When it comes to processing valuable powders, maximizing the yield of good product is arguably the essential step in the process. By maximizing yield, companies ensure that they get the highest return on their investment in processing by guaranteeing that at least 95% of good powder is being captured and not put into waste or off-grade product streams. Elcan Industries uses a proprietary line of sieving equipment that does just this. This superior technology, combined with 30 years of screening experience, allows companies to achieve yields of 95% and greater. If you are struggling with rerunning material or having to regrind powder that wouldn’t pass through the screen, Elcan is here to help.
What factors increase yield?
There are several steps that come into play for helping companies increase their material yields. The first step in measuring your potential yield is conducting a particle size analysis. This can be done using many types of equipment, but the most common ways are through ROTAP (sieve analysis), a jet sieve, and a laser system to measure the particle size distribution. This will tell which sieve sizes need to be used. Elcan Industries uses this information to quantify the efficiency of the screening. The first step is to put in the exact screen sizes required to achieve the highest yield efficiently. This means that if a company wants powder below 44um and above 20um, 44 and 20um sieves are used, not a 53um and a 25um, to “cheat the hole.” Many companies employ this tactic so that they can “say” they are screening at the desired cut size, but in fact they aren’t and in turn their customer is losing valuable material in the process and money.
How can material yield be improved?
Material yield can be improved by implementing a few techniques that has given Elcan a competitive advantage over every other screening technology in the market place. Elcan begins the process of running powders through the Hi-Sifter sieving machine system. Unlike Ultrasonic and vibratory screeners, the Hi-Sifter employs a low frequency, high amplitude approach to sieving, which prevents the screen mesh from blinding and results in a much more efficient cut and higher yield. The best way to measure yield is to look at the amount of fines remaining in the oversize. This will tell you how much material did not pass through the screen that should have and will quantify how well the machine is running. In the example below, the customer’s product was -44 microns +20um. Looking at the +44um, you can see zero percent below 44um remaining in the oversize fraction.
This demonstrates that all of the potential powder that could be recovered is being removed, hence maximizing the yield. This measurement is deemed the “out of spec,” and companies that work with Elcan always see an out of spec below 5%, meaning a minimum yield of 95%. This cuts down on reprocessing costs while also maximizing the amount of good powder received by the client. If the out of spec is above 5%, Elcan observes which particles did not pass through the screen and makes adjustments based on these observations. There are many reasons why and this is where Elcan’s vast experience in the powders business comes into play. If you are working with a toller or using conventional and ultrasonic sieves, there is a good chance that multiple passes are being done or good material is being sent to regrind. Call Elcan today to see how we can help maximize your yield with the toll sifting services we offer.
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