Metso Insights Blog Aggregates blog Synthetic media in the aggregate production
Aug 17, 2021

Service Tip - Benefits of using synthetic screening media in the aggregate production

Jens Lagerskiöld
Jens Lagerskiöld
Screening Support Manager
The term "synthetic media" has been frequently used to describe the rubber and polyurethane screening media. The use of synthetic media in the aggregates screening has been increasing in the past years. In São Paulo metropolitan area, for instance, more than half of the quarries already use totally or partially this type of screening media. Why? Read about the benefits below.
Trellex LS screening media

Longer wear life with synthetic media

One of the greatest advantages of synthetic media over wire mesh is the longer wear life. Despite of the high initial investment, most of the times this the longer wear life justifies the use of synthetic media.

The typical wear life of wire mesh is approximately 300 to 600 hours, while for synthetic media it is about 2,000 to 5,000 hours, depending on the material size and abrasivity.

In addition to the quality of the compound used in the production, a factor that decisively influences the wear life, is the thickness of the media. However, care should be taken when choosing thicker media, as it can negatively affect all the other performance parameters, as shown in the following illustration.

Thickness of the screening media

Is the open area of the synthetic media smaller?

The issue of open area has reduced a wider application of synthetic media. The general belief is that the use of synthetic media reduces the screening capacity significantly due to the smaller open area, when compared to wire mesh.

However, it has been proven in practice that the reduction of capacity, when it happens, is quite minimal, considering the proportion difference of the opening area among the screening media types.

It is important to highlight that if a screen constantly operates with screening media with blinding/pegging, which is a common situation when using wire mesh, an increase in the capacity can be expected when this media is replaced with a synthetic one. Due to its larger flexibility, rubber screening media usually presents much smaller clogging levels.

Screening media with pegging
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Safety first

An important aspect to take into consideration is the high risk potential in the use of synthetic screens; the possibility of a fire. Accidents have occurred causing not only the loss of the screening media, but the screen as well.

The source of fire ignition is often the weld drops, melted steel and incandescent pieces originating from the blowtorch use, for instance during screen maintenance or external elements, such as the feeding chutes.

During maintenance, it is recommended to remove the screening media or at least cover the whole area with anti-flame sheet. In addition, it is advisable to have a fire extinguisher or a water hose at hand. 

Screening media with blinding
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