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Article

Impact Load Behavior between Different Charge and

Lifter in a Laboratory-Scale Mill

Zixin Yin 1,2 , Yuxing Peng 1,2, * ID

, Zhencai Zhu 1,2 , Zhangfa Yu 3,4 and Tongqing Li 1,2

1 School of Mechatronic Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou, 221116 China;

yinzixincumt@126.com (Z.Y.); zhuzhencai@vip.163.com (Z.Z.); litongqingcumt@163.com (T.L.)

2 Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Mine Mechanical and Electrical Equipment,

China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China

3 Luoyang Mining Machinery Engineering Design Institute Co., Ltd., Luoyang 471039, China;

citichic006@126.com

4 State Key Laboratory of Mining Heavy Equipment, CITIC Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.,

Luoyang 471039, China

* Correspondence: pengyuxing@cumt.edu.cn; Tel.: +86-138-0520-9649

Abstract: The impact behavior between the charge and lifter has significant effect to address the mill

processing, and is affected by various factors including mill speed, mill filling, lifter height and media

shape. To investigate the multi-body impact load behavior, a series of experiments and Discrete

Element Method (DEM) simulations were performed on a laboratory-scale mill, in order to improve

the grinding efficiency and prolong the life of the lifter. DEM simulation hitherto has been extensively

applied as a leading tool to describe diverse issues in granular processes. The research results shown as

follows: The semi-empirical power draw of Bond model in this paper does not apply very satisfactorily

for the ball mills, while the power draw determined by DEM simulation show a good approximation

for the measured power draw. Besides, the impact force on the lifter was affected by mill speed,

grinding media filling, lifter height and iron ore particle. The maximum percent of the impact force

between 600 and 1400 N is at 70–80% of critical speed. The impact force can be only above 1400 N at

the grinding media filling of 20%, and the maximum percent of impact force between 200 and 1400 N

is obtained at the grinding media filling of 20%. The percent of impact force ranging from 0 to 200 N

decreases with the increase of lifter height. However, this perfect will increase above 200 N. The impact

force will decrease when the iron ore particles are added. Additionally, for the 80% of critical speed,

the measured power draw has a maximum value. Increasing the grinding media filling increases the

power draw and increasing the lifter height does not lead to any variation in power draw.

Keywords: DEM simulation; load behavior; impact force; power draw; ball mill

1. Introduction

A ball mill (Figure 1) is the key piece of equipment for secondary grinding after crushing and is

suitable for grinding all types of ores and other materials. Ball mill are used in the mining, cement,

chemical and agricultural industries, particularly tumbling ball mills [1–4]. The comminution process

is dependent on the rotation of the mill to lift the grinding media for reducing particle size, including

abrasion, crushing and impacting. Due to the impact load behavior between charge and lifter direct

impact of milling efficiency, the efficient operation of mill working parameters is a critical issue.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 2 of 17

Materials 2017, 10, 882 2 of 17

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of ball mill.

For ball mills, it is dependent on the rotation of the mill shell for lifting the grinding media to

impact For theballparticle,

mills, it is and dependent

the mill on the rotation

shell, grindingofmedia, the millparticle

shell for andlifting

lifterthearegrinding

contents media

of theto

impact the particle, and the mill shell, grinding media, particle

grinding environment [5,6]. The grinding efficiency is affected by operating variables, such as the and lifter are contents of the grinding

environment

charge, lifter[5,6]. and The grindingparameter.

controlling efficiency isThus affectedfar, bymanyoperating

direct variables,

and indirect suchmethods

as the charge,have lifter

been

and controlling parameter. Thus far, many direct and indirect

employed to measure the impact load behavior, such as X-rays [7], vibration acceleration [8–10], methods have been employed to measure

the impact

acoustic load behavior,

emissions [11], strain such[12], as X-rays

force sensor [7], vibration acceleration

[13], conductivity [14][8–10], acoustic emissions

and inductivity [15]. [11],

strainThe [12],charge

force sensor [13], conductivity [14] and inductivity [15].

consists of particle and grinding media. Charge parameters include powder filling,

The charge consists

grinding media filling and of particle

chargeand size. grinding media. are

The particles Charge parameters

grinding material, include

which powder

are used filling,

to

grinding media filling and charge size. The particles

further comminute to obtain a suitable size distribution. The grinding media is used for are grinding material, which are used to further

comminute

impact-breakage to obtain anda abrasion.

suitable size distribution.

Moreover, the sizeThe and grinding

fillingmedia is used for

of grinding impact-breakage

media has a strict

and abrasion. Moreover, the size and filling of grinding

influence on the milling process [16–20]. Rezaeizadeh et al. [21] studied the effect of the media has a strict influence on thegrinding

milling

process [16–20]. Rezaeizadeh et al. [21] studied the effect of the

media filling on impact load, concluding that the impact load on the lifters increases as the filling grinding media filling on impact load,

concluding

level decreases. that the impact load

Rajrajamani [22]oninvestigated

the lifters increases

the effects as of

thegrinding

filling level mediadecreases.

size and Rajrajamani

filling level[22] on

investigated the effects of grinding media size and

the impact spectra, noting that impact spectra changes with filling level and cannot be filling level on the impact spectra, noting that

analyzed

impact

accurately.spectra changes with

Additionally, as filling

the steel levelball andsizecannot be analyzed

increases, accurately.

the impact Additionally,

frequency decreases, as thebutsteel

the

ball size increases, the impact frequency decreases, but the impact

impact forces increases. The purpose of the lifter is lifting charge and preventing slip, and lifter forces increases. The purpose of the

lifter is liftingsuch

parameters, charge and preventing

as size, shape and slip, number and lifter parameters,

of lifters such as size,

have a significant shape

effect onandload number

behavior of

lifters

[23,24]. have a significant

Rezaeizadeh et effect

al. [21] onmounted

load behavior [23,24].

a quartz force Rezaeizadeh

sensor to measure et al. [21] themounted

impacta quartz

load onforce the

sensor to measure the impact load on the lifter. The results showed

lifter. The results showed that increasing the lifter height and number of lifters results in larger that increasing the lifter height and

number of lifters

impact forces. results inetlarger

Djordjevic al. [25]impact

usedforces. Djordjevic

the Particle Flowet al. [25]

Code 3Dused(PFC3D) the Particle

to model FlowtheCodeeffect3Dof

(PFC3D) to model the effect of lifter number, height and

lifter number, height and mill speed on net power draw, concluding that the net power draw mill speed on net power draw, concluding

that the netaspower

decreases draw

the lifter decreases

height as theControlling

increases. lifter heightparameters,

increases. Controlling

such as mill parameters,

speed andsuch mill as mill

filling,

speed and mill filling, have been investigated to determine

have been investigated to determine a suitable parameter combination that requires higher a suitable parameter combination that

requires

grindinghigher grinding

efficiency. Hence, efficiency. Hence, many

many researchers have researchers

studied the have studied

effect the effect of

of controlling controlling

parameter on

parameter on milling efficiency [26–28]. For mill speed, impact

milling efficiency [26–28]. For mill speed, impact load increases with mill rotation speed, but higher load increases with mill rotation speed,

but higher

speeds speeds

result in theresult

wearing in theofwearing

lifters and of lifters

increasedand increased energy consumption.

energy consumption. For milla filling,

For mill filling, minor

afilling

minorlevelfilling

results in economic cost increases, and an excessive filling level result in mill doesdoes

level results in economic cost increases, and an excessive filling level result in mill not

not break the

break the particle. particle.

