Marketed by GL&V Australia , the fully automated Eimco Minerals Press is encouraging a rethink of the press’ place in minerals processing circuits.
Introduced to the minerals processing industry in the early part of the twentieth century, plate and frame filter presses provide a simple solution to mineral process slurry dewatering.
In practice, solid/liquid separation takes place in chambers formed between the recessed faces of plates mounted in a steel frame, automatically clamped together after feed slurry is introduced under pressure (up to 15bar) and forced through a permeable filter cloth.
When slurry capacity is reached, feed pumps are turned off and compressed air removes interstitial water from pores in the filter cake. When the desired residual moisture content is reached the hydraulic ram is released to open the press for cake removal.
With more than 30,000 installations worldwide, this proven technology is now adapted for fully automatic and unattended operations while still able to endure high cycling, high temperatures and corrosive environments.
The Eimco AFP IVTM Automated Minerals Press is the latest model.
Fully PLC-automated and powered by a single electrically-driven hydraulic power unit, the presses come with chamber numbers ranging from 10 to 100, a maximum filtration area up to 348m2 and a maximum chamber volume of 8.5m2.
Recessed and membrane type plates are matched to the mineral to achieve target cake moisture levels. The physical size of the filters is decreased by the automated operation and the time per cycle performing the filtration function is increased.
Discharge cake moistures as low as 6.5wt% are achievable with many base concentrates, and per tonne operating costs have been reported as among the lowest in the industry, with online availabilities exceeding 90%.
According to GL&V product manager Jim Wallace, it is the proven design combined with automation that has initiated the growing interest in plate and frame filter presses.
He says as well as automation, developments including a chain-driven cross head plate shifting and cake discharge system and a vibratory cloth shaker (to accelerate and maximise cake discharge per cycle) enhance the operational and economic effectiveness of the presses.
Wallace says recent sales confirm the interest in automatic filter presses.
Taiyuan Iron in China’s Shanxi province has ordered three 108-chamber filters to filter iron ore concentrate. Each filter will produce 200tph at less than 9% moisture.
A 50-chamber unit is bound for Anglo-American’s Namakwa Sands project in South Africa to filter gypsum.
A 77-chamber unit is on its way to Erdenet in Mongolia to filter copper concentrate with another unit shipping later this year. Each filter produces 45tph at <10% moisture.
The units for China and Mongolia will feature the cross head plate shifting system. The Namakwa Sands unit has long stroke cylinders for rapid discharge of the fast filtering gypsum.
Other service installations include zinc concentrate, lead concentrate, molybdenum concentrate, tin oxide concentrate, calcite and iron residues from steel mill wastes.
Wallace says the press operates continuously in harsh environments and handles highly abrasive material.
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