Strategies to Optimise the Use of Hi-Flow Dewatering Horizontal Screens

March 7, 2019

Dewatering equipment is built to handle an unavoidable process side effect. No worries, though, a little groundwater is manageable. A pair of strong electrical pumps provide a fluid aggregate separation mechanism. On other sites, though, places where groundwater oozes out of every crevice, equipment suppliers know a working mine won’t stay viable unless a more dynamic solution is incorporated into the mineral processing chain.

Reviewing Mine Dewatering Objectives

Needless to say, there are two forms of mining dewatering. The first type is a flood control measure. The system uses drains and relief wells, plus a few well-placed pumps, to keep the groundwater levels low. This is a pure engineering issue, one that loops in a geological component. For process dewatering, of course, we’re looking at hi-flow dewatering decks, which use horizontal screens to segregate muddy water and spit out dry-packed aggregate. Ideally, when the process is in motion, it’ll keep on dewatering and “desliming” the muddy currents until they form a drip-free mass.

Optimisation Strategies: Dewatering Hi-Flow Cascades

And the fast-moving rivulets do seem like they’re cascading down an incline when they’re moving this fast. We need equipment that can dampen that energy. Better yet, there should be a range of innovative mining equipment that uses that energy as a source of dewatering power. The gear in question does already exist. It exists as either a standalone horizontal screening system, which efficiently drains water, or it attaches as a supplementary stage to a hydrocyclone, screw washer, or aggregate separator. As for how it optimises the drying and stacking phase, read on for more information about this fascinating process.

Double-Washes and Drip-Free Screening Equipment

Tracing the system, back-to-front, a 150┬Ám mesh occupies the final stage of a double-wash, hi-flow screening deck. The drainage section squeezes out that last bit of mineral slime, so a packed, cake-like substance is all that’s left. Meanwhile, the muddy water is drained and filtered until it’s an environmentally friendly fluid. As for the packed product, it stacks up further down the line. Making this post-processing refinement possible, the feed section of the horizontal screening deck employs a specially shaped pan. It’s in here that the valleys and pan troughs are optimised. They’re shaped and made to work in tandem with a pair of carefully tuned vibratory motors, whose stroke length forcibly boosts the decks’ drainage energy.

For that ultra-fine final-stage screening media to work properly and output its drip-free mass, the hi-flow dewatering decks must be carefully optimised. This takes place in two ways. Equipment-side, the screen pan and media promotes water droplet passage so that small pools form and drain away. Process-wise, the optimisation work concludes with a stroke tuning operation that sees the vibratory motors falling in sync with the pool-forming deck geometry.

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