Currently,

Currently,there thereare aretwo twomethods

methodstotomeasure measurethe theimpact

impact force

force onon thethelifter. Method

lifter. Method 1 changes

1 changes in

accordance to the drop height of charge in the mill, but transforms

in accordance to the drop height of charge in the mill, but transforms into measuring the single into measuring the single charge

impact

charge on the lifter

impact on the material in free fall

lifter material [29–36].

in free Method Method

fall [29–36]. 2 consists of installing

2 consists a sensor aonsensor

of installing the millon

shell to measure the impact signal of the charge for replacing

the mill shell to measure the impact signal of the charge for replacing the impact force of the lifter the impact force of the lifter [20,22,37].

Based on recent

[20,22,37]. Basedresearch

on recent forresearch

improving formilling

improving efficiency

milling byefficiency

selecting an by appropriate

selecting ancombination

appropriate

of lifter design,

combination of mill

lifterspeeddesign, andmillfilling,

speed little

and is filling,

known little aboutisaknown

direct measure

about a of the impact

direct measureforce of

of the

the lifter and the impact breakage behavior between different

impact force of the lifter and the impact breakage behavior between different shapes of grinding shapes of grinding media and lifters.

Thus,

mediaitand is significant

lifters. Thus, to study the impacttobehavior

it is significant study the between

impact charge

behavior and lifter. charge and lifter.

between

To

To investigate

investigate the the multi-body

multi-body impact impact breakage

breakage behavior,

behavior, we we designed

designed aa drop drop ballball tester

tester and

and

laboratory-scale mill to measure the power draw and

laboratory-scale mill to measure the power draw and impact force on the lifter. In this paper, impact force on the lifter. In this paper,

we

primarily studied the effects of mill speed (50–100% of critical speed), grinding media filling

(5–30%), lifter height (10–20 mm) and grinding media shape (square, ball and cylinder) on impact

Materials 2017, 10, 882 3 of 17

we primarily studied the effects of mill speed (50–100% of critical speed), grinding media filling

(5–30%), lifter height (10–20 mm) and grinding media shape (square, ball and cylinder) on impact

breakage behavior. This improved understanding of the impact process in the ball mills and also

improved mill grinding efficiency.

The DEM is a numerical method for simulating and analyzing the bulk performance of granular

materials and many geomaterials such as coal, ores and rocks. This method was designed to

simulate dynamic systems of particles where each element is considered to be an independent and

non-deformable entity that interacts with other particles by the laws of contact mechanics and moves

following Newton’s second law. This method applies solid-rigid mechanics at the particle level, and the

discrete elements are considered to be rigid, non-deformable elements. The constitutive model or

behavior of the material is established at the contact areas between particles.

This method has proven to be a useful tool in the milling industry. According to DEM theory,

the power draws of ball mills can be calculated as follows:

PDEM = mc × g × x × w (1)

where PDEM is the power in watt; mc is the effective mass of charge; g is the acceleration of gravity; x is

the distance between the center of the mill and the center of the gravity of load; and w is the rotational

angular velocity of ball mill.

In the last century, excluding the DEM model of mill power prediction, many models applied

to predict the power draw of tumbling mills were very similar [38]. Bond [39] applied the data of

industrial mills and laboratory test results to obtain a semi-empirical power draw model; the prediction

equation is as follows:

d − 12.5 × D

0.1

PBond = β × mc × 4.879 × D0.3 × (3.2 − 3 × ϕ) × ψ × 1 − 9 + 1.102 × (2)

2 − 104 50.8

where PBond is the power in watt; β is the mill coefficient (β = 1.08); D is mill diameter; ϕ is mill filling;

ψ is mill speed; and d is particle diameter in meter.

In the ball mill, iron ore particles are broken by the grinding media acting on high-speed crushing

and grinding. Reduction of the size of iron ore particles is caused by a cumulative process of single

breakage behavior with a longer period of time. To understand the iron ore particle size reduction

process, the single breakage behavior must be investigated.

To measure the single breakage behavior, a drop ball tester was designed, as shown in Figure 2.

The drop ball tester mainly consists of an impact-force sensor, data acquisition equipment and

a supporting disk. Firstly, we moved the sliding block to adjust the drop ball at the right height.

Secondly, we dropped the ball to impact the sensor. Lastly, we collected the data of impact force using

data acquisition equipment. From the tester, we changed the steel ball size (∅20, ∅30, ∅40 mm) and

the drop height (50, 120, 220, 320, 420 and 520 mm) and then obtained a better understanding of the

relation between impact force and time.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 4 of 17

Materials 2017, 10, 882 4 of 17

Materials 2017, 10, 882 4 of 17

Figure

Figure 2. Drop balltester.

Drop ball tester.

3.1.2. Impact Breakage Experiments

3.1.2.3.1.2.

Impact

To Breakage

Impact Breakage

carefully Experiments

collectExperiments

the load behavior on the lifter, a laboratory-scale mill was designed. Figure 3

shows To the laboratory-scale

carefully collect theloadmillbehavior

load and data on acquisition

the system, and the relative facilitiesFigure

are as3

To carefully collect the behavior on the lifter,

lifter,aalaboratory-scale

laboratory-scale mill waswas

mill designed.

designed. Figure 3

follows:

shows (i)

the A mill shell

laboratory-scale withmill 520

and mm

data in diameter

acquisition and

system, 40 mm

and in

the length

relative and equipped

facilities are as with 12

follows:

shows the laboratory-scale mill and data acquisition system, and the relative facilities are as

equally

(i) A mill spaced with and different height rows of rectangle

40 mm inlifters;

length(ii) A 3.7-kW three-phase motor spaced

with a

follows: (i) Ashellmill shell 520 mm in

with 520 diameter

mm inand diameter and 40 and

mmequipped

in length with 12 equally

and equipped with 12

rated speed of 1480 rpm; (iii) An inverter was used to control the motor

and different height rows of rectangle lifters; (ii) A 3.7-kW three-phase motor with a rated speed of velocity; (iv) A torque

equally

sensorspaced

with and different height rows of rectangle lifters; (ii) A 3.7-kW three-phase motor with a

1480 rpm; (iii)a An

range of 500

inverter wasNm was

used to mounted

control thebetween the motor

motor velocity; (iv)and mill shell

A torque sensortowith

measure

a rangemill

of

rated speed torque

velocity, of 1480 and rpm;

power(iii)byAnthe inverter was used tosoftware; control theAmotor velocity; (iv) A ontorque

500 Nm was mounted between theM400

motordata

andacquisition

mill shell to measure(v) slip ring

mill velocity, was mounted

torque and power

sensor

the with

shaft

by the a range

to

M400 prevent ofwinding

500 Nm

data acquisition and was mounted

supply

software; A slipbetween

(v)power; (vi) An

ring the motor

wasimpact

mounted force and

onsensor mill shell

mounted

the shaft to to measure

through

prevent the mill

winding

velocity,

and supply power; (vi) An impact force sensor mounted through the mill lifter walls was employed to on

mill torque

lifter walls andwas power

employedby the

to M400

measure data

the acquisition

impact force software;

on the (v)

lifter, A

withslip

a ring

sensor was

range mounted

of 300

kg,

the shaft and

measure the

to prevent output

the impact signalonthrough

winding

force and slip

supply

the lifter, withring

power;to the

a sensor DH5981

(vi)range

An impact data

of 300 acquisition

force

kg, and sensor

the outputequipment

mounted with a the

through

signal through

sampling

mill slip

lifter

ring rate

walls

to the of

was 20

DH5981 kHz.

employed to measure

data acquisition the impact

equipment withforce on therate

a sampling lifter, with

of 20 kHz.a sensor range of 300

kg, and the output signal through slip ring to the DH5981 data acquisition equipment with a

sampling rate of 20 kHz.

