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# Energy Use in Comminution

Crushing and Grinding are very inefficient processes from the viewpoint of creating new surface area (hence surface energy) and it is obviously important and desirable for a mine or mill to use energy as efficiently as possible. To estimate and calculate the energy required for a given size reduction process, a number of theories have been advanced. These theories depend on the basic assumption that energy required to produce a change dD in a particle of a typical size dimension D is a power function of D: dE/dD = KDn (1)

where dE is the differential energy required, dD is the change in a typical dimension of a particle, D is the magnitude of a typical length dimension and K and n are constants. Kick assumed that the energy required to reduce a material in size was directly proportional to the percent reduction, i.e., dD/D. This implies that n in Eq. (1) is equal to -1. So, if K = KK fc where KK is called Kick's constant and fc is called the crushing strength of the material, then Eq. (1) becomes: dE/dD = KK fc D-1 which, on integration gives: E = KK fc loge(Df/Dp) (2)

Eq. (2) is known as Kick's Law. It implies that the specific energy required to crush a material, from say, 10 cm to 5 cm, is the same as the energy required to crush the same material from 5 mm to 2.5 mm. Rittinger assumed that the energy required for size reduction is directly proportional, not to the change in length dimension, but rather, to the change in surface area. This leads to a value of -2 for n in Eq. (1) as area is proportional to length squared. If we put: K = KR fc then dE/dD = KRfcD-2 where KR is called Rittinger's constant. By integration), we obtain: E = KRfc (1/Dp 1/LDf) (3)

Eq. (3) is known as Rittinger's Law. As the specific surface of a particle (surface area per unit mass or volume) is proportional to 1/D, Eq. (3) postulates that the energy required to reduce D for a mass of particles from 10 cm to 5 cm would be the same as that required to reduce, for example, the same mass

of 5 mm particles down to 4.7 mm. This is a much smaller reduction, in terms of energy per unit mass for the smaller particles, than what is predicted by Kick's Law. Experimentally, when comminuting coarse particles, the increase in surface area per unit mass is relatively small, and so Kick's Law is a reasonable approximation. For size reduction of fine powders, on the other hand, in which large areas of new surface are created, Rittinger's Law appears to fits the experimental data better. Fred Bond, who worked for the Allis-Chalmers Company for many years, suggested an intermediate relationship based on the geometry of the crack tip in an expanding fracture, in which he postulated that n is -3/2. After integration, this leads to the famous Bond Work Index equation: E = 10Wi [(1/Dp)1/2 - (1/Df1/2)] (4)

Bond defined the quantity Wi as the Work Index of the ore: D is measured in microns in Eq. (4) and so Wi is the amount of energy required to reduce a unit mass of material from an infinitely large particle size down to a particle size of 100 microns. Bond designed his equation to take a parameter from the cumulative particle analysis as the 80% passing size. Note that all of these equations [(2), (3), and (4)] are dimensional and so, if quoted values are to be used for the various constants, the dimensions must be expressed in appropriate units. In Bond's equation, D is expressed in microns. If other size units are preferred, the equation must be adjusted with the appropriate conversion factor. These equations are used to make comparisons between the power requirements for various degrees of reduction. Kick applies to very coarse materials such as the feed and product of a primary crusher. Rittinger applies to very fine grinding at sizes below 50 microns down to sub-micron sizes. Bonds formula applies to the intermediate range between these two extremes although with the use of a series of correction factors, it is often used in situations below 200 microns. EXAMPLE: Grinding of an Ore in a Pilot-Scale Mill An ore is ground from a crushed product that 80% passes a 500 micron sieve down to a size in which 80% passes an 88 micron sieve. A 5-hp motor is sufficient for the required throughput and grind. If requirements are changed such that grinding is now to be done to 80% passing a 125 micron sieve, but the throughput is to be increased by 50%, is the existing motor sufficient to operate the mill? Assume the Bond equation applies. Let T in kg/h be the initial throughput and P be the required power: then E1 = 5/T = 10Ei [(1/88)1/2 (1/500)1/2] and E2 = P/1.5T = 10Ei [(1/125)1/2 - (1/500)1/2] E2/E1 = P/(1.5 x 5) = (1/125)1/2 - (1/500)1/2 (1/ 88)1/2 - (1/500)1/2 x = 7.5 * (0.08955 0.04472) / (0.10660 0.04472) = 7.5 * 0.04482 / 0.06188 x = 5.43 horsepower

