Dewatering Bucket Wheels

In our 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility, large scale material handling is common.  Gantries, hoists, and several large bridge cranes allow movement of even the largest fabricated components.  So when one of our customers needed custom fabricated components for a large dewatering bucket wheel system, we were up for the challenge.

The purpose of this type of system is to separate a mixture of water, sand, and gravel. They are commonly used by mining companies, mineral companies, and recyclers.

The mixture is deposited into the trough and then excavated by the bucket wheel. The cups on the bucket wheel feature special plastic screens with different gap widths that allow material of varying sizes to pass through. A natural vacuum is created through the extended suction chambers which pulls the mixture through the screens into overflow weirs in the trough.

First came the trough.  At 27′ long, 20′ wide, and 12′ tall, it had quite a large footprint, so we fabricated it in two sections that can be connected together onsite.  This allows it to be transported on a standard width truck, although just barely!

The assembled trough weighs over 33,000 lb, so our forklift fleet and 20-ton bridge crane allowed us to transport and position the trough during assembly and painting. Each of our welding stations is equipped with 2-ton hoists on Gorbel workstation lifts and our main assembly area in the center of our facility has both 5-ton and 20-ton bridge cranes.

Our shop also features a 60’x20′ drive-through industrial paint booth which could accommodate each section of the trough.

This trough contains a dewatering wheel 21′ in diameter and 4.75′ wide.  Offset cups or troughs in the wheel contain the screens that filter the different sized materials out of the mixture.

Just like the trough, the wheel itself also weighs over 33,000 lb!

The wheel was fabricated in three separate sections which were disassembled and then painted and fitted with their filtering screens. The wheel is shipped in the three separate sections and then assembled together on site.

Our customer was so pleased with the quality and turnaround time of these components that we have since completed several more wheels and troughs of varying sizes.

Each component is made to the customer’s exact specifications, from size and material down to the paint colors.

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