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This article is meant to be used with and as a backup to the information found in the SDM
Screen spreadsheet found at (

Vibrating screens are primarily classification devices, used for separating a feed stream
into two or more products of different size ranges. They are also used for dewatering
clean coal and refuse products from cleaning processes, and for media recover
following dense medium separation. If they are used to remove excess of water and
fines from a feed stream prior to cleaning they are often referred to as desliming
screens. The general nomenclature and definition of screens whether they are used for
classification or dewatering is essentially the same.

Clean coal and refuse from a wet cleaning device is usually accompanied by large
volumes of water which must be removed from the coal. At the same time, the coal is
often separated into various size ranges for subsequent crushing or further dewatering

Coarse coal may be sized and dewatered on the same screen. Coarse coal to be
dewatered can either be presized before cleaning or can contain all the fines. If it is
presized, with the fine coal removed it can be dewatered at openings ranging from 0.5
mm to 6 mm, depending upon the market requirements of the coal, unless it is
necessary to remove the fine coal caused by degradation in the process. Fine coal is
not usually sized since the main purpose of the screen is to retain the coal solids while
removing water.

Dewatering screen selection is based on handling a bed depth thin enough to be freedraining. The depth of coal is a function of the size of coal being dewatered. The
smaller the average particle size, the more difficult it is to drain and the thinner the bed
must be. The presence of fine coal particles tends to fill up the voids and hold the
water. Dewatering screens are usually 3.5 M (12 ft.) or longer depending upon the

Copyright 2013 – all rights reserved

Under these conditions. Because of the tendency of fine coal to pack.5 mm) and it is necessary to provide sufficient screen area to pass the water. free water will be discharged with the coal. practice is to use profile wire screen surface. the amount of water admitted to the feed must be limited. If there is a large amount of free water with the feed coal. stratify. the surface moisture of the dewatered product will be high and under extreme conditions. a stationary sieve or sieve bend ahead of the screen may be used to reduce the water.25 mm to 0. which forces the coal to climb over the dam and makes the bed more porous permitting the free drainage of water. When dewatering fine coal (12 mm or 6 mm x 0). better dewatering can be obtained if the bed is periodically disturbed. The purpose of the screen is to retain the coal solids while removing the water. The openings in the screen surface are usually small (0. the high entrance velocity will cause the coal to flush-down the deck reducing the available area for the watering. sizing is not important. Many operators use spray water to break-up the bed of coal or a combination of dams and sprays may be used. The capacity of fine coal dewatering screens is influenced by the amount of water with the feed. Following Copyright 2013 – all rights reserved    . In order to obtain satisfactory screen surface life. or form a blanket or cake. The use of dense medium in cleaning coal is based on the difference in specific gravity between the coal and its impurities. If the amount of water is too great.VIBRATING SCREENS dewatering efficiency required and the size distribution of the coal being dewatered. In order to mix up the bed of coal. In order to prevent this. cross-dams are usually used. Media is expensive and it is desirable to recover the maximum amount possible and to recirculate it inside the circuit. A suspension of finely ground media (usually magnetite) and water with the specific gravity maintained at a point between the specific gravity of the coal and the refuse is used. Bed depth is normally considered to be no more than three times the largest particle size as a maximum.

5 M (3 to 4 ft. the more difficult to drain and the thinner the bed must be. as necessary.) or longer. one immediately following the drain section. The underflow should at least be 10% solids. A media recovery screen has two sections. the clean coal and refuse products are handled separately to remove the water and recover the media. Rinse water normally comes from two sources. Equipment Sizing Raw Coal/Desliming Screens Raw and desliming screens are sized on the basis of product through the screen deck or the overflow discharged over the screen deck. often 5 M (16 ft. Spray or rinse water is added for maximum efficiency in desliming. or refuse.VIBRATING SCREENS the dense medium process.) at the feed end of the screen. The rinse portion goes to dilute media for media recovery. In general the finer the coal. are usually selected. The drain portion returns directly to the dense medium circuitry. often times through a control system to help maintain the gravity. Drain and rinse screens commonly have two compartments underneath them. the first portion the drain. The first portion of the screen drains the media from the stream and returns it back to the system. and the second portion the rinse product. long screens. based on average grain size. a drain and a rinse section. The second portion washes and then dewaters the coal. In order to perform these operations. Rinse water is added in two locations. Following the drain section. partly fresh and Copyright 2013 – all rights reserved    . using the depth of bed that can be successfully drained and rinsed. recovery screens are often used to partially dewater the material before disposal. material is washed using spray water and the media recovered. Media recovery screens are selected on the same basis as others. To reduce the moisture in a fine refuse product. and the second half way along the rinse section. Dense medium Drain and Rinse Screens Screen capacity for drain and rinse screens is specified in regard to feed capacity. This water is then reused or discarded. The drain section is usually the first 1 to 1.

Clean Coal Dewatering Screens Clean coal dewatering screens are sized in a similar manner to raw coal and dense medium drain and rinse screens. For minimum magnetite loss higher flow rates of fresh water are preferred.VIBRATING SCREENS partly as recirculated water from the dilute media recovery circuit.smartdogmining. A general excepted factor of 2% degradation in particle size in a dense medium vessel circuit is excepted. Sufficient spray water should be added to bring the underflow concentration up to 10% by weight solids. Experience has shown that coal can have a degradation of 6% and the refuse can have up to 2% degradation. Media carry-over can reach 5-10%. Following desliming stage overall efficiency should be on the order of At finer average grain sizes the rinse water should be increased. Copyright 2013 – all rights reserved    . Media carry-over from drain to rinse section can be 2-5% of media fed to screen. The moisture content of the deslimed coal will be in the range of 16 to 20% by weight. A value of 15% could be used to be optimistic with a 18% being a good plant design factor.html) Performance Screen performance is very intimately related to sizing and has been covered in the previous section. Calculations for other vibrating screen sizing can be done using the SDM Screen spreadsheet found at (http://www. Refuse Dewatering Refuse dewatering screens will be sized similar to dense medium cyclone drain and rinse screens. A general accepted factor of 2% degradation in particle size in a dense medium vessel circuit is used. Screen efficiency for raw coal is commonly taken at 80 to 85% of the near size material.

and 12 mm x 6 mm (1/2" by 1/4") coal with surface moisture of 15%.html) Copyright 2013 – all rights reserved    . 38 mm by 12 mm (1 1/2" by 1/2") coal will have a surface moisture of 5 to 7%.smartdogmining.VIBRATING SCREENS In as much as the refuse and fine clays are removed the product moisture will be lower than from raw coal screening. It is commonly expected that + 38 mm (1-1/2") dewatered clean coal will have a moisture content of 3 to 5% by weight. Calculations for other screen performance for alternative configurations can be done using the SDM Screen spreadsheet found at (http://www.

VIBRATING SCREENS Copyright 2013 – all rights reserved    .

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