Portable-versus-Semi-Portable-Sand-Sections
Megan Riner

As portable sand processing plants have evolved to handle increasingly larger volumes of aggregates, their popularity has also increased. Portable sand processing plants are advantageous mainly because of their mobility, but they offer other benefits as well, including a lower capital cost and a quicker return on investment.

When it comes to choosing a portable sand processing plant, producers have two options: fully portable sections and semi-portable sections. Both offer the advantage of mobility and an overall lower cost of ownership.

So which do you choose?

The choice between a portable sand section and a semi-portable sand section is dependent on each producer’s needs. Producers should consider the length of the job or the complexity of their site, as well as the number of sites that they own. Knowing what you want out of a portable sand processing plant ahead of time can aid in the decision-making process.

Who should consider a portable sand section?

Portable sand sections are ideal for producers whose operations are located in areas that are more rural. With a portable sand section, producers are able to quickly and easily set up their operation and supply the local market with sand products. It’s cheaper and more economical to move your processing equipment closer to your market than to incur the transportation costs associated with hauling your sand to your market.

Portable sand sections allow producers to process their sand on site and move on to a new site when they are finished.

Eagle-Iron-Works-Portable-Sand-Section

Because they are built on a chassis, Eagle Iron Works' Portable Sand Sections can be quickly attached to a semi-truck for easy transport from site to site.
Benefits of portable sand sections
  • Portable sand sections offer washing, dewatering and classifying functions

Portable sand sections are furnished with a water scalping-classifying tank and two fine material washers. A slurry consisting of water and sand enters the water scalping-classifying tank first. The particles settle out in stations of the tank according to their size and are discharged via valves to a collecting flume. The collecting flume divides the fine material washers. The material enters the feed boxes on the fine material washers, where the particles are washed by the rotation of the screw shafts and the act of material-on-material attrition. The rotating screw shafts dewater the material as it is conveyed up the fine material washers’ inclined tub. The twin washers allow producers to create two different specification products, one from each screw shaft, or producers can utilize both screw shafts to make the same specification product. 

  • They have a support structure/chassis 

Portable sand sections are mounted on a chassis equipped with a fifth wheel for attachment to a semi-truck. The system is designed to meet Department of Transportation regulations. 

  • They're one unit 

Portable sand sections are manufactured as one unit on the chassis, with the classifying tank nestled on top of the two fine material screw washers. 

  • They're easily maneuverable 

Simply attach the portable sand section’s fifth wheel to a semi-trailer and you’re ready to move your operation to your next site. 

  • They do everything a stationary sand section can do. 

One of the benefits of portable sand sections is that they offer all of the features of fixed sand plants, including the washing, dewatering and classifying capabilities and same equipment capacities as a stationary plant. 

  • They allow for quick setup and teardown 

The simple design of portable sand sections allows producers to quickly set up their operations and begin processing their sand at their site. Then, when they are finished at that site, the portable sand sections can be just as quickly torn down, hooked up to a semi-truck and transported to the next site. 

Actual setup and teardown time will largely depend on the producer’s operation and may differ from site to site depending on any additional equipment used in conjunction with the system. For example, producers who utilize conveyors under the discharge ends of the fine material screw washers will have to move those out of the way before relocating their portable sand section.

Who should consider a semi-portable sand section?

Semi-portable sand sections are for producers who don’t need to move their application as often. They are ideal for producers with multiple sites. Rather than constructing several stationary plants at their multiple locations – plants that may sit idle at various times of the year – the semi-portable sand section saves producers money.

Benefits of semi-portable sand sections 
  • Semi-portable sand sections are designed with a water scalping-classifying tank and two fine material washers 

Semi-portable sand sections wash, dewater and classify material with a water scalping-classifying tank and two fine material washers that offer the same capabilities and capacities as stationary water scalping-classifying tanks and fine material washers. 

  • They have a sturdy support structure 

Semi-portable sand sections come with their own structure that moves with them as your operation requires. There’s no need to build a structure around the equipment each time you move it to a new site. 

  • They feature a compact, sectionalized design 

The compact, sectionalized design of a semi-portable sand section makes it ideal for installations where height is a concern. It also allows for easy removal when the producer is finished at one site. Semi-portable plants can be lifted onto a trailer with a crane and transported to the new site. 

  • They do everything a stationary sand section can do 

The semi-portable sand section can wash, dewater and classify your sand material into one or two products. Sand particles separate by size in the classifying tank and are discharged to one of the two fine material screw washers. The sand is then washed through a combination of the rotating screw shaft and particle-on-particle attrition. The sand is dewatered as it moves with the rotating screw shaft up the inclined washer tub.

For further consideration

Portable sand sections and semi-portable sand sections both offer producers the ability to move their processing system closer to their sand source or market. They both come with water and electrical hookups designed to match customer specifications, and they feature all of the same functions as stationary sand plants.

Both portable sand sections and semi-portable sand sections include double screw washers that remove excess water for stockpiling, as well as remove slimes, silt, clays and other deleterious materials and discharge them via the overflow weirs. They also feature a water scalping-classifying tank to scalp off excess water and classify the sand particles to meet various project specifications.

Yet there is one major difference between portable sand sections and semi-portable sand sections. Portable sand sections are designed on a chassis that allows them to be attached to a semi-truck to move from site to site, while semi-portable sand sections are built on steel skids to keep them stable.

Next steps

Chances are you probably already have an idea of which system – a portable sand section or a semi-portable sand section – is right for your operation, but if you need further assistance, Eagle Iron Works can help.

Regardless of whether you’re in the market for a portable sand section or a semi-portable sand section, Eagle Iron Works’ experienced sales technicians can help you choose the right Portable Sand Washing System for your operation. They’ll look at your raw material specifications and your production requirements to determine the diameter of the screw washer, as well as the number of valve stations on the classifying tank that will best meet your needs.

Eagle Iron Works has been manufacturing reliable, heavy-duty washing equipment right here in the USA since 1872. Like their stationary washing and classifying equipment, the classifying tank on Eagle’s Portable Sand Sections and Semi-Portable Sand Sections features extra-long, adjustable weirs for retaining the maximum amount of product even in out-of-level conditions. Their collecting flume liners resist abrasion, and their hydraulic power unit offers a long service life. The stations of the Water Scalping-Classifying Tank on both the Portable Sand Section and Semi-Portable Sand Section include long-lasting paddle motors, heavy-duty hydraulic cylinders, and valve and paddle rods made of thick steel.

The Fine Material Washers on Eagle’s Portable Sand Sections and Semi-Portable Sand Sections feature the company’s well-known heavy-duty gear reducer with heat-treated helical gears. The washer tubs are made of thick steel and, like the Water Scalping-Classifying Tank, provide maximum product retention, and the feed box ensures a uniform slurry enters the machine.

For more information on their Portable Sand Sections and Semi-Portable Sand Sections, Contact Eagle Iron Works.

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