Purpose and Terminology

Horst, W. E.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1985
Raw materials and mineral products are crushed, ground, or pulverized for a variety of reasons. Some of the most important reasons for size reduction are: to liberate marketable mineral species from a matrix of commercial minerals and gangue, to promote rapid chemical reaction through exposure of large surface area, and to produce a material with desirable size characteristics for handling, utilization, and storage. Comminution processes are currently used on vast tonnages of raw material annually. In the mineral industries where mineral products and other solids are processed, the various size-reduction unit operations represent a major portion of the manufacturing costs. The comminution process is an expensive unit operation from the stand- point of both capital and operating costs. Power consumption is large, and the energy conversion to useful work is very small regardless of the size-reduction system. In energy terms, about 1% of the all electricity generated throughout the world is expended in crushing and grinding operations by the cement industry alone. Comminution is a general term for size reduction that may be applied without regard to the actual breakage mechanism involved. General type of size-reduction equipment include crushers, tumbling mills of various type, impact mills, fixed-path mills such as a roller mill, and fluid-energy mills. Some comminution machines accomplish
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