Vibratory Tumbler Wastewater-Use a centrifuge?
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    Default Vibratory Tumbler Wastewater-Use a centrifuge?

    Hello All,

    We have been tumbling a large quantity of 6061 parts recently in which dealing with the wastewater has become quite the PITA. In doing some research, it seems I have been looking at two options: configure a large tank for batch operations using some sort of flocculant (RM-10), or possibly adapting a centrifuge of some sort. Currently, I am leaning toward the centrifuge as I could place the machine downstream of the tumblers and have the clean water routed back to the water/compound tank (a sort of closed loop system).

    I have been looking at the centrifuge product/design that the WVO guys use for filtering and making biodiesel (basket style). Here is an example:

    Extreme Raw Power Centrifuge

    Extreme Raw Power Centrifuge | Overview & Operation | Utah Biodiesel Supply - YouTube

    An example of one being used to clean water at a truck wash:

    Centrifuge for Truck Wash waste water - YouTube

    Material: 6061
    Deburring process: Plastic pyramids, porcelain balls, then Walnut w/red rouge (dry).


    My question is, has anyone used this type of centrifuge for this purpose? Would it even work? How are your results? Comments/concerns? My main goal is to eliminate most of the suspended solids. I realize removing small-to-sub micron particles may be impossible. Hoping to improve water lifespan/quality/efficiency.

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

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    I would take a sample of the water in use and put it in a clean glass jar overnight. See what it looks like next morning.
    Did it all sink or is there some stuff floating. If it floats you will need to skim or centrifuge. If it sinks a simple settling tank will do good. I have no idea if your plastic will sink or float.
    Bill D

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    I'll tell you that I have treated many thousand gallons of waste that a gentleman tried to do via centrifuge and failed. What worked was appropriately flocking the waste then filtering it.

    Meaning, if it won't filter without floc, I question if it'll centrifuge.

    Having the right floc, and only dosing enough to adequately filter (or decant) are the keys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I would take a sample of the water in use and put it in a clean glass jar overnight. See what it looks like next morning.
    Did it all sink or is there some stuff floating. If it floats you will need to skim or centrifuge. If it sinks a simple settling tank will do good. I have no idea if your plastic will sink or float.
    Bill D
    Hello Bill,

    Thanks for your reply. The sediment from the plastic and aluminum mostly settles to the bottom combined with murky water. I have tried the settling technique, and it works, but having to settle 35-50 gallons at a time has become cumbersome as the tumblers run daily. I have 4 Mr. Deburr tanks and a few TLV-75 bowls. I'm thinking the centrifuge would be ideal as I could trickle in the wastewater as the tumblers are running in which I would periodically stop the centrifuge to scrape out the crud; all the while having clean water circulating back to the clean tank. Thoughts? Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    I'll tell you that I have treated many thousand gallons of waste that a gentleman tried to do via centrifuge and failed. What worked was appropriately flocking the waste then filtering it.

    Meaning, if it won't filter without floc, I question if it'll centrifuge.

    Having the right floc, and only dosing enough to adequately filter (or decant) are the keys.
    Thanks for the feedback! What sort of failures/problems did that guy encounter? What type of centrifuge did he use?

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    We tumble quantities of copper parts daily and use a cascade settling tank. It's a simple device with 4 or 5 chambers with decreasing gate heights as you progress. Flow speed is naturally decreased across the tank. Inlet is to the high side and by the time the waste gets to the final drain we can run the remaining water to the storm sewer. It does require periodic emptying of sediment, which after drying can be disposed of in many ways. In our case it consists of mostly ceramic dust and small quantities of copper dust.

    I don't know whether aluminum is heavy enough to use this system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wick Craft View Post
    Thanks for the feedback! What sort of failures/problems did that guy encounter? What type of centrifuge did he use?
    centrifuge plugged up. idon't know the brand name.

    but the general idea is, if you can't filter the stuff, you can't centrifuge it. change the surface energy of the particles so they settle out or filter appropriately, and it doesn't matter how you filter it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Heaton View Post
    We tumble quantities of copper parts daily and use a cascade settling tank. It's a simple device with 4 or 5 chambers with decreasing gate heights as you progress. Flow speed is naturally decreased across the tank. Inlet is to the high side and by the time the waste gets to the final drain we can run the remaining water to the storm sewer. It does require periodic emptying of sediment, which after drying can be disposed of in many ways. In our case it consists of mostly ceramic dust and small quantities of copper dust.

    I don't know whether aluminum is heavy enough to use this system.
    Interesting. Gonna explore this more by fabbing something up and seeing how it works. Thanks for the post!

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    If you have particulate that floats on water and you want to centrifuge it I don't think you get how a centrifuge works.

    I use ceramic media and a cascading settling tank. About every 3 months I shovel out a foot of muck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    If you have particulate that floats on water and you want to centrifuge it I don't think you get how a centrifuge works.

