Plant Trial of a New On-Line Pressure Vessel Rheometer For Slurries

Bakshi, A. K. ; Kawatra, Komar S.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
A plant trial of a new on-line pressure vessel rheometer for slurries, developed at Michigan Technological University, was carried out at a nearby copper concentrator. The rheometer measured the flow curves (shear stress vs. shear rate) of chalcocite slurries. Viscosity of non-Newtonian slurries changes with shear rate and so, for such slurries viscosity measurement at a single shear rate (often seen in the literature for grinding and classification studies) cannot be correlated to process performance. For these slurries, viscosity at various shear rates can be measured from flow curves generated by the pressure vessel rheometer. Other rheological properties, such as flow type and yield stress can be determined by this rheometer to better characterize the slurries. The slurry at the copper concentrator consisted of ground chalcocite ore. The solids content in the slurry varied between 30-60 % by weight. Top size of the particles was 125 micron, and 80% passing size was 34 micron. Measurements by the pressure vessel rheometer showed that most of the slurries had pseudoplastic flow at shear rates below -3000 sec-l, where the viscosity of the slurry decreased with increase in shear rate. Above -3000 sec-l, like a Newtonian fluid, the viscosity of the slurry remained steady. Flow curves and viscosity from the pressure vessel rheometer were verified with a Brookfield viscometer and a vibrating sphere viscometer, and the results were found to be accurate.
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