Sand being one of the most important materials for our modern world may seem surprising, but sand is the second most used natural resource in the world, with the first being fresh water. It is estimated that over 15 billion tons of sand is mined and used each year. This sand can’t just be used right out of the ground; it needs to be cleaned, screened, processed, and dried.
Sand drying presents a unique set of challenges because of the qualities of sand grains:
Rough & Abrasive
Sandpaper is used to reduce or smooth for a reason, and processing or drying bulk sand acts like a giant amount of sandpaper against equipment. Equipment must be built to withstand the abrasion that will occur from constantly having grains of sand moving across it, including in gears and springs.
Depending on the use of the sand, the grains may need to be rough and abrasive so that they shear together and stick to materials, while others need smoother and rounder sand grains that flow easier. This impacts how the sand will abrade the equipment as well.
Screening and Clumps
When we think of sand one image that comes to mind is wide hills of desert sand as far as the eye can see, but ironically desert sand is not useable for most industrial needs. Instead sand has to be mined or dredged or taken from other areas, meaning it includes materials that are not sand. These foreign objects need to be screened and washed out of the sand using industrial sand screeners. Often the rocks that are screened out of the sand are then sold and used as gravel. The wet washed sand then goes through a sand dryer to get it to the usable moisture percentage.
Many sand mines are in very cold areas of the world, and the sand arrives to be processed as frozen clumps, which need to go through a sand dryer to be heated and broken apart before screening.
Heavy Fine Particles
The density and weight of sand is what makes it so useful in industrial applications, but that causes further issues when processing or drying sand. Sand is small and fine particles, but an immense weight when dealing with the large amounts of sand going through the sand drying equipment. The equipment must be built to withstand this weight and for larger loads to be conveyed on it in the case of upset conditions.
Carrier Vibrating Equipment has decades of experience building equipment specifically for the sand drying and processing industry, and our engineers make sure our equipment can stand up to the harsh requirements that sand creates. Need sand drying and processing equipment? Contact us now to see how we can help.