Effects of Lifter Configuration on Power Consumption of Small Scale Ball Mill
AbstractA ball mill is a grinding machine widely used in mineral processing to gradually decrease the size of ore particles. Of all comminution machines, crushers and ball mills consume the most energy in mineral processing industries. The power consumption usually depends on charge fill level, lifter geometry, and mill speed. Various researches have addressed this problem considering different variables that may be thought to have a great impact on energy consumption of a ball mill, through empirical formulas. However, the empirical formulas developed were not able to accommodate each parameter for calculating the power consumption. It was found that most researches focus on charge fill level, media size, and mill speed, while the effect of lifter profile has not been fully investigated. The aim of this work is to investigate the effect of lifter configuration on the power consumption of a small scale ball mill. Numerical simulations were conducted using a 3D DEM software (EDEM),and experimental analysis were performed to validate simulation results. Five types of lifter profiles; rectangular, trapezoidal, triangular, parabolic, and round, were investigated in terms of power consumption and impact load at mill speed ranging between 65-100%. DEM satisfactorily predicted power consumption and impact load for different lifter profiles at different percentages of critical speed. Lifter profiles were found to have a significant impact on the power consumption due to the change in face angle. It was found that the power consumption increases with an increase of face angle. Lifter number as well as lifter height have shown marginally effect on the power consumption with the change in rotational speed. Rectangular lifters showed higher impact load and lower power consumption compared to other lifter profiles. Sieving analysis demonstrated that mill speed affect the fineness of throughput and 75% of critical speed resulted in the smallest particle size (11% of 150 m particle passing through) at 209 watts of power consumption.
Keywords: Ball mill, Discrete element method, Lifter profile
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