Optimizing the mill lining and the grinding media in tumbling mills

Anttila, A. ; Persson, S.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
The grinding mill is probably the most common unit operation in mineral processing. There is, however, much that can still be done in the way of optimization. This paper discusses the results of a well-controlled pilot-scale test in which the performance of a tumbling mill equipped with a conventional rubber lining and lifter bars was compared to a tumbling mill equipped with a smooth rubber lining of the magnetic type. The results indicate that the smooth lining is about 14% more effective with respect to energy consumption. By optimizing the size of the grinding media, the mill capacity can be increased in many grinding operations. In this specific case, grinding with a -20-mm ball charge required 26% less grinding energy than grinding with a -30-mm ball charge. The energy savings can, in most cases, be converted to an increase in capacity. The wear of the grinding media is difficult to assess over a short test period, but the results suggest that the wear is somewhat less when a smooth lining is used. A determination of the wear of the linings was not included in this study, but it is generally accepted that the use of magnetic linings reduces the lining costs dramatically. Computer simulation using the Millsoft code developed by Mishra et al. confirms and explains the increased effectiveness of comminution when a smooth lining and smaller grinding balls are used.
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