Using the Bond work index to measure operating comminution efficiency

Rowland, C. A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
Introduction Comminution efficiency, as measured by relating circuit performance to the consumption of energy and the time and money required, can be determined by the following comparisons: Theoretical efficiency: The theoretical efficiency is the actual energy consumed in a comminution machine compared to the theoretical energy required to perform the size reduction. Operating efficiency: The operating efficiency compares the operating work index of a comminution machine to the Bond work index of the ore, as determined from bench-scale crushing and grindability tests or pilot-plant tests. Economic efficiency: The economic efficiency is comparing income from production to predicted income. Key words: Comminution, Bond work index, Grinding, Crushing, Ball mills, Rod Mills. Theoretical efficiency In their book Process Engineering of Size Reduction - Ball Milling, Austin, Klimpel and Luckie (1984) stated that, "We have tried throughout this book to avoid the use of the term grinding efficiency because the degree of conversion of energy to useful size reduction is an ill-defined concept. In addition, the only efficiency, which is of real interest, is the meeting of product specifications at the minimum cost." The National Materials Advisory Board, National ReĀ¬search Council (1981), in the abstract of a report titled "Comminution and Energy Consumption" stated that, "Up to 99% of the energy consumed in grinding these ores may be expended in the movement of machinery, with noise and heat the undesirable byproducts, thus leaving only 1% of the energy available for size reduction. Coupled with this is evidence that many of today's crushing and grinding techniques not only are antiquated but have little or no scientific base of understanding." Throughout the past 50-plus years, grinding efficiency has been referred to as being from 1 % to 10%. The measurable basis for these observations is difficult to establish, but they appear to be based on production performance compared to theoretical energy requirements for the work done. The theoretical energy requirements were determined from the energy required to break a single particle or a thin layer of monosized particles by compression or by a single impact from an impact-testing device. King, Tavaras and Middlemiss (1997), in a paper titled "Establishing the energy efficiency of a ball mill" described such a test. These batch single-breakage tests generally do not duplicate the continuous-breakage process in the comminution machinery used in ore concentrators. Operating efficiency The currently available crushers and grinding mills are fed at a controlled continuous flow rate, and they impart the breakage pattern needed to produce the desired size reducĀ¬tion. While theoretically inefficient, they are the most practical comminution machines available. The operation of this machinery is relatively simple and can be controlled with available control systems. The essential factors in determining the operating efficiency of comminution machines are energy, as consumed in the machinery, and the required energy, as determined from test work. Bond work indices, obtained from bench-scale or pilot-plant crushability and grindability tests are used in the following Bond equation (Bond, 1960) to determine the energy required to produce the required size reduction
Full Article Download:
(335 kb)