The Sizing And Selection Of Hydrocyclones

Arterburn, Richard A.
Organization: The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers
Pages: 16
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
For many years hydrocyclones, commonly referred to as cyclones, have been extensively utilized in the classification of particles in comminution circuits. The practical range of classification for cyclones is 40 microns to 400 microns, with some remote applications as fine as 5 microns or as coarse as 1000 microns. Cyclones are used in both primary and secondary grinding circuits as well as regrind circuits. The information given in this chapter is intended to provide a method, at least for estimating purposes, of selecting the proper number and size of cyclones and to determine the proper level of operating variables. Generally, it is recommended that cyclone suppliers be consulted for sizing confirmation. Sow cyclone suppliers employ digital computers to aid in the sizing and selection of cyclones. CYCLONE DESCRIPTION AND BASIC OPERATION Figure 1 shows a cutaway view of a typical cyclone. During operation, the feed slurry enters the cyclone under pressure through the feed pipe into the top of the cylindrical feed chamber. This tangential entrance is accomplished by two types of design, as shown in Figure 2. Since the majority of research has been done with the involuted type, the graphs and relationships shown may not be strictly applicable to other designs. As the feed enters the chamber, a rotation of the slurry inside of the cyclone begins, causing centrifugal forces to accelerate the movement of the particles towards the outer wall. The particles migrate downward in a spiral pattern through the cylindrical section and into the conical section. At this point the smaller mass particles migrate toward the center and spiral upward and out through the vortex finder, discharging through the overflow pipe. This product, which contains the finer particles and the majority of the water, is termed the overflow and should be discharged at or near atmospheric pressure. The higher mss particles remain in a downward spiral path along the walls of the conical section and gradually exit through the apex orifice. This product is termed the underflow and also should be discharged at or near atmospheric pressure.
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