In a world of depleting natural resources the race is on to find faster, cheaper, more efficient ways of reclaiming and recovering raw materials, as well as improving the purity and reducing the risk of contamination during their processing.
One of the more recent and exciting innovations in material separation is the non-ferrous Eddy Current Separator and how it is revolutionizing efforts to reduce waste and damage to the environment by recovering valuable non-ferrous metals from municipal and industrial refuse.
Sorting and separating ferrous metals using magnetized systems has been standard practice for many years. Recovering non-ferrous metals, however, was a labor intensive, costly and a time consuming exercise, only feasible from bulk materials like incinerated refuse and fragmentized car scrap. It meant metal mixes, such as brass, copper, aluminum and steel were relatively worthless as a mixture and were often landfilled. It was like pouring money — and vital natural resources —
down the drain.
The Eddy Current Separator is able to separate and recover aluminum and other non-ferrous metals from household, industrial and incinerated waste, including inert plastics and other materials. It is able to separate metals from scrap, and remove metallic particles and contaminants from glass and other substances. In fact, Eddy Current Separators offer a cost effective method of recovering up to 95% of valuable material from rubbish and waste, grading precious metal concentrates for further processing. It also improves the purity of non-ferrous auto scrap up to 85-95%, maximizing the speed and efficiency of recovery and increasing profits.
These systems use the latest and most effective magnetic circuits to produce strong eddy current forces, which maximizes efficient separation. Also incorporated are proven design features, such as quick and easy machine adjustments, single source dependability, and energy efficiency.
The principle of the Eddy Current Separator is fairly straightforward. Basically, a rotor comprised of magnet blocks, either standard ferrite ceramic or the more powerful rare earth magnets depending on application, are spun at high revolutions (over 3000 rpm) to produce an ‘eddy current’. This eddy current reacts with different metals, according to their specific mass and resistivity, creating a repelling force on the charged particle. If a metal is light, yet conductive such as aluminum, it is easily levitated and ejected from the normal flow of the product stream making separation possible. Separation of stainless steel is also possible depending on the grade of material. Particles from material flows can be sorted down to a minimum size of 3/8-1/2" (10-13 mm) in diameter. There is no question that Eddy Current Separators have been a crucial development for the recycling industry.