Avoid Filter Press Failure! Clean Your Filter Press Plates!
With proper maintenance a filter press can have a very long life. Many of the issues our service technicians see, both on our shop floor while refurbishing used presses and on-site during field service, are preventable by simply cleaning your filter press plates.
Skipping regular cleanings might not seem like a big deal, but over time solids build up can do some serious damage to a filter press. Below are examples of what can happen if you aren’t regularly, and properly, cleaning your filter press plates.
1) Sidebar Corrosion
This was a used filter press that we purchased to refurbish and re-sell. As you can see, it came to us in pretty rough shape.
Upon inspection we noticed corrosion on only one sidebar.
The steel sidebar on the operator side was extremely corroded and while the sidebar on the non-operator side was rusty, it had nowhere near the amount of damage as the operator side. Here is what we concluded:
The operator cleaned the filter plates with long spatula from operator side of filter press. Because of size of press, the operator was unable to reach bottom corner of filter press plates on the operator side to clean them sufficiently.
Solids began to build up on on the area of the filter plates that was being missed. In time the plate stack was unable to fully clamp on operator side causing corrosive slurry to squirt out between the filter plates. The slurry that was hitting the side bar caused severe corrosion of the steel and fatigue cracks. It’s also very likely the press was leaking from the bottom. Leaking slurry is dangerous not only because of the damage it can do to a press, but also the potential damage it could do to the operator.
2) On-Site Catastrophic Sidebar Failure
Filter press sidebar failure is caused by solids that build up on the bottom of the filter press plates. In the following case, the solids build up caused a very severe case of uneven load pressure. This pressure caused crack propagation and eventual catastrophic failure of the sidebars.
Our service technicians were called to take a look at filter press photographed below, following sidebar failure.
Sidebar has broken away from filter press
Sidebar broken away from filter press (close up)
Crack in the steel
Deformed shifter railing
Our advice: Be sure your operator is cleaning all sides of the filter press plate around the filter cloth. Build up on any area of the plate will cause fatigue and eventual failure.
Filter plates should be clear of filter cake after every cycle. If a scraper is needed to clean them off, the operator should take care to clean off the entire plate. Pay close attention to the bottom of the filter plate as gravity often causes solids to build up there. Hard to reach areas might be inconvenient to clean, but you’ll be glad you did. It is also important to keep the sealing faces clean of sludge. Periodic rinsing with a high pressure power washer is also recommended.
Filter plates should always be power washed and cleaned when it is time to change your filter cloths and/or gasketing. It is very important to keep the filter plate clean under the cloth.
M.W. Watermark offers a filter cloth change and installation. We would take care of removing your old filter cloth, cleaning your filter plates, and installing new cloths.
If you have any questions about how to cleaning your filter plates and cloths, please contact our Sales and Service Team; they will be happy to assist you: 616.399.8850.
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