The true value of magnetic separators and metal detectors in bulk handling

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Courtesy of Eriez Magnetics Europe Ltd

Introduction
The purpose of a bulk material handling may be to transport material from one of several locations to an ultimate destination or to process material such as ore in concentrating and smelting or handling materials for manufacturing. The handling of dry materials in loose bulk form involved the extensive use of static machinery such as belt conveyors, screw conveyors, and various types of mobile equipment.

During mechanical handling, raw material often becomes contaminated with tramp ferrous and non-ferrous items. This metallic contamination may come from a variety of sources. Incoming products may contain contaminants from the transportation vessel used to deliver the product. The contamination may originate within the plant due to material processing, grinding, crushing or general abrasion.

The fact is that ferrous metal contamination damages process equipment and compromises the purity of the products that must then be scrapped or sold at less than full value. To reduce or eliminate these costly operational issues magnetic separation and detection equipment appears highly cost-effective and reliable. The use of magnets for removing ferrous contaminants in an industrial environment first began in the USA in the early 1940s when Orange F. Merwin developed a flat magnetic product to help farmers trap and remove metal contaminants from their grain chutes. At the time, unwanted or tramp metal in the grain flow often created a spark that would ignite the explosive dust causing fires, sometimes with catastrophic results. Orange’s early version of today’s plate magnet was a huge success. This led to the funding of Eriez Magnetics, which remains after more than 60 years, the world’s authority in magnetic separation solutions for industry.

Magnetic separators will remove all types of ferrous material such as nails, rust, scale, bolts, welding rod and other contaminants from dry or liquid products. Metal detection equipment, often introduced in the flow lines at a later stage will indicate the presence of trapped ferrous and nonferrous materials such as brass, aluminium and stainless steel.

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