Figure 3.

Figure Laboratory-scale mill

3. Laboratory-scale mill and

and data

data acquiring

acquiring system.

system.

In Figure3,3,thethe

In Figure experiments

experiments werewere performed

performed in dryin dry conditions,

conditions, the mill

the mill shell with shell with one

one transparent

transparent end (semicircle perspex) and a high-speed digital camera is used to record

end (semicircle perspex) and a high-speed digital camera is used to record the charge trajectory, and the charge

the

trajectory, and the Figure 3. Laboratory-scale mill and data acquiring system.

milling process wasmilling process

run 3 min and was run 3was

the data mincollected

and the for

data

10was collected

s. The summaryfor of10 the

s. The summary

experimental

of the experimental

conditions conditions

is given in the Tableis1 given

below.in the Table 1 below.

In Figure 3, the experiments were performed in dry conditions, the mill shell with one

transparent end (semicircle perspex) and a high-speed digital camera is used to record the charge

trajectory, and the milling process was run 3 min and the data was collected for 10 s. The summary

of the experimental conditions is given in the Table 1 below.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 5 of 17

Mill Speed/of

Test Filling Level Lifter Height (mm) Media-Shape Particle

Critical Speed

50%, 60%, 70%,

4.2 20% 20 Steel ball None

80%, 90%, 100%

5%, 10%, 15%,

4.3 75% 20 Steel ball None

20%, 25%, 30%

4.4 75% 20% 10, 15, 20 Steel ball None

4.5 75% 20% 15 Steel ball, Square, Cylinder None

4.5 75% 20% 15 Steel ball, Square, Cylinder Yes

3.2. Materials

Table 2 shows the material properties of the grinding media, iron ore particle and lifter.

The grinding media was forged in steel forging with round, square and cylinder shapes with equal

mass from Jinan, China. The raw iron ore particle from the Xuzhou iron ore factory was a magnetite

(Fe2 O3 67.46%) pellet. Since grinding fineness has a great effect on iron ore floatation, appropriate

grinding fineness can not only guarantee good monomer dissociation, but also help to avoid excessive

grinding [23,40]; we choose iron ore feed with 2–2.8 mm. Iron ore particles were broken into suitable

sizes with an industrial jaw crusher, then the products were sieved for 10 min by a vibrating screen

to acquire mono-sized particles (2–2.8 mm). The lifter was designed with different heights, and the

material was the same as the mill shell.

Grinding media Steel ball (∅15 mm) Square (L: 12 × W: 12 × H: 12 mm) Cylinder (∅12 × H: 16 mm)

Iron ore particle 2–2.8 mm

Lifter L: 40 × W: 20 × H: 10 mm L: 40 × W: 20 × H: 15 mm L: 40 × W: 20 × H: 20 mm

Iron ore particle density (kg/m3 ) 3886

Iron ore particle shear modulus (Pa) 2.59 × 109

Iron ore particle Poisson’s ratio 0.28

Shell density (kg/m3 ) 7800

Shell shear modulus (Pa) 7 × 1010

Shell Poisson’s ratio 0.3

Particle-shell restitution coefficient 0.32

Particle-shell static friction coefficient 0.48

Particle-shell rolling friction coefficient 0.2

Particle-Particle restitution coefficient 0.49

Particle-Particle static friction coefficient 0.48

Particle-Particle rolling friction coefficient 0.16

4.1. Effect of Steel Ball Size and Drop Height on Impact Force

The impact force plotted against the time in this research is characterized using DH5981 data

acquisition equipment collected from the drop ball test performed on lifter. The drop test is performed

Materials 2017, 10, 882 6 of 17

using different drop height and using three different ball sizes, 20, 30 and 40 mm. The results presented

drop height.

in Figure The variation

4 show in impact

that the impact force

force increases

shows up to

a strong a maximum

sensitive to theand

balldecreases

size and rapidly, and

drop height.

the impact duration time is approximately 1 millisecond. Additionally, the maximum

The variation in impact force increases up to a maximum and decreases rapidly, and the impact magnitude of

impact

durationforce

time increases with the

is approximately increase of Additionally,

1 millisecond. drop heightthe formaximum

the givenmagnitude

ball size offorimpact

the given

force

drop height.

increases with the increase of drop height for the given ball size for the given drop height.

Experimental

Experimental results

results indicate

indicate that

that each

each breakage

breakage event

event depends

depends onon the

the steel

steel ball

ball size

size and

and drop

drop

height, and increasing

height, and increasingthe thesteel

steel ball

ball sizesize

andand

dropdrop height

height increases

increases the gravitational

the gravitational potentialpotential

energy.

energy. Hence, increasing

Hence, increasing the steelthe steel

ball sizeball

and size

dropandheight

drop height can increase

can increase the impact

the impact force

force in ballin ball mills.

mills.

1000

50 mm

800 120 mm

Steel ball:20 mm 220 mm

320 mm

600 420 mm

520 mm

400

200

0

2000

0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2

1600

Steel ball:30 mm

Force / N

1200

800

400

0

4000

0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2

3200

Steel ball:40 mm

2400

1600

800

Time / ms

4. Impact

Figure 4.

Figure Impact force-time

force-timeanalysis

analysiscurve forfor

curve a steel ball with

a steel diameters

ball with of 20, 30

diameters of and

20, 40

30 mm

and dropped

40 mm

from different heights.

dropped from different heights.

4.2. Effect

4.2. Effect of

of Mill

Mill Speed

Speed on

on Impact

Impact Load

Load Behavior

Behavior

4.2.1. Steel

4.2.1. Steel Ball

Ball Trajectories

Trajectories of

of DEM

DEM Simulations

Simulations and

and Experiments

Experiments

In the

In the experiment,

experiment, the the mill

mill fitted

fitted with

with aa transparent

transparent end, end, and

and aa high-speed

high-speed digital

digital camera

camera is is

used to record steel ball trajectories. Figure 5 shows the steel ball trajectories

used to record steel ball trajectories. Figure 5 shows the steel ball trajectories of DEM simulations of DEM simulations

and experiments

and experiments withwith different

different mill

mill speeds,

speeds,the themill

millspeed

speedchanged

changedfrom from50%

50%toto100%,

100%, a lifter size

a lifter of

size

of × 20

40 40 × 20× 20 mm,

× 20 mm,andanda grinding

a grindingmedia filling

media of 20%

filling of by20% volume. The photograph

by volume. resultsresults

The photograph are shownare

the grinding information inside a mill, which includes the steel ball trajectories

shown the grinding information inside a mill, which includes the steel ball trajectories and the and the particular

charge position.

