The dependence of the power demand of a mill on the natureof the pulp does not appear to have received a great deal of study, and, in general, observations on this matter take the form of general statements. For example, Taggart states that, other things being equal, wet milling requires 60-90 % of the power for dry milling. This view is confirmed by calculations of the present authors, based on figures for two mills of about 8 ft diameter and 45 ft long kindly made available by Messrs. Edgar Allen & Co. In this case the power as calculated by the formulae of Rose and Evans was in extremely good agreement with the observed power requirements of the mill when dry grinding (within 5%). However, the power calculated on the basis of dry-grinding formulae with modified charge density was found to be about 20 % higher than the actual demand of the mill when grinding wet.
It would be expected that a fine smooth fluid pulp would reduce the power demand, since such a pulp would act as a lubricant to the mill charge and so reduce the equilibrium displacement of the centre of gravity of the charge. This reduction of the power requirement of the mill is probably bound up with the phenomenon of slumping of the charge, mentioned earlier. More viscous pulps would, by increasing the displacement of the charge, lead to increased power consumption. With increasing tackiness of the pulp, a reduction of the power requirements would be expected, since, in such a case the balls might adhere so well to the shell that a part of the charge is spread over the shell and, thus, is balanced about the axis of rotation. This decrease in power demand with pulps of increasing thickness is in accord with the observations of Gow, Guggenheim, Coghill and Campbell, but these workers did not carry the tests to the point where the balls adhered to the shell of the mill. This effect is, however, also observed in mills which are used for the dispersion of pigments in varnish, and similar duties, and so is very real.
From what has already been said about the interaction between the coefficient of friction and the magnitude of the ball charge, it would be expected that the effect of the changein pulp conditions would be relatively more important in mills for which the charge is small. This conclusion in fact follows from the observations of Gow, Guggenheim, Campbell and Coghill. Thus it would be expected that, for large fillings, the effects of the variation of thepulp characteristics would be, largely, in accordance with what would be expected to result from the consequential changes in the coefficient of friction involved.
In view of the lack of data on this subject, it would appear that the best corrections for pulp characteristics whichcan be made is to assume that, for very thin pulps and moderate values of J and (D/d) the power required is 60%of that for dry milling, and then to use a linear interpolation for less liquid pulps. For larger mill fillings or greatervalues of (D/d) the reduction in power would be lessthan for the previous case and the multiplication factor should be modified accordingly. The general correctness of this view is supported by Fig. 3.17 in which the results of tests by Gow, Guggenheim, Campbell and Coghill, are plotted. Although these points are small in number and rather closely spaced they give lines which when extrapolated to zero pulp density give 0.22 and 0.45 horse-power as the powers to drive the mills without pulp charge; these figures being in the ratio 2.05 to 1.0.
Reference to equation (3.9), however, shows that, all other variables being maintained constant, the ratio of the powers is proportional to the ratio of the square of the speed; in this case (0.70/0.50), that is in the ratio 1.96 to 1.0, which is in good agreement with the figure 2.05 to 1.0. Furthermore, for a mill running at 70 % of the critical speed the ratio of the power when grinding a pulp of 50 % density to the power when dry grinding is about 0.6 to 1.0: which is in accord with the previous general statement that when wet grinding the power demand is about 60 % of that when dry grinding. Thus it appears that, very roughly, the linear interpolation previously suggested is adequate.
where P is the power input to the shell in kilowatts, to maintain the displacement of the charge, W is the weight in tons, of the grinding media plus powder, N is the mill speed in r.p.m. and Hh is the horizontal displacement in feet of the centre of gravity of the charge. Thus, the power input may be calculated provided the value of Hh can be obtained.
For this purpose Carey and Stairmand furnish a graph which gives the value of the ratio Hh/D (D is the mill diameter), in terms of the mill filling and the ratio of the speed of rotation of the mill to the critical speed; this graph being shownin Fig. 3.18. These curves are stated to be applicable to mills having diameters ranging from a few inches to several feet and, in practice, to give reasonably reliable results.
1(N/Nc),3(J)and of lifters are included, and so it appears that only variables which have been shown to be of comparatively minor importance are omitted. Thus, it would be expected that this treatment would have an accuracy sufficient for most practical purposes.
