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What is a Vibrating Screen?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A vibrating screen is a large mechanical tool used to separate solids, liquids and powders. Industries as diverse as mining operations, chemical companies and construction firms utilize these tools to help sort and clean items. Using gravity, motion and mesh screens, these tools perform the work of several people in a fraction of the time.

A vibrating screen separator is roughly the size of a metal garbage dumpster. It is constructed, many times, of a solid metal such as steel and has two open sides so users can visually monitor the progress of the screen. Most vibrating screens have four or more levels of screens stacked on top of one another. The screens are made of wire mesh and come in a variety of sizes in order to accommodate different jobs.

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The vibrating screen operates by having the items that are to be separated, such as marbles of different sizes, placed on the screen on the top layer. The entire machine vibrates in a gentle circular motion to work the material through the screens and separate any impurities. So the marbles of different sizes would slowly work their way down the many layers of screens, usually having the largest openings at the top layer and getting smaller as the marbles head toward the bottom. The result is a collection of marbles sorted by size, and any dirt and extra material is shaken off. The amplitude of vibrations can be adjusted in order to be gentle for delicate material and more vigorous for tougher items.

The mining industry is one of the biggest users of vibrating screen technology. Taking ore and minerals from the ground results in many impurities, so these organizations load goods into a screen until dirt and non-valuable rocks are shaken from material such as coal, iron and ore. Screens also are utilized in manufacturing, especially when metal items, such as ionized bolts and screws that need to be submerged in a bath, need to be dried. Here, full containers of liquid and metal can be poured through the screen and separated with the vibrations to ensure that they dry completely. Disparate industries such as archaeology, metallurgy and construction also utilize vibrating screen technology to get their jobs done.

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