Understanding the Workability of Sludge Dewatering Systems in Quarrying

February 26, 2019

When pools of sludge overwhelm a working quarry, the site requires a dewatering solution. The equipment arrives, it evicts the murky water, and the sludge breaks down. On one side, exiting the machinery, solid components flow. They’re dry and manageable now. Elsewhere, ejected as dirty water, the separated fluid pools in a second location. It’s an amazing setup, which deserves a closer look, one that’ll explain its primary operational components.

More Than a Filtration Mechanism

Sure, dewatering machinery uses filters, but these material sieving assemblies are passive. For a heavy-duty sludge separation system, only a dynamic mechanism will serve our purposes. The medium of choice is referred to as a “geofiltration” unit. It’s used on building sites and quarries to process gritty streams of dirty water. Built out of permeable polymers and textiles, geofilters perform well as first lines of defence or post-filtration stages. Far more active and effective, however, the equipment calls in belt filter presses and centrifuging mechanisms, which operate on an all-to-familiar principle. Essentially, kinetic energies move different masses at different velocities. By using fast-moving mechanical parts, this principle becomes a real-world sludge separation mechanism.

Understanding Sludge Separation Equipment

There are pumps everywhere, and they vary in size and shape. They’re essential equipment parts, which use electric motors, plus a solids pumping mechanism. Progressive cavity pumps work well here, as do heavy-duty centrifugal models. Importantly, it’s their ability to shift water and coarse sludge that matters most, not their capacity or horsepower. Low flow by design, multiple pumps handle the rocky slurry that lives in the sludge. Now the pressing filters and plates squeeze the partially processed sludge. With the water soon pressed free, a cake-like mass is left behind. We’re making progress. Only, the gear functioning inside a sludge dewatering housing is a mite more complicated than the system described above. There are pneumatic jacks to adjust, roller presses to align, and at least one filtrate tank to maintain.

Comparisons can be made between the kidneys in a living creature and dewatering gear. They do look a little like a mining crusher, except the feed hopper accepts viscous sludge, not rocky, crushable mineral loads. Then, with the mucky, stony mass flowing inside the equipment, geofilter bags and belt presses take over. Multiple motors and pumps provide roller drive energy and centrifugal force. Nearly at the end of the equipment line now, water is ejected while a solid component (a mud cake) is kicked out of another discharge roller. Freed of their liquid phase, the quarry solids are that much easier to transport and process.

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