Waste Management In Action

Next generation eddy currents: Turmec

Turmec CEO Brian Thornton discusses the company’s latest innovation in eddy current separation.

First observed by the 25th Prime Minister of France Francois Arago in the 1800s, eddy currents, via eddy current separation technology, are now a staple of the waste and resource recovery industry.

Eddy currents are loops of electrical current induced within conductors by a changing magnetic field in the conductor. In the waste and recycling sector, the technology is often used to sort non-ferrous metals and other materials.

Following Arago’s observation that most conductive bodies could be magnetized, French physicist Leon Foucault discovered that the force required for the rotation of a copper disc becomes greater when it is made to rotate with its rim between the poles of a magnet.

At the same time, the disc becomes heated by the eddy current induced in the metal.

The technology has been developed extensively since, with eddy current separators now employed by waste and recycling companies world-over.

The varying physical properties of waste materials mean some non-ferrous metals are easier to separate than others.

Ultimately, the ability to separate materials largely comes down to whether the materials are low enough in density and the electrical conductivity of the machine.

To simplify the separation challenge, waste and recycling industry specialists Turmec recently launched an efficient, mobile and low maintenance solution – the Mobile Eddy Current Separator.

“We’ve taken mobile waste processing to a new level, with our Mobile Eddy Current Separator able to achieve high capacities within a compact design,” says Turmec’s CEO Brian Thornton.

“The machine is just three metres wide and high, yet can process 300 cubic metres of material an hour.”

Developed with Turmec’s long-standing partner IFE, the new machine has already had 4000 hours of reliable operation in the field.

And according to Thornton, the team is now in the process of developing a Mark II machine.

The Mobile Eddy Current Separator’s design provides operators with a combination of flexibility and robust performance from a mobile plant.

Operators have the option of jacking legs to give an extra two metres stockpiling height, while still maintaining the machine’s compact footprint.

“This machine combines high performance with durability while separating ferrous and non-ferrous particles,” Thornton says.

“Our innovative design ensures the plant delivers high-quality output and a trouble-free, low maintenance service life, while being easy to transport between plants.”

The separator is designed to bolt onto the back of mobile shredders for the wood industry, or for post-processing glass, incinerator bottom ash or solid recovered fuel.

“The mobile package comprises a vibrating feeder with an unbalanced motor drive, magnetic rotor, and conveyors for collection of ferrous and non-ferrous materials, with another for discharging residual waste,” Thornton adds.

Built to ensure the highest standards of durability, the mobile separator plant is ideally suited to waste processors serving multiple sites, demolition specialists and operators of any scale needing additional capacity from a standalone, robust and reliable plant.

“Turmec’s Mobile Eddy Current Separator is the product of many years’ experience designing, manufacturing and installing waste processing plants,” Thornton explains.

“We are specialists in recycling solutions for the global waste industry, providing bespoke systems that enable our customers to efficiently recover high-quality material from waste.”

He adds that Turmec are dedicated to finding the best recycling engineering solutions for its clients’ requirements.

“Turmec’s aim is to provide the most cost-effective and high-quality solutions,” Thornton says.

“As part of our renowned aftersales support, we also provide full training to our clients and their staff, ensuring the smooth running of any installations, plant or solutions provided.”

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