Mining Screening Media Polyurethane and Rubber

Which is Better for Mining Screening Media – Rubber or Polyurethane?

Mining operations have been using woven wire cloth screening products for many years with satisfactory results. Certain operations that experience unusually high wear and require frequent screen replacements, however, should likely be considering engineered screen media. Rubber and polyurethane panels are two materials that have been shown to handle abrasive or heavy materials more effectively than woven wire.

Both materials are excellent, but it’s important that companies understand the subtle differences so that they are purchasing the optimal mining screen media for their particular operation. By taking a few steps, they can avoid excessive expenses and downtime.

What does an operator need to know?

There are typically three primary considerations when selecting the screening media:

1. Take a look at every facet of your mining operation to determine what challenges you face to increase production and profitability.

2. Think about the material that will be going through the screen, and find a reputable screening supplier to help you match the media material to your application.

3. Take the time to learn how to install and maintain the screening media properly.

Look to rubber when screening larger materials

If the material to be screened is larger than 12 inches or if the application requires a screen opening of more than 4 inches, then rubber could be your better option. That’s because rubber screens can be manufactured thicker than polyurethane, which results in reduced noise, impact and abrasion resistance, and enhanced durability.

Rubber works especially well for pre-screening or when rocks are dropped onto it from a substantial height. It works equally well for wet and dry screening and is relatively easy to install. And, as with polyurethane, rubber screening media have conical apertures, which help to make the screening process faster and more productive.

Polyurethane helps prevent clogging

Sometimes irregular-shaped materials will clog the screening media’s apertures, slowing down the operation. Polyurethane is slippery and becomes even more so after coming into contact with water, resulting in the unrestricted downward movement of practically any material.

The urethane screens are also credited with reducing blinding, which occurs when fine, sticky materials encounter the apertures. Polyurethane’s flexibility allows the screen to bend slightly and expel any stones that would otherwise get stuck.

While any polyurethane screen will provide durability and longer life, some in the industry prefer urethane that has been cast rather than injection-molded – thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). They reason that the cast products tend to last up to twice as long and harden permanently to give even better wear resistance. While injection-molded screening material is faster to manufacture, they argue, those screens can soften in higher operating temperatures, robbing them of their durability.

Rubber or polyurethane? Each material comes with a set of benefits. Poly-Tek will work with you to help you decide which one will work better for you. Contact us today at [email protected] or 510-895-6001.