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Silica sand processing plant equipment

Silica sand processing plant equipment

Metso Outotec experts can assist you in creating the silica sand processing plant design to meet all your production goals.

What is silica sand?

Silica Minerals represent the group of minerals being composed of silicon and oxygen forming the chemical formula SiO2. Silica can occur in macrocrystalline, crytocrystaline and amorphous form.

Industry predominantly uses the crystalline form of silica, i.e. quartz. Silica is used as granular products containing the particle size range >63 µm. Fine grained silica is used as functional fillers in various applications. 

Silicadioxide appears in almost 10 different crystal forms, with quartz, the most abundant representative, crystallizing in the trigonal crystal system.

Quartz is mined from hard rock deposits with the most important representatives being vein deposits or pegmatitic deposits and alluvial deposits. The mineralisation respectively the deposit type, the accessory minerals, impurities occurring together with the quartz in the deposit as well as the intergrowth of the minerals in the ore matrix define the process route.   

It is chemically inert, chemically resistant to almost all acids with the exception of hydroflouric acid and soluble in alkaline fluxes.

What is silica sand used for?

Silica sand is used in paints & plastics, abrasives, ceramics, glass, filtration, surface treatment in sports & leisure facilities, construction, in sealants & adhesives, chemicals production, in foundries, in oil production, metallurgical applications and agriculture.

How is silica sand processed?

The production process for silica sand consists of crushing, grinding, sizing, beneficiation, dewatering and drying. Metso Outotec can supply complete flowsheets using its own equipment and that of partners. Our planet positive portfolio helps reduce energy consumption and emissions, improve water efficiency, supports circularity and is designed to offer market leading safe operation.

Silica sand crushing and sizing process

The first stage of the production process is to reduce the size of the quartz so it can be effectively processed to remove impurities. The raw material is fed into crushers and screened to ensure that particles are the correct size for the grinding stage. Particles not the correct size are then fed back to the crushing process.

Metso Outotec offers the following products for crushing and sizing silica sand

Ultra Fine Screen
Hydrocyclone cluster
Silica sand grinding process

The second stage of the production process is to further reduce the particle size so it is ready for the beneficiation stage where impurities are removed. Particles are first fed through a grinding stage which can use any combination of an HPGR, ball mill or rod mill. The particles are then fed through a desliming hydrocyclone and a screen before being fed either back in to the grinding stage or towards the beneficiation stage.

Metso Outotec offers the following products for this process stage:

Silica sand beneficiation process

The third stage of the production process is to separate impurities such as mica, feldspar, oxides and heavy minerals. This is achieved by passing the material to be processed through multiple stages of flotation cells and separation.

Metso Outotec offers the following products for this process stage:

Silica sand beneficiation process
RB-SV filter
Silica sand dewatering and drying

The fourth stage of the production process is to remove fluids from the silica sand. This can be done using a combination of hydrocyclones, filters, inclined plate settlers and spiral dewaterers with the exact choice dependent on the process. This is then followed by a final drying stage.

Metso Outotec offers the following products for this process stage:

Metso Outotec has helped many companies with the flowsheet design and supply of equipment for silica sand processing plants. Our experts can assist you in creating the plant design to meet your production goals, supply the processing equipment and support you during the plant production ramp-up.
Getting more out of existing Silica Sand processing plants

Are you looking to get more out of your plant? If so, we can help you identify production bottlenecks, hidden problems and propose solutions to increase production.

Where equipment performance is falling short, we can help you refurbish equipment, to return it to as new performance, or propose replacements that provide a step-change in performance.

If you are looking to have a step change in production, we can work with you to design and deliver additional production capacity. A simple plant audit can help you identify hidden issues and potential solutions.

Finally, we offer a full range of spare parts for our equipment and consumables such as screening media, crusher liners and filter cloth so as to keep equipment operating efficiently.

Getting more out of existing Silica Sand processing plants
Contact us about plant design, plant audits and other services we offer!