7th of 10 Magnetic Separator Myths
In the perfect world, installing a Magnetic Separator will enable 100% metal separation with 0% product loss. However, is this even remotely possible?
Often as part of a project specification, there will be a question asking about the level and percentage of metal separation. In some projects, the expected metal separation target is even stated.
The response from Magnetic Separator suppliers will include a statement regarding the level and percentage of Metal Separation, often without any qualification. So what should the answer be?
There are a number of questions that need asking before the level of Metal Separation can be estimated and these include:
- What is the Metal Separation objective? Is it to remove problematic metal and protect processing equipment as when processing food, pharmaceuticals, or plastics? Or is to recover as much metal as possible, which may be the objective in a recycling operation?
- How much product or non-metallic material can be lost? The non-metallic material might be the product or it could be the waste. It is commonly found that higher Metal Separation rates are often accompanied by a higher loss of the non-metallic materials;
- What purity of end product is required? In recycling, the aim is to achieve recovery of metal, but at what point does the value of the recovered metal become affected by the level of contamination? In the food and plastics industry, the final product quality is paramount;
- How is the stated Metal Separation figure in terms of separation and/or purity monitored once the equipment is installed? Commonly, very high separation percentages are quoted by suppliers as it is well recognised that once the equipment has been installed the actual separation rate will never be checked;
Just asking these four questions enables a really good initial assessment of the application. Then it is possible to make a recommendation in terms of the design of Magnetic Separator, and the mode of installation and operation.
Importantly, if a Metal Separation target is a key part of the contract, ensure that there is an agreed process to check the level of separation once the Magnetic Separator is installed.
With regards to the original statement, ‘We Guarantee 100% Metal Separation’, this is a claim made by only the brave or ill-advised. Processing materials such as food, recyclables, minerals, aggregates, chemicals and plastics can be carefully controlled, but is always subject to variations that can affect any part of the process including the level of metal separation. Even by installing multiple magnetic separators of different designs, achieving a 100% Metal Separation is simply a myth.
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