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Screens & Feeders

Polyurethane screen media passes tests on the northern border

A producer near the NSW/Queensland border has successfully substituted woven wire for polyurethane media.

Finding the best outcome for customers is a key tenet of every supplier’s strategy for the quarry marketplace.

If the company can offer products that help its customers screen more efficiently, it is viewed as a win. Since acquiring the Tufflex brand a couple of years ago, Locker Group has been active in identifying suitable applications within its customer base.

Tufflex is a polyurethane-coated screen media that can be substituted for traditional woven wire screens with minimal adjustment to the screen deck. Available in several combinations of both rope and wire diameter and aperture size, Tufflex offers additional customisation options via partially or fully welded screen cloths. The smooth surface of the polyurethane prevents sticking and blinding, which is further enhanced by the flexibility offered by Tufflex’s cloth construction.

A fully welded Tufflex screen cloth in a wet sand application.
A fully welded Tufflex screen cloth in a wet sand application.

In mid-2017 one of Locker Group’s major customers near the New South Wales/Queensland border trialled Tufflex screens on one of its decks.

In consultation with Locker Group’s Allan Coombe, the site agreed to test the benefits of Tufflex in practice. It purchased two fully welded screens to cover the deck, 23mm aperture with an 8mm wire rope diameter.

This Tufflex combination provided the site with 55 per cent open area on this screen. The screens were delivered to site hooked and ready for installation, but unlike traditional screen media, Tufflex is shipped in rolls and can be moved by one person, conforming to site OHS policies.

The site manager reported that, with large amounts of rain in the area, “we had struggled over the years to keep the grading quality consistent. The Tufflex cloths not only improved the quality but also minimised blinding, improved efficiency and have great wear.”

The site’s previously supplied product was traditional poly ripple or rubber screens. Because the wear on the Tufflex screen cloths is better, this provides the site with longer periods between changeover and less downtime during busy screening periods.

Tufflex screens in a dry application.
Tufflex screens in a dry application.

Tufflex screens have been documented to last up to 10 times longer than traditional woven wire screens, because the flexible and smooth nature of the materials allow it to move with the passing material. The impact effect is reduced, allowing longer wear life.

The flexibility of the screen prevents sticking and blinding. Thus, the screens continue to perform at maximum efficiency without having to stop for cleaning. The increased run time adds up to considerable volume upside across the year for the same overhead cost structure.

The customer was so happy, it has followed the trial by placing an order for 12 Tufflex screens, ranging from 5.5mm to 16mm aperture across the site. These screens will again replace poly ripple screens, traditionally used for their self-cleaning properties in this sometimes sticky feed situation.

Tufflex is ideal for use in wash decks, where the product mix is sticky and susceptible to blinding and blocking the screens. Partially welded screens provide the flexibility and secondary vibration that allows product to slip past. The slippery nature of the polyurethane coating prevents build-up on the intersecting pieces.

Tufflex is available in several profile configurations – a square weave from 0.7mm diameter wire with a 15mm aperture through to 7mm diameter with a 21mm aperture.

The rectangular weave offers a similarly impressive range.

Source: The Locker Group

Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 12:56pm
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