Screen media plays a crucial role in efficiently segregating or separating minerals. Without a high-performance, durable screen material, frequent screen changes and unplanned downtime are inevitable. High-quality screen media maximizes run time, operating efficiency and profits while minimizing downtime and maintenance costs.
Mining operations sacrifice thousands of dollars in lost revenues due to screen media maintenance issues and inefficient screening. One way to ensure the quality of the screen media is to evaluate the process by which it is made.
Although used in manufacturing settings for years, it wasn’t until the late 1960s that injection molding was first incorporated in the production of screen media. That’s when Manfred Freissle, the Father of Polydeck, engineered a modular synthetic screen media concept and chose injection molding as his manufacturing process of choice.
Advantages of Injection Molding
Modular screen media needs to be consistent in its construction throughout the panel in order to withstand the harsh forces generated in mining operations. At Polydeck, injection molding was chosen as the highest quality option.
Other processes like casting produce inconsistent results and rely heavily on an operator monitoring the process. There are no means to effectively inspect the material for proper curing that is non-destructive once the casting process begins.
For example, on rubber screen panels, under-vulcanization in the center or over-vulcanization of the outer skin reduces the performance of compression molded panels and therefore compromises screening efficiency. These irregularities led Peter Freissle, Manfred’s son, to choose injection molding instead for its consistency, durability, and overall quality versus competitive processes.
Since the creation of the first prototype, Polydeck has continually been committed to research and development of products and methods that lower the overall cost per processed ton for its customers. This uncompromising approach has resulted in screen panels that produce consistent high-quality results every time.
Consistency is Key (and the Proof is in the Product)
Polydeck’s injection molding process involves heating the raw material of proprietary polyurethane or rubber blends into a liquid state and injecting it under extreme pressure into a cavity containing a wide range of mold geometries required to make each specific product.
These components and geometries allow a myriad of combinations relating to the aperture size and shape, fastening type, and surface features, while producing panels that minimize any trapped air and/or voids inside the panel which compromise integrity. The entire process is carefully calibrated and computer controlled to monitor key process indicators from panel to panel, minimizing operator errors, and ensuring consistency.
As a privately-owned company focused solely on effective screen media solutions, Polydeck has the flexibility and a range of more than 1,500 screen panel design options to suit virtually any screening need.
The injection molding process can produce panels in minutes, not hours, enabling the company to feature the shortest lead time in the industry on non-stock screen panels. By using superior materials during manufacturing, Polydeck is able to ensure consistency in construction and repeatability from panel to panel. This means more product can be screened, leading to higher payouts and an overall more efficient screening process.
Ultimately, when choosing screen media, producers should consider the quality and value of the media, and base their decision on the overall costs saved over the life of the screen panel. Compared to media options sold at a lower cost, Polydeck screen media offers a range of time and cost-saving benefits that no one else can offer, according to the company.