Gravity belt thickener and belt filter press  rebuilds and upgrades

WinklePress HoustonTx AlfaLaval Aug2019 51

Restore and improve gravity belt thickener or belt filter press performance for sludge dewatering and thickening

Refurbishing or upgrading your gravity belt thickener or belt filter press can restore, or even improve, sludge thickening or dewatering performance – improvements of 2-3% solids increase are typical. With decades of expertise in the industry, Alfa Laval can restore equipment to factory OEM specifications – no matter the brand. All rebuilds are backed by a warranty. 

By avoiding expensive engineering or structural expenditures associated with new equipment, you can significantly save time and money while ensuring that you continue to get the process results you need.


Upgrade options for belt filter presses and gravity belt thickeners

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While each machine will have different options available depending on its design, some examples of the possibilities include:

  • Increase pressure section rollers to improve sludge cake dryness
  • Extending the gravity deck to create more drainage prior to the pressure rollers
  • Enhanced control systems to allow better control and automation of the equipment
  • Full control panel rebuilds, bringing them up to modern day standards and capabilities
  • Upgrading chicanes (plows) to modern design to increase turbulence and water removal on the gravity section (more on this below)
  • Modify bearing enclosures to reduce contamination possibility
  • Upgrade hydraulic unit to allow for easier maintenance and smaller oil reservoirs
  • Improve wash boxes to allow for greater accessibility and maintenance access
  • Reduce maintenance by upgrading to shaft mount drives

Dri-Boost Plow™ gravity deck upgrade

Boost your belt press cake dryness by 1-5% and/or throughput up to 25%

Alfa Laval Dri-Boost Plows™ (or chicanes) are a new innovation in wet end belt filter press and gravity belt thickener performance.  Their unique and patent pending design not only “splits” the sludge, but also turns it over in a way that releases water, faster. This means that more work is done on the gravity deck, making it possible to get a higher final dryness or additional throughput at the same dryness.   


  • Increased final cake dryness between 1-5% depending on process conditions, reducing sludge volumes and associated expense
  • Increased belt press / gravity belt thickener throughput by as much as 25% if no increase in dryness is needed
  • Fewer plows to maintain
  • Potential for a smaller equipment on new applications such as the AS-H

The Dri-Boost difference:

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Traditional plows are set up in offset rows along the length of the gravity deck. They often have a wedge shape to them and perform the simple task of pushing the incoming sludge into rows and then continuing to split and combine these rows down the length of the deck. This motion helps release water, and by the end of the deck a decent amount of gravity dewatering has occurred. While this method works ok, the sludge does not see a lot of motion from top to bottom leaving dewatering potential untapped.


Chicane_Driboost 300x225.jpgThe Dri-Boost Plow (chicane) system's unique shape not only splits the flow of the incoming sludge, but also turns it over onto itself. This motion releases more water, faster resulting in a higher dryness by the end of the gravity deck.This means that for a belt press, when the flow enters the pressure section it can achieve a higher final solids content as it has less water to remove during the time it spends under pressure.  Alternatively, the value can be captured by a higher machine capacity at the original final dryness.

This upgrade package includes:

  • Dri-Boost Plow™ (note: number of Dri-Boost Plow™ will be fewer than original)
  • New rods and seals
  • Gravity deck grid strip replacement
  • Installation
  • Optimization of the belt press to maximize the performance improvement

The rebuild and upgrade process

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The extent of your belt filter press or gravity belt thickener rebuild or upgrade will depend on the goals you are trying to achieve as well as the original condition of your equipment.  Alfa Laval performs an extensive examination and assessment to ensure that you understand what is being recommended to allow you to make the best decision for your plant.  


A typical upgrade / rebuild process entails:

  • Develop a plan with your Alfa Laval team to identify your top goals, budget, and options available
  • Customer receives a full report on recommended repairs/replacements that is aligned to the plan discussed – complete with pictures
  • A complete detailed specification for the required work is provided if required for a bid process
  • Belt press/thickener is sent to the Houston, TX repair center or parts required and field service engineers will come to your site
  • If the work is being done on site, factory trained service technicians will work with your team to complete the work at your facility
  • Work will be performed to original OEM specifications and tolerances and only the highest quality OEM parts will be used
  • Customer will receive regular updates on progress of their repair/rebuild and a final report will be issued, detailing the work completed
  • On site start-up provided as required for the project

Each rebuild is different and Alfa Laval will work closely with you to accommodate the services you need to ensure that the upgrade / rebuild Alfa Laval performs meets your requirements.


Local contacts

Chuck Shaw
Regional Sales Manager – Water Separation Sales – Midwest
Phone: (317) 345-5512
Coverage area:  IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, TN, WI

Sean Tierney
Regional Sales Manager – Water Separation Sales – Northeast
Phone: (804) 517-7298
Coverage Area: CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV


Marc Arquit
Regional Sales Manager – Water Separation Sales – South
Phone: (713) 882-1286
Coverage area:  AR, LA, MS, TX, OK

Mark Schlitzkus
Regional Sales Manager – Water Separation Sales – Southeast
Phone: (713) 906-0505
Coverage area:  AL, DC, FL, GA, NC, SC, VA


John Moccero
Regional Sales Manager – Water Separation Sales – West
Phone: (832) 683-7205
Coverage area: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY

Belt press / Belt thickener service center

Alfa Laval Houston service center
10470 Deer Trail Drive
Houston, TX 77038
Phone: +1 713-934-3160
Learn more and take a virtual tour

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White paper: Rebuild/upgrade your belt press and save 30-40% the cost of buying new

Learn how you can breathe life back into your older belt press or belt thickener, what improvements can be made, and how the process works so that you can decide if it’s the right choice for your process.

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Download the white paper

Case story: Recovering lost belt press performance

A southern U.S. refinery was seeing performance drop off from two almost 30-year old belt filter presses. They were thinking “replacement”, but Alfa Laval saw a way to restore performance at a much lower cost.

Belt press Rebuild -Before.jpg

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