Tomra's new X-TRACT X6 Fines Unit achieves unprecedented purity levels for mixed non-ferrous metals

TOMRA Sorting Recycling has launched a new unit, the X-TRACT X6 FINES, to sort high-purity mixed non-ferrous metal fractions.  The unit incorporates enhanced X-ray technology which can detect and sort grains of metal that are almost half the size of what was previously sortable.

This unprecedented capability has been achieved by developing TOMRA’s exclusive and field-proven high-speed X-ray transmission (XRT) technology, which sorts materials according to differences in their density. Materials passing down the sorting line are penetrated with an electronically generated x-ray, providing spectral absorption information about the materials and then measuring this with an X-ray camera. This process identifies the atomic density of the materials regardless of their thickness.

Increasing the sensitivity of the high-resolution X-ray camera has made it possible to detect and sort grain sizes as small as 5-40mm, thus measurably reducing product losses. Extensive validation runs of the X-TRACT X6 FINES in high-throughput applications demonstrated the unit’s ability to consistently achieve unrivalled purity levels of 98-99%. 

As with the TOMRA X-TRACT unit, X-TRACT X6 FINES is equipped with TOMRA’s Duoline® Dual ENERGY Technology. This employs two independent devices with different spectral sensitivities so that materials are sorted regardless of the material’s thickness. By detecting and prioritising between single object processing and area processing, Duoline® recognises differences in objects overlapping on the sorting line, a significant advantage when lines are running higher throughputs.

Another useful advantage is the provision of multiple density channels. Whereas previous X-TRACT models sorted materials according to two classes, separating it into high-density and low-density fractions, the new X-TRACT features multiple density channels. This allows a greater number of classes for separating materials according to density, achieving greater sorting precision even with mixed metals and small grain sizes. 

Brian Gist, TOMRA’s Global Sales Director – Metals, comments: “The minute size of the metal grains that can now be detected and sorted by TOMRA’s X-TRACT technology is unrivalled. This will enable sorting operations to unlock even more value from secondary materials, in particular Zorba fines. Our X-ray sorting technology has reached new levels of sophistication, but the new X-TRACT X6 FINES retains the familiar controls of the standard X-TRACT and, as such, offers the peace of mind that comes with an industry-proven technology.”



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