Validation of tumbling mill charge induced torque as predicted by simulations

SME 2013


Understanding mill charge motion is important. In the charge, the centre of gravity is shifted from the rotational centre of the mill system, and its motion is induced by rotation of the mill, while at the same time the charge creates a torque into the mill system. Breakage of ore particles and wear of liners/ball media are closely linked to the motion. To study these phenomena in a physically correct manner, numerical models for different parts of the mill system are needed. Validations of such models are scarce, because of the difficulty to measure in a tumbling mill.

Experimental measurements in a lab mill were done for diverse load cases: varying feed materials, mill fillings, mill speeds and pulp liquids. The mill is set up to directly measure the charge-induced torque. The accuracy is good with relative uncertainty smaller than ±2% for relevant load cases.

A full three dimensional numerical model of the whole mill is used to predict induced torque. Agreement between predicted and measured torque at steady-state is good. In addition, the model can accurately predict the mill start-up behavior for torque and mill power. This proves that the model is physically correct, and can be used for full-scale mills.

This paper was presented and published as an SME Preprint at the 2013 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit, February 24-27, Denver, Colorado.

This paper may be downloaded here