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Russell Finex Ltd.
Russell House,
Browells Lane
Feltham
Middlesex
TW13 7EW
T: 0208 818 2000
F: 020 8818 2060
E:
W: Sieving, Filtration & Ultrasonics

Photo 1: Round Separator For Atomised Solder Powder

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Round Separator For Atomised Solder Powder

Date:

By: Darren Ralphs

Industrial grading separators help Atomising Systems Ltd screen fine atomised solder powder whilst increasing production capacity 4-fold

Atomising Systems Ltd specialises in the technology of metal powder or granule production by the atomisation of melts. The company has over 35 years experience and has delivered more than 130 plants for metal powder atomisation in 35 countries since its foundation. When seeking a solution for bulk sieving of metal powders, Atomising Systems Ltd relied on Russell Finex for a solution.

Atomisation is the break-up of a liquid into droplets. Atomising Systems Ltd specialises in atomising melts with temperatures from 150oC – 2000oC to make powders from 10µm – 1mm. As well as metals, they also process non-metals such as oxides, sulphides, halides (chlorides), silicates and borates. Although the most common method for producing powders is to use water atomisers, there are several different techniques all with their own unique characteristics to suit specific applications.

A major tin producer in China had previously purchased an ultrasonic atomiser from Atomising Systems Ltd for their solder alloys (lead/tin) processing plant. However, due to increased demand, the need to maintain profitability and a change in legislation which facilitated a switch to lead free alloys, a new atomising system was required that could increase productivity while also reducing product wastage. Therefore, after careful consideration an Atomising Systems centrifugal atomiser was chosen due to its efficient design, providing much higher throughput rates at very narrow particle size distributions.

In order to comply with international standards, the resultant atomised solder powder requires a particle size of less than 45 micron. Therefore, as part of the atomising system, the atomised solder is screened to remove any oversize before being processed any further. In addition, to prevent introducing a bottleneck into the production process, the system needed to maintain throughput rates of 110Kg/hr to match upstream processes. Hence, Atomising Systems needed to install a screening solution that would meet both requirements.

Having already been supplied sieving equipment on many occasions, Atomising Systems returned to Russell Finex for assistance in overcoming these tough challenges. “We know we are in good hands with Russell Finex, they have well equipped test facilities and knowledgeable staff to ensure we get the high quality service we require.” explains Dr Paul Rose, Technical Sales Manager for Atomising Systems Ltd. He adds, “Because of this, we have always relied on Russell sieving equipment, we even have one installed in our in-house solder system as well as having three operating in our production facility”.

After product trials, two 48” Finex Separators™ were selected. Compared to spring mounted units, these high performance round separators employ a standard drive motor with a separate vibrator housing mounted on a rubber suspension. This allows for a significant increase in sieving efficiency, providing both higher throughputs and greater accuracy of separation. To compliment the sieves, Russell Vibrasonic® Deblinding Systems were installed onto the meshes to prevent the solder from blocking the mesh. This ultrasonic screening technology solves a common problem when screening atomised solder powders. The installation of these high-performance units resulted in a production capacity increase of more than four times previous output, as well as increased product quality.