particular chargeFrom the photographs

position. of the DEM of

From the photographs simulation

the DEMand experiment,

simulation andmore steel balls

experiment, are

more

projected

steel ballsinto

areflight to impact

projected into the milltoshell

flight as thethe

impact rotating velocity

mill shell as of

thethe mill increases.

rotating velocityTheof steel ball

the mill

behaviors are highly consistent in the DEM simulation and experiment. At 50%

increases. The steel ball behaviors are highly consistent in the DEM simulation and experiment. At and 60% critical speed,

the steel

50% and ball

60%move from

critical the bottom

speed, the steelof ball

the shell

movetofromthe shoulder

the bottom position

of thebegin

shellto

toslide downward

the shoulder across

position

begin to slide downward across the free surface, and much higher part of steel balls follow a

cascading motion. At 70% and 80% critical speed, the shoulder position becomes high, the steel

Materials 2017, 10, 882 7 of 17

the free surface, and much higher part of steel balls follow a cascading motion. At 70% and 80% critical

speed, the shoulder position becomes high, the steel balls projected into flight follow a parabolic path,

balls projected into flight follow a parabolic path, and much higher number of steel balls follow a

and much higher number of steel balls follow a cataracting motion. As the mill speed increases from

cataracting motion. As the mill speed increases from 90% to 100% critical speed, the steel balls are

90% to 100% critical speed, the steel balls are almost projected flight follow a centrifuging motion, large

almost projected flight follow a centrifuging motion, large number of steel ball has a high speed

number of steel ball has a high speed collide on the lifter and result in the wear rate of lifter increases.

collide on the lifter and result in the wear rate of lifter increases.

DEM software provides an accurate prediction of the steel ball trajectory in the ball mill.

DEM software provides an accurate prediction of the steel ball trajectory in the ball mill.

However,

However, theabove

the above discussion

discussion is

is dependent

dependent on observing the

on observing the steel

steel ball

balltrajectory

trajectoryininphotographs.

photographs.

Simply

Simplyobserving

observing thethe trajectory

trajectory is

is not

not enough

enough toto describe

describe what

what isis occurring

occurring inside

insidethe

theball

ballmill.

mill.

Hence, an impact force sensor was mounted in the lifter to investigate impact load

Hence, an impact force sensor was mounted in the lifter to investigate impact load behavior. behavior.

Figure5.5.Photographs

Figure Photographsofofthe

theimpact

impactload

loadbehavior

behaviorwith

witha agrinding

grindingmedia

mediafilling

fillingofof20%

20%bybyvolume

volumeat

at 50%–100% of critical speed: (a) 50%; (b) 60%; (c) 70%; (d) 80%; (e) 90%; and

50–100% of critical speed: (a) 50%; (b) 60%; (c) 70%; (d) 80%; (e) 90%; and (f) 100%.(f) 100%.

4.2.2. Effect of Mill Speed on Impact Force

Figure 6 shows the results of impact force at different mill speeds. Increasing the mill speed

Figure 6 shows the results of impact force at different mill speeds. Increasing the mill speed can

can increase the impact load behavior, but an excessive increase in mill speed results in higher

increase the impact load behavior, but an excessive increase in mill speed results in higher energy

energy consumption. As shown in Figure 6, the frequency of impacts in a force range of 0–200 N is

consumption. As shown in Figure 6, the frequency of impacts in a force range of 0–200 N is the

the maximum at lower speeds. In lower speeds of 50%–60% critical speed, the impact force is

maximum at lower speeds. In lower speeds of 50–60% critical speed, the impact force is obviously

obviously weak, a large number of steel ball move at a lower speed and has lower impact energy,

weak, a large number of steel ball move at a lower speed and has lower impact energy, resulting in

resulting in particle abrasive comminution. At 70%–80% critical speed, a force range of 600–1400 N

particle abrasive comminution. At 70–80% critical speed, a force range of 600–1400 N has the maximum

has the maximum percent compared with other mill speeds. Hence, the lifter has a higher impact

percent

force andcompared

results inwith

more other mill speeds.

crushing Hence,Additionally,

and grinding. the lifter hasat a higher

90%–100% impact force

critical and results

speed, the steelin

more crushing and grinding. Additionally, at 90–100% critical speed, the steel

ball move at a high speed and increasing the rate of the lifter, but forces ranging primarily from ball move at a high

0 to

speed

600 Nand increasing

results in more the rate of the lifter, but forces ranging primarily from 0 to 600 N results in

grinding.

more grinding.

From the above results, we can conclude that mill speed has a significant influence on load

From the

behavior. Theabove

impactresults,

force ofwethe

canlifter

conclude that mill speed

for investigating has a significant

multi-body influence

load behavior is a on load

useful

behavior. The impact force of the lifter for investigating multi-body load behavior

method. At lower speeds (50–60% of critical speed), steel balls from the toe position to shoulder is a useful method.

At lower speeds

position cascade(50–60%

down along of critical speed),surface,

the charge steel balls from

so the thebehavior

load toe position to shoulder

is mainly position

in a grinding

cascade

process.down along speeds

At higher the charge surface,

(70–80% so the load

of critical behavior

speed), is mainly

the steel in aprojected

balls are grinding process. At higher

to fall down and

speeds (70–80% of critical speed), the steel balls are projected to fall down and impact

impact the toe position, so the load behavior is mainly in a crushing process. However, an excessive the toe position,

sospeed

the load behavior

result in steel is mainly

balls in a crushing

impacting process.and

space position, However,

increasesan the

excessive speed result in steel balls

lifter wear.

impacting space position, and increases the lifter wear.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 8 of 17

Materials 2017, 10, 882 8 of 17

250000

200000

150000

100000

50000

0

0-200

1600

1400

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0

200-400 400-600 600-800

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

800-1000 1000-1200 1200-1400 ≥1400

Figure

Figure 6.

6. Impact

Impact force

force at

at different

different mill

mill speeds.

speeds.

4.2.3.

4.2.3. Effect

Effect of

of Mill

Mill Speed

Speed on

on Power

Power Draw

Draw

Figure

Figure 77 shows

shows thethe results

results of

of mill

mill speed

speed onon power

power draw.

draw. The

The DEM

DEM simulation

simulation andand experimental

experimental

power

power draw increased and then decreased with mill speed, the results of the DEM simulation agree

draw increased and then decreased with mill speed, the results of the DEM simulation agree

well with the

well with the experiment

experiment results.

results. However,

However, the the Bond

Bond semi-empirical

semi-empirical power

power draw

draw model

model increases

increases

with

with mill

mill speed,

speed, andand the

the power

power draw

draw value

value isis larger

larger than

than inin the

the experiment

experiment andand DEM

DEM simulation

simulation by by

approximately

approximately 1.71–3.07 times. This result shows that the accuracy of Bond formula is theislowest

1.71–3.07 times. This result shows that the accuracy of Bond formula the lowest

when

when

the millthespeeds

mill speeds

at 100% at of

100% of critical

critical speed.speed.

