Investigation on the Energy Distribution of Electrical Disintegration

Shuji Owada, Sho Terada, Taiki Senga, Takao Namihira

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


Electrical disintegration (ED) is well known as a good comminution method to improve liberation of componential elements, because electron avalanche could occur preferentially at the phase boundary. However, the detailed mechanism of ED is still not known. This paper describes the results of ED experiments using binary copper/resin synthetic samples under various conditions (e.g., applied voltage, electrode-sample distance) while measuring changes of potential and current with elapsed time. Three kinds of energies consumed in the processes of (1) streamer progression, (2) electron avalanche in water and sample phases, (3) shockwave generation in water could be calculated from the above results. Then, each contribution of the above phenomena could be obtained in the ED process. We also applied two-stage ED to liberation of sintered Ta in Ta capacitors installed on printed circuit boards (PCBs). Ta capacitors were detached from PCBs in non-destructive form in the first stage and sintered Ta was liberated from covered resin in the second stage. The liberation performance was compared with mechanical hammer crushing. The ED gave much higher liberation degree than hammer crushing, which would indicate that the ED products showed a higher efficiency in the subsequent physical concentration of sintered Ta.


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.

Abstracts can be found at the CIM website (

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