Mining of raw materials is a complex process involving many crucial steps and a wide range of machinery and equipment. One of the most important steps is screening, the process of separating raw materials into two or more piles. One common screening application involves separating sand or silt from valuable raw materials like metals or precious gems.
Traditionally, screening has been a tedious, labor-intensive process prone to human error. Workers manually dug or sifted through piles to remove the target materials. Today, aggregate screens and screening machines have revolutionized the screening process, automating much of the work and reducing the potential for lost materials.
In the modern screening process, materials are separated using aggregate screens. These screens separate materials based on size. Comingled materials are sifted through several different aggregate screens until they are separated into different sized components. Once sifted, the material falls onto attached conveyers that deposit them into separated piles located throughout the mining site.
Typically, a screening operation would involve several different aggregate screens with different sized mesh or media. This combination of screens enables the mining operation to separate materials based on size or weight, or even texture.
Types of aggregate screening machines
Aggregate screens are commonly deployed on large screening machines that act as part of an assembly line on the mining site. Screening machines are generally divided into two different categories:
- Vibrating Screening Machines: Vibrating screen machines are large industrial pieces of equipment that use a vibrating screen box to separate materials. The vibration feeds the materials through a variety of aggregate screens that allow different sized materials to pass through. Vibrating screening machines utilizes specific motion types, such as linear vibration or elliptical vibration, to pass material through the aggregate screens.
- Stationary Screening Machines: Stationary screening machines utilize scalping screens and bar screens to separate larger material like rocks from smaller material like sand. Since the screens don’t vibrate, the screening efficiency of these types of machines is often much lower than that of vibrating screen machines. However, stationary screens can deal with larger and heavier materials like boulders and rocks.
Each type of screening machine offers its own benefits and suitability for different types of applications. For example, vibrating screen machines are often used in sandstone or aggregate operations, while stationary screening machines are utilized in crushing operations.
Both types of screen machines can be used with conveyer belt systems to transport the separated materials to various locations across the site, including onto trucks to make transportation fast and easy. Both types of machines can also be track or wheel mounted, making them easy to move around a mining site or from mining location to location.
Aggregate screening machines can separate any number of materials based on their size. Most mining operations focus on screening two to six materials at any given time.
The advantages of screen machines
Screen machines greatly increase the efficiency and accuracy of material sorting operations. They help to reduce post-mining processing times by conducing the separation process on-site, which allows for the separated materials to be transported to their respective target locations. For example, sand separated from the mining process can be shipped to cement manufacturing centers, while any raw metal caught by the aggregate screen can be routed to refineries.
Screen machines are flexible and can be configured to meet a wide range of application needs. By outfitting a machine with different sizes of aggregate screens, they can be used to separate a number of materials. This allows a pile of raw material to be filtered into valuable components. Piles can be filtered multiple times using different aggregate screen variations to ensure the capture of all valuable materials.
By adjusting the configuration of a screen machine throughout the various steps in the mining process, an operation can ensure the optimal recovery of all valuable materials.
Explore the benefits of a screen machine for your mining operation
Due to their widespread availability and the range of sizes and materials available, aggregate screens are an affordable and flexible solution for many screening operations.
If you run a mining operation and have yet to explore the use of a screen machine, you may be missing out on valuable raw materials. At RMS, our experts are here to help you review the needs of your mining operation to determine the best machinery fit. We can help you explore the benefits and costs of a screen machine to determine if adding one to your operations is worth the investment.
Contact us to learn more about screening machines and the use of aggregate screens in your mining operations. To explore additional machinery options, download the RMS Rentals Guide today.
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