Pressing Onward: A Dewatering Blog

How to Get Higher Throughput From Faster, Automated Cycles in the Mining Industry

By Michael Stock

High throughput = more efficiency = increased profits

Sounds like a pretty simple equation, right? Not necessarily. There are several factors ( discussed below) that can have  an impact on the first part of the equation: high throughput.


Filter press type and frame design

The type of filter press that you are using can have a significant impact on throughput speeds. More traditional style presses (like our J-Press® filter press) are best suited for general dewatering and low to medium throughput. So to get the high throughput needed for mining operations, a rapid dewatering system (like our MC Press® filter press) might be the best fit. This press comes in 3 different models to further tailor your press to your throughput needs:

  1. The H Model features:
    1. A single, long stroke, hydraulic cylinder
    2. Up to 50 filter chambers
    3. A throughput capacity of up to 65 tonnes/hour on a typical mineral concentrate
  2. The S Model features:
    1. Four short stroke hydraulic cylinders
    2. Up to 64 filter chambers
    3. A throughput capacity of up to 90 tonnes/hour on a typical mineral concentrate
  3. The D Model features:
    1. Four short stroke hydraulic cylinders
    2. Up to 130 filter chambers
    3. A throughput capacity of up to 170 tonnes/hour on a typical mineral concentrate
    Learn more about these presses and their applications in the mining industry. 


Press cycle and feed times

As you might suspect, the number and length of press cycles and the length of feed times is one of the primary factors in determining the level of throughput achieved. Filter presses that have simple, automated operation and few moving parts have very efficient press cycles. The cycles last between 8 and 12 minutes depending on the model, number of plates and plate configuration.

Plate configuration also impacts feed times. Filter presses with plates that are linked together like an accordion have feed times of 1.5 - 2.5 minutes.

So for another equation: fast and frequent cycles + low feed times = high throughput.


Filter plates and cloths

It is not just the configuration of filter plates that has an impact on throughput, the material filter plates are made of has an impact as well. Of course it is important to choose filter plates that are right for your application and the levels of mineral concentration you are dealing with.

For mining applications when you are dealing with abrasive mineral concentrates it is crucial to have plates that are extremely durable. The filter plates are designed to handle the higher flow rates demanded by the Merrill - Crowe application. The design allows for lower velocities across the feed and discharge components, which reduces the wear on the plates as well as energy costs.

For many other applications, plates made of lightweight polypropylene are the best choice because they have high chemical resistance and are very durable.

Choosing the right type of filter cloth is also important when trying to increase your throughput levels. Our filter cloths are available in a wide variety of weave patterns, weights, materials and porosities. The filter cloths selected to be used in the Merrill – Crowe application are made of a heavyweight polypropylene fabric that maximizes solids capture. The cloths are very durable, so they overcome the rigorous flow rate requirements.


Cake formation & discharge

Dry cakes + frequent cake discharge = high throughput

In most mining and mineral concentrate applications our presses produce cakes that have a moisture content of 6-8%. Cakes with low moisture content are discharged more easily than those with high moisture content. Easier and more frequent cake discharge means shorter press cycles and higher throughput.

To maintain efficient filter press cycles it is important that filter cloths are cleaned after every cake discharge. Frequent cleaning not only increases throughput, it ensures proper press sealing and cloth life.


Want to learn about our other dewatering systems?

Download our FREE guide - 9 Reasons to Build Your Case For Evoqua's  J-Press® Filter Press, Part of the JWI Family of Products.

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