Modular Wash Plants

Modular Wash Plants, or MWPs, can accept a minus ~100mm feed and be configured to produce up to three clean aggregate and two washed sand product streams. Where two sand products are configured, one may be designated the primary (being a blend of the two).

Dispatched from one of our global manufacturing operations in an almost fully assembled state, Modular Wash Plants require minimal site erection time to become fully operational. Each application is defined by the intended feed characteristic and the required final products. Along those same lines, a Modular Wash Plant is composed of carefully selected process modules — each with its own task. Each module will arrive on site either as a standard shipping container frame or packed as subassemblies within a shipping container. A typical plant will be delivered directly to your prepared foundations in just four or five containers, and a few days is all it should take to complete final erection and commissioning.

Why McLanahan Modular Wash Plants

McLanahan’s world-renowned materials processing equipment range is second to none, and our latest Modular Wash Plant range combines these constantly updated technologies with years of experience to offer the very highest performance and reliability available today. Uniquely, McLahanan has developed an empirical math model to accompany each modular plant variant, enabling our sales force to accurately model plant capacity and performance for you. A wealth of expertise in this regard means McLanahan can confidently recommend the optimum module selection/plant configuration for your needs, and you can be confident about product quality, yield and a solid return on your investment.

In service, McLanahan Modular Wash Plants provide the solid reliability, simplicity and efficiency that our customers around the world have come to expect of all McLanahan equipment.

How Modular Wash Plants Work

Feed material is loaded into a hopper/feeder by a shovel loader where a tipping grizzly removes any oversized content, while the -65mm element is accepted for processing and passes at a regulated flow rate onto the feed conveyor.

The feed conveyor incorporates a fluidization box at its head where clean water is used to pre-condition the material for the first stage of the process — classification by a multi-deck sizing screen. Up to three aggregate streams are washed, sized (typically +20mm, 20 x 10mm and 10 x 5mm), and discharged directly for stock piling by the plant’s stacking out conveyors.

If the deposit’s natural characteristic balance doesn’t meet product stream demands, the minus 5mm sand component may be further sized into a coarse and fine fraction necessary for the creation of a blended sand product. Each sand fraction then enters a feed regulating sump for further fluidization and silt removal by slurry pump and hydrocyclone.

Each hydrocyclone’s underflow is discharged onto a vibratory dewatering screen while its overflow streams are captured for partial reuse within the washing process and controlled passage to effluent, minimizing clean water consumption. Where two sand fractions are separately dewatered, one may be blended into the other as it leaves the dewatering screen to create a blended all minus 5mm primary product, and either a coarse or a fine secondary sand.

Optional modules are available to cater for heavily agglomerated deposits, high oversize content, hydraulic classification/inline blending, contaminant removal, and the need for water recovery/tailings management.

Popular Applications for Modular Wash Plants

Modular Wash Plants are ideal for processing natural, well-graded deposits where the majority of material falls into the minus 20mm category. The plant’s pre-designed, pre-assembled nature facilitates rapid deployment and can be a great alternative to a more substantial physical equipment presence where planning permissions and/or financial backing are issues.

Overall, these designs represent a low-cost, rapidly available option for processing the most commonly encountered sand/aggregate deposits.

Benefits of McLanahan Modular Wash Plants

  • Pump service trolley system including axial traverse/discharge riser lift and hold to clear the process pipe work prior to rolling the pump out
  • Conveyor mounted flying feed fluidization box facilitates safe, ground-level servicing
  • Self-draining effluent/recycle header reduces corrosion and ensures that the unit is always ready to lift safely after shutdown
  • Safe sump access — large, hinged access doors with level entry/exit
  • Fines forward slide — facilitates pre-blending of raw fines into the coarse sand fraction, balancing the downstream equipment and optimizing plant capacity
  • Three-way adjustable sump overflow system: coarse to fine side, coarse to waste and fines to waste
  • Discharge chute sand blending gate — primary-blended plus secondary sand product streams

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost and how quickly can I be up and running?

It really depends on the nature of your deposit and your product requirements. Often, though, significantly reduced manufacturing lead time and capital outlay may be realized when opting for this style of processing plant over a more traditional, custom-engineered solution.

What are the key process factors and options that I should consider?

The foremost consideration should be the nature of your deposit, its top-size, clay content and gradation profile. This will determine the suitability of your site for processing by standard modular plant, as well as dictate which modules might be required. Secondly, how well does its gradation fit with your intended product mix / yield? The McLanahan technical sales team will be happy to discuss these matters with you and also to model your product profile accordingly.

How much clean water will my Modular Wash Plant require?

As a guide, your plant will employ up to around 2.5m3/hr for each metric tonne per hour of material requiring to be processed. Much of this water, though, will be re-circulated within the plant, meaning that the clean water makeup requirement might equate to perhaps half that amount.

How do I get the best out of my Modular Wash Plant?


Just as with your car or your computer, the short answer is that you should proactively maintain your plant and always ensure that you operate within its design parameters. A constant and consistent feed regime will have each element of the plant operating within its design capacity and the plant overall operating optimally.

What alternative solutions could I consider?

In addition to our range of Modular Washing Plants, McLanahan supplies fully mobile plants (offering ease of portability) and skid-mounted sand washing plants (the compact option), as well as fully-anchored processing plants for large capacity operations.