So the motor has insufficient power to grind a 50% increase in throughput to this coarser particle size. And so, the tonnage rate increase is limited to about 40% to achieve the new desired grind or the grind will have to be coarsened by about 20%, if a 50% tonnage rate is the preferred option. What is the work index of this ore if T is 250 kg/h? Wi = 5 hp/ 0.25 tph = 5 hp x 0.746 kW/hp / 0.25 tph = 15.92 kWh/t Bond developed his theory to an art form in which he determined the Work Index for different ores and minerals as well as a special procedure using a special ball mill or rod mill to determine the Work Index of the material in the laboratory. The procedure involves using a lab mill of a set diameter with a set ball or rod charge and running several cycles (5-7) of grinding and screening to recycle coarse material into the next stage until a steady state occurred (i.e., the weight of recycle material becomes constant). The empirical formula he devised is as follows: 5.

Where Wi = work index (kWh/t); P = 80% passing size of the product; F = 80% passing size of the feed; Gbp = net grams of screen undersize per mill revolution; P1 = closing screen size (mm).

## Particle Size Analysis

The particle size of minerals and rocks is an extremely important property used to characterize and/or understand the efficiency and effectiveness of different processes. Particle size is measured by sieving or screening a sample of the total material through a set of stacked screens. This deck of screens are placed on a Ro-Tap machine in which the deck is shaken in an eccentric fashion for a time period of 10-20 minutes while the deck in hit with a hammer in a vertical direction to cause the particles on each screen to bounce up and down so they eventually pass through the holes in the screen if they are smaller than the screen aperture. The shape of the aperture is generally square, although in practice, the shape may be circular or rectangular. The deck is stacked from the coarsest screen on top to the finest screen on the bottom. Generally the screen apertures decrease on each successive screen by a 2 as shown below by the >:

> > > > > > > > > > > > >

There are numerous screen standards such as the Tyler screen decks, the British Standard and the U.S. mesh sizes which more recently have changed somewhat so that the 28 mesh screen is 595 microns, the 35 mesh screen is 500 microns, the 48 mesh screen is 295 microns, the 65 mesh screen is 210 microns, the 100 mesh screen is 150 microns, the 150 mesh screen is 105 microns, the 200 mesh screen is 75 microns, the 270 mesh screen is 54 microns, and the 400 mesh screen is 38 microns.
SYSTEMS OF STANDARD SIEVES Aperture (mm) 22.6 16.0 11.2 8.0 5.66 4.00 2.83 2.00 16 11.2 8.00 5.66 4.00 2.80 2.00 ISO nominal aperture (mm)
7/8 5/8 7/16 5/16

U.S. No.

Tyler No.

## in. in. in. in.

0.883 in. 0.624 in. 0.441 in. 2 1/2 mesh 3 1/2 mesh 5 mesh 7 mesh 9 mesh

No.3 5 7 10

1.41 1.00 0.71 0.500 0.354 0.250 0.177 0.147 0.104 0.074 0.054 0.044 0.037

1.41 1.00 0.710 0.500 0.355 0.250 0.180 0.150 0.105 0.075 0.053 0.045 0.038

## 14 18 25 35 45 60 80 100 150 200 270 325 400

12 mesh 16 mesh 24 mesh 32 mesh 42 mesh 60 mesh 80 mesh 100 mesh 140 mesh 200 mesh 270 mesh 325 mesh 400 mesh

Mesh size refers to the number of openings per linear inch with the thickness of the copper or stainless steel wire determining the actual opening size. The wires are interwoven to produce a square pattern. As the aperture size gets smaller, there is a limitation to the thickness of wire that can generate a sensible open area. The efficiency of the screen in terms of the time it takes for all finer particles to pass through the opening depends on the %open area. By choosing wire sizes to weave the screen, the
percentage of opening area is kept approximately constant in moving from one sieve to the next.

In characterizing the particle size distribution of bulk material, a plot can be made of the amount of material retained on each screen or we can plot the cumulative amount retained or passing a particular size. Such a plot is as follows:

A passing or retained plot is more accurate since we know the specific opening size whereas a plot of the amount on each screen requires a calculation of the mean size of that fraction which represents a

number between the screen in question and the successive coarser screen size. The mean can be determined either arithmetically or geometrically with the geometric mean likely being closer to the true value. Generally the plot is made using a log-log scale or a log-normal scale depending on circumstances. With most crushed or ground materials, a log-log plot will generate a straight line relationship between the 20% and the 80% passing size (d20 and d80). Above 80%, the slope will gradually decrease until the 100% size is reached (top size) but this size is difficult to determine exactly. Below 20%, the slope may also decrease to a very low slope at ultra-fine particles if the ore contains material that is very friable (easy to break) into dust. Alternatively, the slope may continue to remain straight-line into fine particle sizes down to the 1% passing size. Rarely will the slope increase below 20% passing unless the ore has been scalped, i.e., has had its fines removed by sedimentation or in another fashion (airdrying, etc.).

