The water treatment industry has several different types of materials and processes that it uses to consistently filter water and successfully remove particulate matter, including waste and other debris. One of the most simple yet critical materials used to this end is wire cloth and industrial wire mesh, carefully selected to be effective against the type of matter to be removed.
But where does the use of this wire cloth fit into the process of water treatment? Let’s find out!
Screening: The First Step in Water Treatment
In a water treatment plant, water is filtered using a series of steps that gradually remove contaminants in different phases, based on their physical and chemical properties. The first process is known as screening and is meant to remove the bulk of solid matter from the water. Both coarse and fine metal mesh screens can be used in this step, often one after another, to increase the chances of filtering out as much particulate matter as possible. This is such a fundamental step that it is often considered to be a part of pretreatment, or not even the central water treatment process itself.
Why does screening matter? Removing solid matter from water does make it cleaner. But, it’s critical to start the water treatment process with this screening step because it reduces the long-term wear and tear of the treatment plant’s machinery. Without screening, downstream machine parts interacting with the water to be treated would be susceptible to impact damage, clogging, and other potentially destructive interactions.
What Types of Screens Are There, and How Do They Work?
One key distinction is between coarse screens and fine screens, which function in slightly different ways to target solid contaminants a bit differently.
A coarse screen usually has an opening of at least 6 mm in width and is intended to remove larger solids from the water. Generally speaking, coarse screens can be cleaned either manually or mechanically. It’s important to clean them often because they gather up so much solid matter so quickly–and so large–that they can quickly become blocked off. To ensure screens are cleaned often and to reduce labor costs, mechanical cleaning of screens is typically employed in newer treatment plants.
A fine screen is generally 1.5 mm to 6.0 mm in width. There are also very fine screens that exist, with holes that are 0.2 mm to 1.5 mm in size. These screens are even more helpful in removing the types of solids that can gradually build up in the treatment of plant machines, which could reduce their efficacy.
The most robust metal mesh screen used in a water treatment plant is made of welded wire mesh. The metal mesh is preferred because it allows water to pass at high pressure while trapping solids, often into a basket or other similar container that can then be cleaned easily. Several layers of wire mesh can be welded onto a base plate, also made of metal, which strengthens the overall screen and helps secure it into place. The layers of the mesh also allow for more straining surface to be available so that debris can be reliably captured. The metals used to form these screens are corrosion-resistant so that they do not rust and can be used for some time before they need to be replaced–driving down long-term costs as well as labor needs.
Screening water removes the bulk of solid matter to both clean water and prevents damage to treatment plant machinery.
Fine and coarse mesh filtration screens are essential to screening water at treatment plants.
The design of screens is optimized to maximize endurance and reduce long-term costs.
Wire Mesh Products for the Water Treatment Industry
Although critical to water treatment, customized filter cloth is not used exclusively in the water treatment industry.