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A new process for making screens

By Gerald Ondrey |

After eight years of R&D work, Inflotek B.V. (Beringe, The Netherlands; www.) is now commercializing a range of metal screens made with a proprietary, waterjet-cutting technology. Compared to conventional waterjet-cutting methods, Inflotek’s process can reliably make hundreds of perforations per hour, which enables the fabrication of industrial process screens with a large number of perforations on a small surface. The screens can have virtually any pattern that can be printed, with slots that are tapered (photo) to reduce sensitivity for plugging, says Frank Stofmeel, sales manager at Inflotek. To make the screens, a mixture of water and very fine sand is passed through a proprietary nozzle at high pressure (4,000 bars). The water beam (with sand) emerges from the nozzle at Mach 3, and is narrower (100 µm) than traditional jets (400 µm), enabling smaller slot kerfs with twice the cutting tolerance, says Stofmeel. This much finer beam can cut at speeds 2–3 times faster than a traditional waterjet, thus significantly reducing production costs, he says. Screens made with the micro-waterjet technology have the highest open area of any screen thicker than 2 mm, with open areas typically 50 to 200% greater than…
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