Surface area per unit mass is called the specific surface area. To calculate this value in a known mass of material we need to know the particle-size distribution and the shape factor of the particles. The particle size gives one dimension that can be called the typical dimension, Dp, of a particle. This must be related to the surface area. The volume of the particle can be expressed as: Vp = pDp3 and Ap= 6qDp2 where Vp is the volume of the particle, Ap is the area of the particle surface, Dp is the typical dimension of the particle and p, q are factors that connect the particle geometries.(Note subscript p and factor p) For a cube, the volume is Dp3 and the surface area is 6Dp2; For a sphere the volume is (/6)Dp3 and the surface area is Dp2 In both cases the ratio of surface area to volume is 6/Dp. A shape factor is now defined as q/p = (Lambda), so that for a cube or a sphere, = 1. Experimentally, the resulting particles of many materials after grinding have shape factors that approximate 1.75. This means that their surface area to volume ratio is almost twice that of a cube or sphere. The ratio of surface area to volume is: Ap/Vp = 6 (q/p) Dp = 6/ Dp and so Ap= 6q Vp / pDp = 6(Vp / Dp) (3) (4) (2) (1)

If there is a mass m of particles of density , the number of particles equals m / VP each of area Ap. So total area At = (m /VP) (Vp / Dp) = 6m/Dp (5)

where At is the total surface area of the mass of particles. Equation (5) can be combined with the results of the sieve analysis to estimate the total surface area of a powder. Example: Surface Area of Salt Crystals In an analysis of ground salt using Tyler sieves, 38% of the salt passes through a 7-mesh sieve and is retained on a 9-mesh sieve. For one of the finer fractions, 5% passed an 80-mesh sieve but was retained on a 115-mesh sieve. Estimate the surface areas of these two fractions in a 5 kg sample of the total salt, if the density of salt is 1050 kg m-3 and the shape factor () is 1.75. (Comment on this assumption). 7 mesh = 2.830 mm, 9 mesh = 2.000 mm, 80 mesh = 0.177 mm, 115 mesh = 0.125 mm. Mean aperture -7 + 9 mesh = 2.415 mm = 2.415 x 10-3 m Mean aperture - 80 + 115 mesh = 0.151 mm = 0.151 x 10-3 m (Comment on these means). Aperture of Tyler sieves

So, from Eqn. (5): A1 = (6 x 1.75 x 0.38 x 5) / (1050 x 2.410 x 10-3) = 7.88 m2 A2 = (6 x 1.75 x 0.05 x 5) / (1050 x 0.151 x 10-3) = 16.60 m2

## Grinding Mills Ball Mills and Rod Mills

The amount of steel in the mill is usually greater than 25% and generally around 40%. Balls can be continually added to the feed belt while rods require the mill to be shut-down in order to recharge.

Pebble Mills Similar to a ball mill - but the charge consists of carefully sized ore material the size of pebbles (2-3). Autogenous (and Semi-Autogenous) Grinding Circuits

Ball Mill

Ball Mill

Ball Mill

Rod Mill

Ball Mill

## SAG/AG Ball Mill

With a primary ball mill or rod mill, the ore must be crushed in a secondary crushing plant which may consist of a number of secondary and tertiary cone crushers. Nowadays, High-Pressure Grinding Rolls are being introduced in place of the tertiary crushers. In the first stage of grinding, the ore is mixed with water and fed directly into the mill. In the second stage of the grinding circuit the pulp is fed to the classifier rather than to the mill with the oversize product (also known as the underflow product) being directed into the mill. In the case of an AG (Autogenous Grinding) Mill or SAG (Semi-Autogenous Grinding) Mill, the feed can come directly from the Primary Crusher with a top size varying between 4-10 inches (10-25 cm) in size. Although the Secondary Crushing Plant is avoided, there may be need to place a secondary crusher on the recycle stream from the SAG or AG screen deck to ensure that "critical size" material is broken up before re-entering the mill.