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|Using normal low pressure filtration methods for the dewatering of fine china clays, the best that can be achieved is cakes with about 30% moisture. In order to get the moisture levels down to acceptable levels the traditional method used is thermal drying, which is both costly and dust creating. It was to improve this process that ECC International embarked upon a programme of development of filtration equipment using high pressure to achieve significantly lower moisture levels. This development work investigated several design philosophies and culminated in the production of two quite different solutions. The High Pressure Plate Press uses round plates / chambers of one metre diameter and a filtration pressure of 70 bar. This press is fully automatic and produces a surface dry cake that has sufficient plasticity for the further processing that is required on specific qualities of china clay. The TUBE PRESS on the other hand uses a unique design configuration and operates at a filtration pressure of 100 or 140 bar, depending upon the model. The TUBE PRESS produces a brittle, surface dry cake that is easy to handle and a filtrate that is usually crystal clear. The TUBE PRESS achieves a much higher degree of separation than is possible with conventional equipment, which is particularly important if the filtrate is the product. Over the past 15 years plants incorporating both HP Plate Presses and TUBE PRESSES have been installed in the china clay operations of ECC International and are giving excellent trouble free service. The TUBE PRESS has also proved to be extremely versatile, effectively dewatering a wide range of fine particled slurries, in a number of diverse industries.|