Characteristics of Sedimentation-Based Equipment

King, Donald L. ; Baczek, Frank A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
Sedimentation-based equipment is used in applications where separation of solids from liquid by gravity settling is desired. If a concentrated solids slurry is desired, the equipment is designed to "thicken"; if a clear liquid is desired the equipment is designed to "clarify." Thickeners normally handle higher solids loading rates than clarifiers, which usually process feed slurries containing low concentrations of suspended solids. Thickeners are therefore designed for heavier-duty requirements, and clarifiers have extra features to ensure more complete suspended solids removal. Major components (Figure 1) that are common to all sedimentation-based equipment are: tank, drive-support structure, drive unit and lifting device, rake structure, feed well, and a means of overflow and underflow withdrawal. Specific features are designed interdependently after the overall separation approach is defined conceptually. This conceptual approach is usually based on past experience or evolves from sedimentation studies conducted on samples of the slurry to be handled. Because many variations and combinations of components are possible, the overall conceptual approach has a number of possible designs that will accomplish the desired results. The final choice is based on practicality, potential for minimizing upsets, and cost.
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