In

In the

the DEM

DEM simulation

simulation and and experiment,

experiment, the the power

power drawdraw increases

increases with

with mill

mill speed

speed up up to

to aa peak

peak

value

value of 80% of critical speed. This means that the optimum grinding efficiency occurs at mill speeds

of 80% of critical speed. This means that the optimum grinding efficiency occurs at mill speeds

of

of near

near 80%

80% of critical speed

of critical speed [23],

[23], because

because moremore steel

steel balls

balls are

are projected

projected into

into the

the cataracting

cataracting region.

region.

After 80% of critical speed, the mill power draw decreases until 100% of critical

After 80% of critical speed, the mill power draw decreases until 100% of critical speed and more speed and more steel

balls begin centrifuging, leading to a power draw decrease to drive

steel balls begin centrifuging, leading to a power draw decrease to drive the mill. This outcome the mill. This outcome

demonstrates

demonstrates that thatthetheDEM

DEMsimulation

simulationis isanan accurate

accurate calculation

calculation method.

method. In the

In Bond

the Bondformula, this

formula,

result indicates that Bond formula is not suitable for predict the power accurately

this result indicates that Bond formula is not suitable for predict the power accurately in this condition, in this condition,

and

and the

the major

major difference

difference cancan bebe explained

explained by by the

the fact

fact that

that Bond

Bond formula

formula does

does not

not consider

consider thethe effect

effect

of the lifters. In addition, Bond formula applied data collected from industrial

of the lifters. In addition, Bond formula applied data collected from industrial mills and laboratory mills and laboratory

tests results,the

tests results, themodel

modelbasedbased on torque-arm

on both both torque-arm or energyor balance

energy principals

balance principals and some

and some coefficients,

coefficients, and the calculate results are affected by the mill length and diameter,

and the calculate results are affected by the mill length and diameter, ball density, ball filling and ball density, ball

filling

rotation and rotation speed.

speed.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 9 of 17

Materials 2017, 10, 882 9 of 17

Materials 2017, 10, 882 9 of 17

100

100

90 DEM simulation

Bondsimulation

DEM

90

80 Experiment

Bond

80

70 Experiment

70

60

/w/w

60

50

Power

50

Power

40

40

30

30

20

20

10

10

0

0 50 60 70 80 90 100

50 60Mill speed

70 / % of critical

80 speed

90 100

Mill speed / % of critical speed

Figure7.7.Power

Figure Powerdraws

drawsat

atdifferent

differentmill

millspeeds.

speeds.

Figure 7. Power draws at different mill speeds.

From the above results and discussions, the mill speed crucially affects the charge motion,

From

Fromthetheabove

aboveresults and

results discussions,

and the the

discussions, millmill

speed crucially

speed affects

crucially the charge

affects motion,

the charge impact

motion,

impact force and power draws. In order to obtain an efficient grinding, the mill speed between 70%

force and

impact power

force anddraws. In order

power draws. In to obtain

order an efficient

to obtain grinding,

an efficient the mill

grinding, speed

the mill between

speed 70%70%

between and

and 80% can be beneficial to ball mill operation. Furthermore, the ball mill with one transparent end

80% can be beneficial to ball mill operation. Furthermore, the ball mill with one transparent

and 80% can be beneficial to ball mill operation. Furthermore, the ball mill with one transparent end end and

and a photographed trajectory of charge can offer accurate input parameters for DEM simulation.

aand

photographed trajectory

a photographed of charge

trajectory can offer

of charge accurate

can offer inputinput

accurate parameters for DEM

parameters simulation.

for DEM simulation.

4.3.Effect

4.3. Effect of GrindingMedia

Media Fillingon

on ImpactLoad

Load Behavior

4.3. EffectofofGrinding

Grinding Media Filling

Filling on Impact

Impact Load Behavior

Behavior

4.3.1.Steel

4.3.1. SteelBall

BallTrajectories

TrajectoriesofofDEM

DEMSimulation

Simulation

4.3.1. Steel Ball Trajectories of DEM Simulation

Figure 88 shows

Figure shows the steel

steel balltrajectories

trajectories on different

different grinding

grinding media

media filling,

filling, with

with the

the filling

filling

Figure 8 shows the the steel ball

ball trajectories on on different grinding media filling, with the filling

changedfrom

changed from5% 5%toto30%,

30%,aalifter

liftersize

sizeofof4040××20

20× × 20 mm, and a mill speed of 75% [23] critical critical speed.

speed.

changed from 5% to 30%, a lifter size of 40 × 20 × 20 mm, and a mill speed of 75% [23] critical speed.

Increasingthe

Increasing the grindingmedia

media filling not only increases the fraction flying in cataracting

the cataracting zone

Increasing thegrinding

grinding mediafilling

fillingnot

notonly

onlyincreases thethe

increases fraction flying

fraction in the

flying in the zone

cataracting but

zone

but increases

also also increases

the theofrate

rate ball of

on ball

ball on ball contact

contact per per

unit. unit. Commonly,

Commonly, increasing increasing

the fillingthe filling

level level

increases

but also increases the rate of ball on ball contact per unit. Commonly, increasing the filling level

increases

the impactthe

increases the impact

energy,

impactand energy, and

effective

energy, and effective

impact impactincreases.

increases.

effective impact increases.

(a)

(a) (b)

(b) (c)

(c) (d)

(d) (e)

(e) (f)(f)

Figure

Figure 8.8. Photograph of the

Photograph of the impact

impactload

loadbehavior

behaviorwith

with75%

75%critical

criticalspeed

speedatat5%–30%

5%–30%grinding

grindingmedia

media

Figure 8. Photograph of the impact load behavior with 75% critical speed at 5–30% grinding media

filling:

filling: (a)

(a) 5%; (b) 10%;

5%; (b) 10%; (c)

(c) 15%;

15%; (d)

(d) 20%;

20%;(e)

(e)25%;

25%;and

and(f)

(f)30%.

30%.

filling: (a) 5%; (b) 10%; (c) 15%; (d) 20%; (e) 25%; and (f) 30%.

4.3.2.

4.3.2. Effect of Grinding Media Media Filling

Filling on onImpact

ImpactForceForce

4.3.2. Effect of Grinding Media Filling on Impact Force

Increasing the filling

filling not

not only

only increases

increases the theimpact

impactload loadbutbutalsoalsoresults

resultsininmore

morewearing

wearingand and

Increasing the filling not only increases the impact load but also results in more wearing and

breakage

breakage of the lifter. Hence, a suitable filling level is critical to improving efficiency. Figure 9 9

Hence, a suitable filling level is critical to improving efficiency. Figure

breakage of the lifter. Hence, a suitable filling level is critical to improving efficiency. Figure 9 shows

shows

shows the impact force on on the

the lifter

lifter at at different

different filling

fillinglevels.

levels.The Theimpact

impactforceforcecan

canbebeonly

onlyabove

above

the impact force on the lifter at different filling levels. The impact force can be only above 1400 N at

1400

1400 N at the ball filling of of 20%,

20%, andand the the maximum

maximumpercent percentofofimpact

impactforce forcebetween

between200 200and

and1400

1400NN

the ball filling of 20%, and the maximum

is

is obtained

obtained at the grinding

grinding media

media fillingpercent

filling 20%.ofIncreasing

of 20%.

of

impact force

Increasing thebetween

the

200 results

fillinglevel

filling level and 1400

resultsininN is obtained

more

more balltoto

ball

atball

the grinding butmedia filling

the frequencyof 20%. Increasing the filling level results in more ball to ball collisions,

ball collisions, frequency of of steel

steelball

balldirect

directimpacts

impactson onthe

thelifter

lifterdoes

doesnotnotalways

alwaysincrease.

increase.

but the frequency of steel ball direct impacts on the lifter does not always increase.

