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Charge dynamics in tumbling mills: simulation and measurements with an in-mill sensor
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Sustainable Process Engineering.
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Chargedynamiken i roterande trumkvarnar : simulering och mätningar med en sensor inne i en kvarn (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Grinding is a process of reducing the particle size distribution of an extracted ore commonly performed in tumbling mills. The process is complex with many factors affecting the result, predominately the ores physical and chemical properties. The ore feed to a concentrator varies and optimisation is important, since grinding has high energy consumption and therefore is an expensive process. In an attempt to increase the knowledge of pebble mill grinding, experiments were performed with a pilot-scale mill at the LKAB R&D facilities at Malmberget. The purposes of the experiments were to investigate how the mill reacts to changes in the system and to find out how the grinding ability is affected by the changes. The first set of experiments concentrated on different operational settings, varying the filling degree, the volume-% solids and the percentage of critical speed of the mill. In the second set of experiments, different pebbles mixtures with varying magnetite content and different size fractions were tested. An interesting response variable (result) is the product size for the different operational conditions, since higher amount of fine material < 45 μm can be seen as a probable increase of production rate. The environment inside a mill is too harsh for direct measurements and there is a lack of knowledge of the events occurring inside the mill. Information on the events in the charge can be achieved by the use of different sensors. In the experiments, a Continuous Charge Measurement (CCM) system by Metso Minerals has been used to learn more about the charge dynamics. This system consists of a strain gauge detector embedded in one rubber lifter and measures the deflection as the lifter passes through the charge in the mill. The information received from the deflection curve is used in the evaluation of the experiments. The data from the experiments have been analysed with the aid of a statistical program. The analyses show that there will be an increased production of fines at low critical speed especially when the mill has high filling degree. This setting will also increase the power consumption but it improves the grindability of the ore even more. A higher degree of filling also give a smaller toe angle and a higher shoulder angle as expected. In addition, there is an advantage to keep the magnetite pebbles fraction as high as possible. This will increase the power consumption and maximum deflection of lifters, but at the same time increase the amount < 45 μm, the grindability and the pebbles consumption. A pebble size fraction of 10-35 mm will improve the grindability and amount < 45 μm. To further increase the understanding of charge dynamics, simulations are used to possibly illustrate the events inside the mill. However, for simulations to be reliable it demands that they are verified against process data. Previously, a series of experiments with a steel media charge were performed with the CCM system installed and this provides an opportunity to validate simulation results. The measured lifter deflection signal is used to compare with signals from two- and three-dimensional DEM simulations of the pilot-scale mill. The resulting deflection signals from simulation show that the three-dimensional case displays a better profile and the difference of toe and shoulder angles are less than in the twodimensional case. This means that the simulations are more reliable when they are run in three dimensions and they may be used to increase the understanding of the mill and its charge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2011. , 28 p.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Research subject
Mineral Processing
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-18596Local ID: 95f8db37-5fc0-4bd8-981e-222631ff5f0fISBN: 978-91-7439-258-6OAI: diva2:991605
Godkänd; 2011; 20110503 (johala)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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