Trommel screens have been around a long time and are tried and true in screening all sorts of materials. A trommel screen is a robust mechanized separating sieve used in a cylindrical drum to sort the solid matter. Trommel screens come in different specifications to suit the kind of work you need to do. Besides being portable, they are also built from durable materials to reduce the probability of wear. These properties make the trommel screen adaptable to a wide range of industries and applications.

How to sort materials with a trommel screen

After you install the screen correctly into the trommel machine and feed the materials you want to sort into the hopper, a conveyor will forward this material, in considerable amounts, to the screening drum. The trommel screen has a spiral that moves the waste in the rotating drum. The rotation increases the chances of the materials getting into contact with the screen. 

This action forces undersized materials out of the drum and onto a lower conveyor below the screener. The lower conveyor moves these materials onto a transverse that loads onto a discharge conveyor – if you are using a big screener. On the other hand, larger materials get to the end of the screen as they are too large to go through the sieve. They are then released through the back end of the screen. If you are using a larger machine, the large materials will load onto a rear conveyor.

What’s the purpose of a trommel screen?

You can apply our trommel screens for use in a wide range of industries to sort large amounts of materials. Primarily, trommel screens were used to sort moist materials that would otherwise be left to dry for weeks before sorting. The centrifugal motion of the spiral encourages air to mix with the moist material. This partially dries them, reducing the chances of blinding and plugging. However, it is advisable to feed materials at the required amount for optimal results.

Since trommel screens are designed to sort both dry and wet materials, you can use them in:


You can introduce a trommel screen in your fertilizer plant to ensure that you only package fine products. On the farm, you can use it to sort topsoil, mulch, and even moist compost.


The mining industry relies on trommel screens to sort through mining heaps and slag, therefore saving time and cost. Popular mining industries that depend on trommel screens are coal and iron mining. When it comes to iron mining, conveyors are fitted with magnets to hold chunks of iron after going through the sifter.


If you work in the construction industry, you can use a trommel to sort through gravel, sand, and even construction waste.

Waste management

Waste management can be very demanding as tons of waste are delivered to the sites daily. With a trommel screen, you can sort waste in record time. Screening allows you to separate huge chunks for sorting and recycling and smaller waste for landfills.


As a landscaper, you usually need to organize an entire compound down to the smallest detail. With a trommel screen, you will be able to sort small stones, soil, and wood chips. This lets you prepare and level your site more efficiently.

According to pros at Anaconda and Sound Heavy Machinery, production rates can be affected by machine design. Trommel screens are engineered to size material. Smaller material (fines) falls through the screen, while larger material (overs) gets pushed out the back. Along with facility location and the type of material being processed, the machine design is just as important as its size when it comes to swapping out screens or drums and performing routine maintenance.

Production rates

To begin choosing the right size trommel screen for your operation, knowledgeable operators begin looking at the screen size. Most operations are looking for screens between a 1/8 inch to 3 inches (.3 cm to 7.6 cm), and production rates can vary greatly depending on the size selected. Smaller screens produce more fine material for reselling. A company that is producing soil will have substantially more overs than if they are producing mulch and require a lot more material to be run through the screen to amass the same volume of material. A couple of good trommel screens to consider are Anaconda’s TD620 and TD516R

The length of the drum on the trommel screen is another important consideration for production rates. Longer drum lengths give the material more time to separate fines from overs.


Finally, when you’re shopping for a trommel screen, who you choose to do business with matters a lot. A trommel screen is likely not the only piece of equipment in your fleet. So, it’s crucial to select a dealer and manufacturer who understand your industry and can help you operate as efficiently as possible through every step of your production process. Sound Heavy Machinery representatives can answer any questions you may have when choosing a trommel screen or any other related matters. They can also help you dial in your operation and help with any of your service needs. 

More information on all the Sound Heavy Machinery products and services can be found on or by calling (910) 782-2477