Analysis of Variables Governing the Operation of a Vertical Stirred Mill

Bern Klein, Baker Giyani, David Rahal

49th Annual Conference of Metallurgists, Vancouver, Canada, August 27-30, 2017.


Stirred media mills have proved to be more energy-efficient than the conventional ball milling for fine grinding applications. The mill performance is governed by a number of operating variables including mill stirrer speed, feed particle size, solids content and slurry rheology. A study was conducted to assess effects of mill speed, media size and density, and slurry density on the Stress Intensity (SI) in a VXPmill and thereby the relationship to mill performance. For the mill speeds tested, it was found that the optimum tip speed is 7 m/s. If the speed is too high (12 m/s) energy losses result due to mechanical friction losses and heat generation. If the speed is too low (3 m/s), the kinetic energy is not sufficient to promote breakage. The size reduction ratio increases with the increase in mill speed and the decrease in solids content especially in the coarse fraction particle sizes. The effect of slurry rheology on mill performance was shown by assessing the effects of increasing solids concentration and decreasing particle size. Rheological effects seemed to interact with mill speed such that the mill was less energy-efficient at higher solids content and at higher mill speeds particularly for grinding to fine particle sizes. There is an optimum SI for the comminution, which in case of feldspars-quartz slurries, was around (3.0 – 3.5) × 10-3 NM.


CEEC acknowledges and thanks the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the Metallury and Materials Society (MetSoc) and organising committee for organising the COM 2017 Conference of Metallurgists hosting World Gold and Nickel-Cobalt.

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