Laboratory Testing for Magnetic Concentrator Circuit Design

Wernham, J. A. ; Norrgran, D. A. ; Orlich, J. N. ; Ross, M. J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 20
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
INTRODUCTION Laboratory testing for magnetic concentration circuit design is a requirement, just as it is for most other types of concentration. Natural variations in raw materials allow on1 y the broadest of generalities to be made regarding magnetic separation. Further, magnetic fields are geometry dependent, leaving fundamental models of a separator overly dependent upon the exact conditions for which the models were derived. Despite this, an understanding of the basics of magnetic separation and of the problem to be attacked can result in rapid progress towards the final circuit design with a relatively simple testing program. Magnetic Separation Basic Principles A magnetic field can readily be understood in terms of lines of flux. A familiar demonstration of these lines of flux is the pattern of iron filings on a sheet of paper when a magnet is placed underneath. Lines of flux2 are measured in Gauss (1 line/cm2) or Tesla (10000 gauss). Regions of high field strength have a greater number of lines. Field direction is indicated by a convergence of lines. When a particle is placed in a magnetic field it cuts the lines of flux and alters them in one of three basic patterns. These patterns are referred to as diamagnetic, paramagnetic and ferromagnetic. Diamagnetic materials have electronic structures which react to oppose an applied magnetic field. This opposition acts to locally reduce the applied field slightly. The visualization is that lines of flux diverge and go around the particle. Because of this divergence or opposition, a diamagnetic particle will tend to move towards regions of lower flux density. That is to say that the particle will be repelled by a magnetic field. Aluminum oxide and napthalene are examples of diamagnetic materials. Paramagnetic materials have an electronic structure which increases an applied magnetic field. Although these materials also exhibit diamagnetism, they have randomly oriented impaired electrons which align with the magnetic field. The resultant local field enhancement is significantly larger than the diamagnetic opposition. The visual-
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