Understanding the Effects of Liner Wear on Semi-autogenous Grinding Mill Performance


The effect of liner wear on SAG mill performance has gained much attention in recent years. It is commonly observed that the three key performance criteria of SAG milling; throughput, power and product size all improve as the liner wears.

The increase in throughput is generally ascribed to the increase in the grate apertures and the increase in mill volume due to the wear of these components. Whilst the decrease in product size is attributed to the reduction in lifter height and angle, resulting in more breakage by means of attrition and abrasion.

Though it is widely acknowledged that the wearing of liner components such as Lifters, Plates and Grates have a significant impact on mill performance, their individual contribution to changes in mill performance has been unclear, and resultantly lead to questions like; what percentage of the throughput increase can be attributed to the increase in mill volume (plate wear)? and how much can be attributed to the increase in grate aperture (grate wear)?

It has been found that through the use of grinding surveys, analysis of production data and JKSimMet it was possible to separate the effects of changing liner profile, increasing mill diameter and increasing grate aperture on the mill performance allowing for the quantification of each.

The outlined methodology allows for both troubleshooting of problem liner components which reduce milling efficiency in their wear life as well as providing a basis for a more quantitative approach to liner design and reline scheduling.

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Published in: 2015

Volume Title: MetPlant 2015