Slurry Rheology in Autogenous Grinding and Classification

Kawatra, Komar S. ; Bakshi, A. K. ; Shoop, K. J. ; Eisele, T. C.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1998
Slurry rheology can have significant impact on the performance of autogenous grinding circuits. A viscous slurry can act as a cushion and retard impact forces between the media and the ore, which reduces grinding efficiency. On the other hand, a dilute slurry will not be viscous enough to hold slurry in the impact zone of the media, which will lead to inefficient use of impact energy. An unfavorable rheology can also lead to overgrinding or centrifuging of the slurry inside the mill. Slurry rheology also affect classification, with higher viscosity increasing the cut size. In this article, the causes of the rheological effects on autogenous grinding and hydrocyclone classification have been discussed. Both plant and pilot scale data from autogenous grinding have been provided to show the effects of viscosity on specific energy con- sumption and other breakage characteristics of the ore. It is shown that: (1) high viscosity, produced by low temperature and high fines content, significantly increases the specific energy consumption and the production of critical size material in an autogenous mill; (2) In hydrocyclone operation, increasing the viscosity causes the d50(c) size to become coarser.
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