Lamella Solid Separators Explained

Wastewater treatment bridge

A lamella solid separator (also known as a lamella clarifier or inclined plate settler (IPS)) is a type of clarifier or settler designed to remove suspended solids from wastewater and other liquids.

Used in industrial wastewater treatment such as mining and metal finishing, lamella solid separators can be cross flow, down flow or up flow.



Settling tanks

How do they work?

Lamella solids separators are often used in place of traditional settling tanks as they employ a series of closely spaced inclined parallel plates, which provide a large, effective settling area.

To begin with, in the case of an up flow lamella, pre-treated water with entrained solids enters at the base of the system and travels upwards between the plates. The solid particles, with density greater than the surrounding water, then begin to settle on or fall to the plate surface, where they slide down the plates to a sludge collection hopper at the bottom of the system.



The sludge is then drawn off at the bottom of the hoppers. Meanwhile, the clarified, near solid-free water flows upwards through openings and exits at the top of the lamella.

There are generally three stages where lamellas are used, depending on the application. These stages include primary lamella clarification, which is the first stage of solids separation – generally used in water, sewage and industrial treatment systems, for the primary separation of suspended and settleable solids before further treatment. The second stage is that of secondary (lamella) clarification, such as those used when continuous biological processes are required to separate biomass from the water phase. Finally, the tertiary lamella clarification is used for the removal of fine suspended solids and other unwanted particles, following primary and secondary treatment processes.



Man wearing a hard hut adjusting the pressure of the water tank


Lamella solids separators are used in a wide range of industries, including mining, industrial manufacturing and the utilities sector. Perfect for applications where the solids loading is variable and solids sizing is fine, lamella solids separators are used more frequently than conventional clarifiers at many industrial sites, as they are more compact and therefore have a smaller footprint.

SWA’s lamella solids separators are used by a range of clients for applications such as electroplating, coal washing, coal handling, heavy duty truck washing and anodising.


Lamella Solids Separator

SWA’s lamella solids separator

SWA has developed a range of lamella solid separators designed to remove settleable, suspended solids from water with extremely high loadings and very high flow rates.

SWA’s units are ideal for applications across the mining industry, including sand dredging, while the solid plate separators are also suitable for coal processing, electroplating and the removal of heavy metals from wastewater.



Highly efficient and designed with the end-user in mind, the SWA lamella solid separators are easy to operate and maintain and include up flow, down flow and cross flow options. Constructed from superior materials, these units are compact and contain no moving parts, ensuring reliability, easy upkeep and no stoppages waiting for spare parts.

Features include:

  • Full treatment system integration
  • 60 degree plate angle (to ensure self-cleaning of plate)
  • A range of materials including SS304, SS316, Duplex, Super Duplex & GRP
  • Sampling valves for easy and safe sample collection.

Learn more about SWA’s range of lamella solids separators and other wastewater treatment products.



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