Wedge Wire Screen, Filter Element, Custome, Manufacturer, Engineer Design

Wedge wire pipe-based header lateral system

2018-04-27 By Lisa

The description of the system


Many industries use media-bed filtration. This use may take the form of ion exchange for water softening/demineralization, sand filtration, activated carbon or other media bed fluid treatment processes. However, no matter if the application is in a water utility, a power utility, pulp and paper, steel, or any other industry, problems tend to be similar. Time and again, the same common complaints arise in the media bed filtration process: leaking resin or media, excessive pressure drop, screen clogging and excessive backwash/rejuvenation requirements. These problems can be solved by the use of properly designed and specified equipment and equipment internals (arguably the most important investment in media bed filtration). Unfortunately, most new equipment and retrofit inquiries do not include enough hard and specific data to ensure the proper product selection.

To ensure a proper design outcome, a design engineer needs to know the system pressures. ls it designed to avoid clogging? In the event of hydraulic failure, will it withstand the strain it is likely to experience and yet still retain the media? ls it sized to retain the particles in normal use? Will it pass the desired flow? ls it designed to provide a pressure differential to ensure uniform flow? Has corrosion been considered? Are proper alloys available and specified? Can it be successfully backwashed on a repetitive basis without clogging?

A typical inquiry to the filtration product manufacturer might ask for a set of “header laterals” to form a distribution system for an activated carbon column or demineralizer tank. The manufacturer may be supplied with a request for a lateral distribution/collection system. Given the flow data and vessel particulars, this data can certainly be used to produce a set of header laterals. ln fact, a great variety of header laterals might be produced that all conform to these specifications. The question is: Which design would do the best job for the specifier? Although the term header lateral is commonly used, the process may be better served and more economical with other configurations such as a “hub lateral” system, “drop-leg nozzle” configurations as well as others. In the ideal situation, the manufacturer’s application engineers will return to their customer with a set of questions designed to elicit more specific information about the customer’s overall requirements. For example, they may want to discuss the media bed filtration process to make certain the process is understood and the critical areas are fully considered. Initial understanding of the process particulars like these are paramount to reduce overall maintenance and costs and obtain an optimal product.

Wedge wire benefits & applications


Wedge wire screen is often recommended for its strength and cleaning ease. It can be supplied in many forms used in distribution/collection systems, nozzle and lateral configurations being the most common. Laterals can be supplied with many end configurations to suit. Commonly, wedge wire is applied over a drilled pipe. This design offers improved support and allows for engineered drill patterns that ensure the best possible distribution and collection, affording maximum bed utilization.

All of the above is based on an accurate determination of the media retention requirements. The slot size of the wedge wire product is crucial to ensure all of the efforts of analysis, design and methods of fabrication are realized. Many of the wedge wire products on the market are still based on the original well drilling usage as far as tolerances are considered. They are often manufactured with a retentive slot size tolerance of +/- 0.002 inch or greater. The results are obvious when trying to retain ion exchange media of 0.010 inch. Modern Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machinery and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) quality procedures can result in tolerances of +/- 0.001 inch and better.

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