From the above investigation,

investigation, increasing

increasing the

the grinding

grinding media

media filling

filling does

doesnot notincrease

increasethe the

impact

impactFrom the

force above

on the investigation,

lifter. Due to increasing

the lifter the

profilegrinding

and media

rotation filling

speed does

at the

lifter. Due to the lifter profile and rotation speed at the same conditions, the not increase

same the

conditions,impact

the

force

number

number on the

of lifter.

impacts Due ontothethe lifter

the lifter does

lifter profile

does not and

not rotation

change

change speed

when

when theatfilling

the the same

filling levelconditions,

level up the number

uptotoa asuitable

suitable level. of

level.

Therefore, further increases

Therefore, increases the the filling

filling level

level results

resultsin inmore

moresteel

steelballs

ballsimpacting

impactingthe thespace

spaceregion

region

and

and energy consumption.

consumption.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 10 of 17

impacts on the lifter does not change when the filling level up to a suitable level. Therefore, further

Materials 2017, 10, 882 10 of 17

increases the filling level results in more steel balls impacting the space region and energy consumption.

250000

200000

150000

100000

50000

0

0-200

2000

1800

1600

1400

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0

200-400 400-600 600-800

40

35

30

25

20

15

10

0

800-1000 1000-1200 1200-1400 ≥1400

Figure

Figure 9. Impact

Impact force

force at

at different

different grinding media filling.

4.3.3.

4.3.3. Effect

Effect of

of Grinding

Grinding Media

Media Filling

Filling on

on Power

Power Draw

Draw

Figure

Figure 10

10 shows

shows the the results

results of

of power

power draw

draw at

at different grinding media

different grinding media fillings.

fillings. This

This shows

shows that

that

increasing the filling level leads to an increase in the power draw. As the filling level increases, the

increasing the filling level leads to an increase in the power draw. As the filling level increases, the variation

variation between the Bond semi-empirical power draw and experiment increases.

between the Bond semi-empirical power draw and experiment increases. The Bond semi-empirical power The Bond

semi-empirical power times

draw model is 1.51–1.82 drawgreater

modelthan

is the

1.51–1.82 times result.

experimental greater than the the

Additionally, experimental

experiment result.

power

Additionally, the experiment power draw value at 5–10% and 25–30% grinding media

draw value at 5–10% and 25–30% grinding media filling does not significantly change, and the DEM filling does

not significantly change, and the DEM simulation result has a larger

simulation result has a larger difference at 10% and 15% grinding media filling. difference at 10% and 15%

grinding media filling.

100

10090 DEM simulation

9080 Bond

DEM simulation

Experiment

Bond

8070

Experiment

7060

Power / w

6050

Power / w

5040

4030

3020

2010

10 0

5 10 15 20 25 30

0 Grinding filling / %

5 10 15

Grinding 20 / % 25

filling 30

Grinding filling / %

Figure

Figure 10.

10. Power

Power draw

draw at

at different

different grinding

grinding media

media filling.

filling.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 11 of 17

Materials 2017, 10, 882 11 of 17

From the

From theabove

aboveresults,

results,this

this Bond

Bond formula

formula is only

is only suitable

suitable for afor a rough

rough estimation

estimation of the

of the mill mill

power

powerand

draw, draw,

the and

Bondthe Bond semi-empirical

semi-empirical power draw power

modeldraw model

is less is lessthan

accurate accurate

the DEM thansimulation.

the DEM

simulation. For the Bond semi-empirical power model, the main difference is

For the Bond semi-empirical power model, the main difference is that the calculation result does notthat the calculation

result does

consider the not consider

effect the effect

of the lifter. For theofDEM

the lifter. For the

simulation, thisDEM simulation,

difference this difference

can be explained by thecan be

effect

explained

of by the

the contact effect of the

parameter. Stillcontact parameter.

increasing Still increasing

the grinding the grinding

media filling could not media filling

increase thecould not

milling

increase the milling efficiency according the impact force on the lifter. As a result,

efficiency according the impact force on the lifter. As a result, a suitable grinding media filling has a suitable

agrinding media

beneficial filling

to ball mill has a beneficial

grinding to ball mill grinding process.

process.

of DEM

DEM Simulation

Simulation

Figure 1111 shows

showsthethesteel

steelball trajectories

ball at different

trajectories lifter

at different heights,

lifter grinding

heights, media

grinding filling

media of 20%,

filling of

and

20%,a and

mill aspeed

mill of 75% critical

speed of 75% speed.

criticalIncreasing the lifter height

speed. Increasing the lifter obviously increases the

height obviously numberthe

increases of

cataracting steel balls. steel balls.

number of cataracting

In the milling process, due to wear and impact, the lifter height gradually decreases until it is

too low and must be replaced. This condition condition causes

causes the

the steel

steel ball

ball not

not to

to reach a sufficient location,

and the

thenumber

numberofofhigh–speed

high–speed steel balls

steel decreases.

balls Finally,

decreases. if the iflifter

Finally, the height is too low,

lifter height the low,

is too workingthe

efficiency of the ballof

working efficiency mill

thedecreases.

ball mill Therefore,

decreases. the lifter height

Therefore, the is a significant

lifter height isfactor influences

a significant the

factor

steel ball trajectories.

influences the steel ball trajectories.

Figure 11.

Figure 11. Photograph

Photograph of

of the impact load

the impact load behavior

behavior with

with different

different lifter

lifter height:

height: (a)

(a) 10

10 mm;

mm; (b)

(b) 15

15 mm;

mm;

and (c)

and (c) 20

20 mm.

mm.

4.4.2. Effect

4.4.2. Effect of Lifter Height

of Lifter Height on

on Impact

Impact Force

Force

Figure 12

Figure 12 shows

shows thethe result

result ofof impact

impact force

force onon the

the lifter

lifter for

for different

different lifter

lifter heights.

heights. Increasing

Increasing thethe

lifter height lifts the steel balls to an increased height and results in higher impact

lifter height lifts the steel balls to an increased height and results in higher impact velocity. As the velocity. As the

lifter height

lifter height increases

increases from

from 10 10 to

to 2020 mm,

mm, the

the steel

steel balls

balls contact

contact thethe mill

mill shell

shell earlier

earlier and

and impact

impact force

force

increases. Increasing

increases. Increasingthe the lifter

lifter height

height increases

increases the shoulder

the shoulder position

position and

and lifts thelifts

steelthe

ballssteel balls to

to increased

increased heights the higher position. The percent of impact force ranging

heights the higher position. The percent of impact force ranging from 0 to 200 N decreases with from 0 to 200theN

decreasesofwith

increase lifterthe increase

height. of lifterthis

However, height. However,

perfect this perfect

will increase above will

200 N.increase above 200 N.

From the above results, it can be concluded that lifter height

From the above results, it can be concluded that lifter height has a significant has a significant

influenceinfluence

on workingon

working efficiency. Since the steel balls are lifted much higher when the lifter height

efficiency. Since the steel balls are lifted much higher when the lifter height increases, many high-speed increases, many

high-speed

steel steel balls

balls impact impactTherefore,

the lifter. the lifter.effectively

Therefore,changing

effectively thechanging the helps

lifter height lifter height helpsthe

to improve to

improve the milling

milling efficiency. efficiency.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 12 of 17

Materials 2017, 10, 882 12 of 17

10 mm 15 mm 20 mm

250000

250000

200000

200000

150000

150000

100000

100000

50000

50000

0 0

1800 0 -2 0 0

0-200

1800

1600

1600

1400

1400

No. of impacts per 10 s

1200

1200

1000

1000

800

800

600

600

400

400

200

200

0

0 2 0 0 -4 0 0 4 0 0 -6 0 0 6 0 0 -8 0 0

80 200-400 400-600 600-800

80

70

70

60

60

50

50

40

40

30

30

20

20

10

10

0

8 0 0 -1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 -1 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 -1 4 0 0 ≥1400

0

800-1000 Force range1200-1400

1000-1200 /N ≥1400

Figure 12.

