Selecting the right screen media

By |  December 28, 2021
Operators have a variety of options to choose from when selecting screen media. Photo: P&Q Staff

Operators have a variety of options to choose from when exploring screen media. Photo: P&Q Staff

Screen media originated with the steel options of wire and plate. Now, the choices include wire, perforated and flame-cut plate, polymers like polyurethane and rubber, and hybrid media. Here’s a closer look at each of these options.

Wire cloth

Wire cloth is an ideal option for operations with frequent media changeouts as a result of varying product specifications. The most common wire cloth options are high-carbon, oil-tempered and stainless steel wire, each with its own application benefits. Stainless steel, for example, is beneficial for corrosion prevention and is effective as an anti-blinding solution.

Perforated and flame-cut plate

Perforated and flame-cut plate screens are a good alternative for secondary screening and are available in various steel types and hardnesses. Plate screens are ideal on top- and middle-deck applications for impact and abrasion resistance. 

Steel plates have seen improvements in quality with options available all the way up to the 400- to 500-Brinell range, providing for longer wear life and durability.


Polyurethane is available in different durometers and more frequently applied in wet applications where water is added or the feed is in slurry form. Urethane is also an ideal choice for dewatering screens.

Polyurethane does have its place in dry applications as well, with the development and improvement of material compounds and chemical formulations. Polyurethane panels are often found in a modular configuration for ease of installation and replacement. Still, there are large cable-tensioned polymer screens that are better suited for aggressive, high-impact applications.

Rubber media is ideal in dry, high-impact applications and can often be offered in place of plate screens, depending on the nature of the feed. Modular rubber systems combine the benefits of modular screen panels with the durability of rubber impact screens in a high, open-area design.

Rubber screen media may also be recommended in a wet-screening application such as where a plant is processing only natural sand and gravel. Additionally, self-cleaning rubber screens are used in fine, sticky or near-size material applications to prevent blinding from fines buildup, as well as to gain greater sizing accuracy.

Rubber generally offers the longest wear life of any screen media in the most difficult and aggressive scalping applications. Rubber panels are effective in reducing noise levels by up to 9 decibels when compared with steel media, which is about a 50 percent reduction as recorded by the human ear.

Hybrid screens

Hybrid screens come in several different types that maximize open area and wear life. 

Urethane-encapsulated wire offers the advantages of urethane screen media (i.e., wear life and noise reduction) without the need to convert to a modular deck and without great sacrifice to open area. Another common hybrid screen combines wire held in place with rubber or urethane strips for greater wear life and an optimal flexing action during screening to prevent plugging or blinding.

Typically, premium rubber compounds are used in hybrid screens, as they are most effective in high-volume applications. They are particularly ideal in hot and humid environments.

Information for this article adopted from Pit & Quarry University.

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