Rod Mills

Rowland, C. A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 13
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1985
Introduction Rod mills are horizontal, cylindrical, rotating, tumbling mills in which steel rods, that are usually about 6 in. shorter than the length of the grinding chamber, are used for grinding media. Fig. 33 shows a cutaway view of a rod mill. Rod mills were first used around 1910 because of their ability to grind in open circuit, consistently produce a uniformly sized prod¬uct, give greater continuous availability, and give lower maintenance costs. They have basically replaced roll crushers and coarse grinding ball mills in comminution flowsheets. The present 20-ft limit on rod length, based on rod manufacturing methods, and the pulp flow char¬acteristics, that influence mill capacity, have established the maximum rod mill sizes' of 15 x 21 Vs ft using 20-ft rods and drawing from 2,200 to 2,300 hp. Rod Mill Uses. The principal uses for rod mills are: preparing feed for ball or pebble mills, grinding gravel or aggregates to the size analysis required for making concrete sand, preparing coarse agitator feed for leaching operations, and for primary grinding circuits, particularly in industrial mineral applications. Wet grinding is the most frequently used grinding process for rod milling. There are a few special cases where dry rod milling is used. Preparing feed for ball or pebble mills is the most common use for rod mills. In ferrous and nonferrous ore concentrators, wet open-circuit grinding is used to prepare ball-mill feed. Figs. 34 thru 37 show the four basic grinding circuits used in these concentrators. In rod mill-ball mill grinding circuits, where the rod-mill discharge contains 25% or more of the grinding circuit product-size material, the rod-mill discharge can be fed to the ball- or pebble-mill classifier as shown in Fig. 34. This is the most frequently used rod mill-ball mill circuit in the nonferrous ore concentrators. In a few concentrators such as Anaconda's Weed concentrator,55 the rod mill discharges to one classification stage which makes the same or a slightly coarser particle-size cut as the classifiers used to close the ball- or pebble¬mill circuits, as shown in Fig. 35. In concentrators where rod mill-ball mill circuits are used to grind low grade magnetic iron ores such as Reserve Mining Co., Silver Bay, Minn.; Erie Mining Co., Hoyt Lakes, Minn.; Eveleth Taconite Co., Forbes, Minn.; US Steel, Mt. Iron, Minn. and Atlantic City, Wyo.; Inland Steel-Jackson County Iron Co., Black River Falls, Wis.; and The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co., Adams mine, Kirkland Lake, Ont., the rod mills discharge to rougher magnetic separators (cobbers), the concentrates from which are fed to a ball milling stage as shown in Fig. 36. The same basic circuit is also used with gravity concentra¬tion methods such as spirals (Hanna Mining Co., Groveland, Mich.), tables (St. Joe Minerals, Bonne Terre, Mo.), and jigs. When the rod-mill discharge contains less than 25% of the grind¬ing circuit product size, this indicates an ore that does not readily produce the fines needed to help carry the coarse feed into the ball charge. When this occurs, the fines in the rod-mill discharge are needed in the ball mill or pebble mill so the rod-mill discharge flows direct to the second-stage mills as shown in Fig. 37. Rod mills are used to make feed for open-circuit ball mills such as those used in wet grinding cement raw material (American Cement, Brennan Ave¬nue plant, Detroit, Mich., and Port Huron, Mich., plant, and at the South Dakota State Cement plant, Rapid City, S. Dak.). Grinding gravel or aggregates to the size analysis required for making concrete sand is used in areas where natural sand of the proper particle size gradation required to make concrete is not availa¬ble. Three-quarter inch crushed aggregate is ground to 4 mesh using center peripheral-discharge rod mills (Fig. 38) operating in open circuit. US Corps of Engineers specifications state that the sand product be 93-100% passing 4 mesh and contain no more than 3-7% passing 200 mesh. It may be necessary to classify the rod-mill discharge to remove any excess -200 mesh sand produced in the rod mill. Particu¬larly when processing aggregate with high abrasion indices, center peripheral-discharge rod mills are used instead of hammer mills, fine bowl crushers, and crushing rolls for the production of specification sand. If the -4 mesh size fraction of the rod-mill feed is removed
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