Figure Impact force

12. Impact force at

at different

different lifter

lifter heights.

heights.

Figure 13 shows the effect of lifter height on power draw. Increasing the lifter height has a less

significant effect on power draw. For the Bond semi-empirical

semi-empirical power draw model, the power draw

values are still much

much greater

greater than

than the

the experimental

experimental values

values by

by approximately

approximately 1.58–1.9 times. For the

DEM simulation, the power draw values are greater than the experimental values by approximately

1.05–1.21 times.

100

90 DEM simulation

Bond

80 Experiment

70

60

Power / w

50

40

30

20

10

0

10 12 14 16 18 20

Lifter height / mm

From the above results, the Bond semi-empirical power draw model is only suitable for

From the above results, the Bond semi-empirical power draw model is only suitable for estimating

estimating the power draw, and difference is influenced by the lifter. Besides, the difference

the power draw, and difference is influenced by the lifter. Besides, the difference between experiments

between experiments and DEM simulation results are determined by the distance between the

and DEM simulation results are determined by the distance between the center of the mill and the

center of the mill and the center of gravity of the load. Thus, the DEM simulation can predict the

load behavior at different lifter heights when the input parameters are accurate.

1

Materials 2017, 10, 882 13 of 17

center

Materialsof gravity

2017, 10, 882of the load. Thus, the DEM simulation can predict the load behavior at different13lifter of 17

heights when the input parameters are accurate.

From the

From theabove

aboveresults

results and

and discussions,

discussions, the the

lifterlifter height

height has ahas a significant

significant effect

effect on on motion

charge charge

motion and impact force, but little effect on power draw. Increasing the lifter height increases

and impact force, but little effect on power draw. Increasing the lifter height increases the lifting ability, the

lifting

and theability, and the

lifter height is lifter height

related to theis charge

related diameter.

to the charge diameter.

Thus, Thus, ittoischoose

it is important important to choose

a suitable liftera

suitable lifter height for a

height for a determined ball mill. determined ball mill.

Figure

Figure 1414shows

showsthe effect of particle

the effect on load behavior.

of particle on load The mill hasThe

behavior. a lifter of 40a ×lifter

sizehas

mill 20 × size

15 mm,of

mill

40 × speed of 75%

20 × 15 mm,critical speed,ofgrinding

mill speed media

75% critical fillinggrinding

speed, of 20%, and

mediapowder

fillinggrinding

of 20%,media ratio of

and powder

0.8. Adding

grinding iron ratio

media ore particles

of 0.8. increases

Adding ironthe height of charge,

ore particles and more

increases the charges

height are projected

of charge, into

and the

more

cataracting zone.

charges are projected into the cataracting zone.

(a) (b)

Figure 14.

Figure 14. Photograph

Photograph of the impact

of the impact load

load behavior:

behavior: (a)

(a) without

without particle and (b)

particle and (b) with

with particle.

particle.

4.5.2. Effect of Particle on Impact Force

The charge, the particle and lifter which collide together form a complex environment in the

The charge, the particle and lifter which collide together form a complex environment in the mill

mill shell. To investigate the real grinding process, a simulation was performed to obtain the

shell. To investigate the real grinding process, a simulation was performed to obtain the influence

influence of particles and different media shapes on the impact breakage behavior. The results are

of particles and different media shapes on the impact breakage behavior. The results are shown

shown in Figure 15. Adding iron ore particles significantly reduced the impact force from 1400 to

in Figure 15. Adding iron ore particles significantly reduced the impact force from 1400 to 500 N.

500 N. From Figure 15a,b, the number of impacts for a force range of 0–200 N in order are square,

From Figure 15a,b, the number of impacts for a force range of 0–200 N in order are square, steel ball

steel ball and cylinder shaped charge and for other force ranges are cylinder, steel ball and square

and cylinder shaped charge and for other force ranges are cylinder, steel ball and square shaped charge.

shaped charge.

From the above results, it can be determined that media shape has a significant influence on the

From the above results, it can be determined that media shape has a significant influence on

impact force in the lifter. The results occur because of the media shape of the steel ball, cylinder and

the impact force in the lifter. The results occur because of the media shape of the steel ball, cylinder

square is point, line and surface contact, respectively. Moreover, adding iron ore particles buffers the

and square is point, line and surface contact, respectively. Moreover, adding iron ore particles

impact force on the lifter, which decreases the impact force.

buffers the impact force on the lifter, which decreases the impact force.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 14 of 17

Steel ball Cylinder Square

250000

250000

200000

200000

150000 250000

100000 250000

100000 200000

50000 200000

50000 150000

0 150000

1000 0 -2 0 0

0

0-200 100000

1000

No. of impacts per 10 s

100000

800

50000

800

50000

600

0

600 0 -1 0 0

1 0 00

400 0-100

100

90

400

890

0

200

780

0

200

670

0

0

2 0 0 -4 0 0 4 0 0 -6 0 0 6 0 0 -8 0 0 560

0

2 00

200-400 400-600 600-800 450

0

120

8

118

6 340

0

116

4 230

0

114

2 120

0

112

0 10

0

1 0 0 -2 0 0 2 0 0 -3 0 0 3 0 0 -4 0 0 4 0 0 -5 0 0 ≥500

10 0

8

100-200 Force range

200-300 300-400 / N400-500 ≥500

68

46

24

02

8 0 0 -1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 -1 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 -1 4 0 0 ≥1400

0

800-1000 Force range1200-1400

1000-1200 /N ≥1400

(a) Without particle (b) With particle

Figure

Figure 15. Effect of

15. Effect of particle

particle on

on impact

impact force.

force. (a)

(a) Without

Without particle;

particle; (b)

(b) With

With particle.

particle.

4.5.3. on Power

Power Draw

Draw

To further

To furthercompare

comparethethe effect

effect of adding

of adding ironiron ore particles

ore particles on theongrinding

the grinding

process, process,

the millthe mill

power

power

and and particle

particle size distribution

size distribution are investigated.

are investigated. As shown As in

shown

Figurein16,Figure

adding16,iron

adding iron ore

ore particles

particles increases

increases the powerthe power

draw, anddraw,

resultsand

in aresults

powerindrawa power draw

increase increase

from 36.10 from 36.10toincreases

increases to

45.82 W at

45.82 W at experimental

experimental measurement. measurement.

