is selected as it is this that will assist with the pegging and blinding issues commonly experienced,” he adds.
“It is important that end users obtain input from a reputable supplier who is able to assess the requisite screening duties and apply the technology appropriately to ensure an optimum end result. We have references where the correct installation of Vibro Optimax has seen the life span of screens double,” says Calver.