    I use ceramic media and a cascading settling tank. About every 3 months I shovel out a foot of muck.
    I completely understand how a centrifuge works. In my waste tank, I have heavier solids that sink immediately to the bottom, and lighter material that seems to stay suspended. As stated in my original post, I realize I would not be able to remove sub micron particles/etc. The heavier sediment "should" stick to the walls of the centrifuge as the water and lighter material would be expelled.

    The cascading settling tank seems to be the best bet. I'll give it a shot, thanks!

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    I used to build Ultrafiltration membrane units just for this purpose where the water was discharged not reused. No particles larger than 0.03 microns, crystal clear water. The multi-baffled settling tank was always the first step and we also had a weir to skim oil off the top at the same time. That would be machining oils and way oils.

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    Look at Long Tom, rockers used in gold mining for low tech also hydraulic mining.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wick Craft View Post
    Interesting. Gonna explore this more by fabbing something up and seeing how it works. Thanks for the post!
    When you design, be sure to make your tank large enough. The tank we use is in the 150-180 gallon range. Too small and your flow is too fast over the baffles. Ours is about 18 inches deep (I'm not at work, so can't really measure it up). It serves two tumblers, one frequently, one periodically. Also, the baffle steps are pretty small, 1/2 -3/4 inch is a good guess.

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    90% of our problems went away when we switched to ceramic media and threw out the plastic, we found it by accident when I bought a used tumbler with very worn ceramic triangles and put a few parts in just to see what happened. Almost all of our tumbler waste was the plastic media and we have bought some more used ceramic triangles, when they won't work well on steel anymore they are just right to use on 6061.
    img_2239.jpg

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    Couple questions:

    What do people do with the waste water? Have it picked up as hazardous waste or dump in the sewer?

    I was thinking about chopping up my Mr. Deburr so it sits lower to accept parts coming off my automatic horizontal band saw. Any thoughts on this idea?

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    Walter Trowal is who we used for the centerfuge and the the vibratory
    Don



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    I worked at a place that did a lot of aluminum tumbling. They used walnut shells as the media. It was charged with and abrasive slurry each time a new batch of parts were added. This was for the rough tumbling. After rough tumbling the parts went into another tumbler also with walnut shells. This one had a polishing compound added. No water waste at all. The only water added was in the initial slurry and it was not much and evaporated with use. 6 or 8 very large tumblers ran around the clock with virtually no waste. Every so often the walnut shells were replaced. Results were a very fine "mirror" finish.

    So maybe another process is the answer? Skip the water...

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    Quote Originally Posted by D Nelson View Post
    Walter Trowal is who we used for the centerfuge and the the vibratory
    Don



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Great suggestion! I had a suspicion basket/peeler style centrifuges were used for this application. It makes sense there is a flocculant step prior to the wastewater being introduced into the centrifuge. I'm gonna contact WT for a quote on the ZM 03. The peeler would be nice, but I have a feeling it will break the bank. LOL

    What model of centrifuge are you guys using? Pros/Cons?

    Video and Brochure of the WT models:

    Walther Trowal (R) basket centrifuge (EN) - YouTube

    https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.88...15_web_LLC.pdf

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    Settling tanks, like what Gordon suggested, work well for settling AL particles, but if you're using plastic media your other problem is going to be dealing with the styrene off-gas from the sediment. Dry, it's landfillable, until then, not.

    Ceramics aren't quite there for a pre-anodize finish, but if all you're looking for is deburring, they could work.

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    For pre anodize we deburr in ceramic triangles too worn for steel then into a second tumbler with 3mm ceramic balls, they come out bright and shiny, almost polished. the waste water from each machine runs through a 5 gallon bucket for settling tank and the water comes out clear with soap bubbles and into the septic. We use about a gallon of scalding hot water per cycle and 3 gallons at the end of the day to rinse the machine. The water that comes out of our tumblers is quite a bit cleaner than what comes out of clothes washing machine. I typically rinse the parts that are going to be tumbled when they come out of the machine to remove the coolant residue and small chips, I dump the rinse water back into the machine. If you start with clean parts, use clean hot water and minimal soap there isn't much of anything in the water that comes out of the tumblers, however if you put dirty chip/coolant covered parts in then you need more soap as the soap and oil cancel each other and create black goo that sticks to the media and slows down the de-burring compounded by the use of cold water. We have a 1.5 gallon 120v water heater mounted to the wall between 2 tumblers. We had a lot of problems with the process when we had employees as they would claim they followed these steps when in reality they put dirty, oily, chippy, parts in with cold water and complained about the results, grayish ugly parts and having to use too much soap and clean the media too often. Keeping the process clean is much easier than fixing the dirty results, it will start with getting rid of that damned plastic media. You can get the same results with the plastic media, we did for 25 years, but with a lot more waste to deal with.
    img_7025-2-.jpg
    img_7026-1-.jpg
    img_7027.jpg

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