Due to the iron Due oretoincreases

the iron the

oremill

increases

filling,the millpower

so the filling,draw

so the power

increases.

draw

For theincreases. For the

Bond predict Bond

result, thepredict result, the DEM

DEM simulation simulation

results results is more accurately.

is more accurately.

100

DEM simulation

Bond

80 Experiment

60

Power / w

40

20

0

Particle Without particle

Figure 16. Power draw with and without particles.

To study the difference of media shape on the milling process, an iron ore particle size

To study the difference of media shape on the milling process, an iron ore particle size distribution

distribution analysis is the most direct way to explain the effect of multi-body impact breakage

analysis

behaviorisofthedifferent

most direct wayshapes.

media to explain the effect

As shown inof multi-body

Figure 17, theimpact breakagepassing

mass fraction behavior

of of different

cylinder is

media shapes. As shown in Figure 17, the mass fraction passing of cylinder is greater than

greater than that of ball and square. The percent of −0.074 mm particle is 8.08% (cylinder), 6.42% that of ball

and

(ball)square. The percent

and 5.14% (square), −0.074 mm particle

ofrespectively. is 8.08%

The cylinder, (cylinder),

steel ball and6.42%

square(ball) andhave

shapes 5.14%line,

(square),

point

and surface contact, so the cylinder projected to impact the particle has the optimum effect. This

result also demonstrates the effect of different media 1 shapes on the impact force in the lifter.

Materials 2017, 10, 882 15 of 17

respectively. The cylinder, steel ball and square shapes have line, point and surface contact, so the

cylinder projected to impact the particle has the optimum effect. This result also demonstrates the

effect2017,

Materials of different

10, 882 media shapes on the impact force in the lifter. 15 of 17

100

Cylinder

80 Steel ball

Square

60

40

20

Iron ore particle size / mm

Figure IronIron

oreore

particle sizesize

particle distribution.

distribution.

From the above results and discussions, it can be concluded that different media shapes have a

From the above results and discussions, it can be concluded that different media shapes have

different influence on grinding efficiency. Besides, adding the particle in the ball mill can influence

a different influence on grinding efficiency. Besides, adding the particle in the ball mill can influence

the milling process. Therefore, choosing a suitable media shape based on the milling environment is

the milling process. Therefore, choosing a suitable media shape based on the milling environment is

an effective method for improving grinding efficiency.

an effective method for improving grinding efficiency.

5. Conclusions

5. Conclusions

In In

thisthis

paper, a laboratory-scale

paper, ballball

a laboratory-scale mill is employed

mill in in

is employed investigating thethe

investigating impact of of

impact different

different

operating variables on the impact behavior of lifter. The determinations of ball trajectory,

operating variables on the impact behavior of lifter. The determinations of ball trajectory, impactimpactforce

force and power draw are used to characterize the impact behavior between the charge and

and power draw are used to characterize the impact behavior between the charge and lifter. The main lifter.

Theresearch

main research conclusions

conclusions are summarized

are summarized as follows.

as follows.

The magnitude of impact force has strong sensitive to ball size and drop height. The impact

• The magnitude of impact force has strong sensitive to ball size and drop height. The impact force

force increases with the increase of ball size and drop height.

increases with the increase of ball size and drop height.

Mill speed has profound effect on the ball trajectories, impact force and power draw. The mill

• canMill

reachspeed

the has

bestprofound

performance effectaton thethemill

ballspeed

trajectories,

rangingimpact

from force70% to and 80%power draw. speed,

of critical The mill

and correspondingly the maximum percent of the impact force between 600 and 1400 Nspeed,

can reach the best performance at the mill speed ranging from 70% to 80% of critical is

and correspondingly the maximum percent of the impact

obtained. For the 80% of critical speed, the measured power draw has a maximum value. force between 600 and 1400 N is

obtained. For the 80% of critical speed, the measured power draw

Commonly, increasing the grinding media filling not only increases the fraction flying in the has a maximum value.

• Commonly,

cataracting zone increasing the grinding

but also increases the ratemedia filling

of ball on not

ball only

contactincreases

per unit. theInfraction flying itinisthe

this research,

interesting to find that increasing the grinding media filling does not the number of ball on ballit is

cataracting zone but also increases the rate of ball on ball contact per unit. In this research,

interesting

contact. to find force

The impact that increasing

can be only theabove

grinding

1400media filling

N at the does not

grinding the number

media filling ofof20%,ball on

andball

thecontact.

maximum The impact

percentforce can beforce

of impact only above

between 1400 200N at

andthe1400

grinding

N is media

obtained filling of 20%,

at the and the

grinding

maximum percent of impact force between 200 and 1400 N is

media filling of 20%. Besides, increasing the grinding media filling increases the power draw. obtained at the grinding media

filling

Lifter of 20%.

height hasBesides, increasing

a significantly the grinding

influence on the media

loadfilling increases

behavior. the power

Increasing the draw.

lifter height

• Lifter height has a significantly influence on the load behavior. Increasing

increases the shoulder position and lifts the steel balls to the higher position,. The percent the lifter height increases

of

the shoulder

impact position

force ranging fromand lifts

0 to 200theNsteel balls to

decreases the the

with higher position,.

increase Theheight.

of lifter percent of impactthis

However, force

ranging

perfect willfrom 0 to 200

increase above N decreases

200 N. In with the increasing

general, increase of the lifter height.

lifter heightHowever,

does notthis leadperfect

to any will

increase above

variation in power draw.200 N. In general, increasing the lifter height does not lead to any variation in

Thepower

impactdraw.

force will decrease and the power draw will increase when the iron ore particles

• are added. Theforce

The impact mass will decrease

fraction and the

passing of power

cylinder draw will increase

is greater than that when of the

ballironandore particles

square. Theare

added.

percent of The mass

−0.074 mm fraction

particlepassing

is 8.08% of (cylinder),

cylinder is6.42%greater(ball)

thanandthat5.14%

of ball(square),

and square. The percent

respectively.

The −0.074 mm particle

ofsemi-empirical poweris draw

8.08%of(cylinder),

Bond model 6.42% (ball)paper

in this and 5.14%

does not (square),

apply respectively.

very satisfactorily

for the ball mills, while the power draw determined by DEM simulation show a good

approximation for the measured power draw.

Acknowledgments：This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant

No. 51475458, U1510205), the Jiangsu Postgraduate Scientific Research and Innovation Projects and the

Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (grant No. IRT_16R68). The

authors also wish to thank the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions

Materials 2017, 10, 882 16 of 17

• The semi-empirical power draw of Bond model in this paper does not apply very satisfactorily for

the ball mills, while the power draw determined by DEM simulation show a good approximation

for the measured power draw.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant No.

51475458, U1510205), the Jiangsu Postgraduate Scientific Research and Innovation Projects and the Program for

Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (grant No. IRT_16R68). The authors also wish

to thank the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD) and the

Top-notch Academic Programs Project of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (TATP).

Author Contributions: Zixin Yin and Yuxing Peng conceived and designed the experiments; Zixin Yin and

Tongqing Li performed the experiments; Zixin Yin and Yuxing Peng analyzed the data; Zhencai Zhu provided

useful comments for this study; Zhangfa Yu contributed material; Zixin Yin and Yuxing Peng wrote the paper.

All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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