In Fig. 6.4 are plotted curves, again according to Coghill and Devaney, which show the effect of pulp density upon selective grinding and it is at once evident that a more rapid reduction of the larger fractions is obtained with a pulp of moderate thickness than with a very thick one. The probable explanation of this phenomenon is that with a fluid pulp the fine material is washed from between the crushing surfaces, and so is not subject to further grinding. In addition, cleaning the grinding zone of such material leads to a higher efficiency of grinding of the large particles remaining.Thus, both from the point of view of rate of production of surface and of improved grinding of the larger materials, it is desirable that the pulp should be of moderate consistency.
Although there is not much evidence on the point, it appears that the size distribution curves of the products from mills with exit passages of large and small diameter are very similar. Thus selective grinding is but slightly controlled by variation of this dimension.
a base of (N/Nc). From this figure it is seen that, for the milling of a dry powder, or a very fluid pulp, there is fair agreement between the curve of power input and that of the rate of production of specific surface, for all speeds up to the critical. For the milling of moderately dry pulps there is also fair agreement for speeds up to about 70% of the critical. Thus, for these two cases the mill efficiency may be considered to be sensibly independent of the speed of the mill.
It is also probable that for speeds above 70% of the critical the power demand would fall away when moderately dry pulps are undergoing milling and so, in this case also, the mill efficiency would remain sensibly independent of the mill speed. Experimental evidence on this point is lacking, however, so a final conclusion cannot be safely drawn, for this case.
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In many industries the final product, or the raw material at somestage of the manufacturing process, is in powdered form and in consequence the rapid and cheap preparation of powdered materials is a matter of considerable economic importance.
In some cases the powdered material may be prepared directly; for example by precipitation from solution, a process which is used in the preparation of certain types of pigments and drugs, or by the vacuum drying of a fine spray of the material, a process which is widely adopted for the preparation of milk powder, soluble coffee extracts and similar products. Such processes are, however, of limited applicability and in by far the greatest number of industrial applications the powdered materials are prepared by the reduction, in some form of mill, of the grain size of the material having an initial size larger than that required in the final product. These processes for the reduction of the particle size of a granular material are known as milling or grinding and it appears that these names are used interchangeably, there being no accepted technical differentiation between the two.
Examples of the first two classes occur in mineral dressing, in which size reduction is used to liberate the desired ore from the gangue and also to reduce the ore to a form in which it presents a large surface to the leaching reagents.
Under the third heading may be classed many medicinal and pharmaceutical products, foodstuffs, fertilizers, insecticides, etc., and under the fourth heading falls the size reduction of mineral ores, etc.; these materials often being reduced to particles of moderate size for ease in handling, storing and loading into trucks and into the holds of ships.
The quantity of powder to be subjected to such processes of size reduction varies widely according to the industries involved, for example in the pharmaceutical industries the quantities involved per annum, can be measured in terms of a few tons, or in the case of certain drugs, possibly a few pounds; whereas in the cement industry the quantities involved run into tens of millions of tons; the British cement industry alone having produced, in round figures, 12 million tons of Portland Cement.
For the preparation of small quantities of powder many types of mill are available but, even so, the ball mill is frequently used. For the grinding of the largest quantities of material however, the ball, tube or rod mill is used almost exclusively, since these are the only types of mill which possess throughput capacity of the required magnitude.
The great range of sizes covered by industrial ball mills is well exemplified by Fig. 1.1 and Fig. 1.2. In the first illustration is shown a laboratory batch mill of about 1-litre capacity, whilst in Fig. 1.2 is shown a tube mill used in the cement industry the tube having a diameter of about 8 ft and length of about 45 ft.
In Fig. 1.3 is shown a large ball mill, designed for the dry grinding of limestone, dolomite, quartz, refractory and similar materials; this type of mill being made in a series of sizes having diameters ranging from about 26 in. to 108 in., with the corresponding lengths of drum ranging from about 15 in. to 55 in.
At this point it is perhaps of value to study the nomenclature used in connection with the mills under consideration, but it must be emphasized that the lines of demarcation between the types to which the names are applied are not very definite.
The term ball mill is usually applied to a mill in which the grinding media are bodies of spherical form (balls) and in which the length of the mill is of the same order as the diameter of the mill body; in rough figures the length is, say, one to three times the diameter of the mill.
The tube mill is a mill in which the grinding bodies are spherical but in which the length of the mill body is greater in proportion to the diameter than is the case of the ball mill; in fact the length to diameter ratio is often of the order of ten to one.
The rod mill is a mill in which the grinding bodies are circular rods instead of balls, and, in order to avoid tangling of the rods, the length to diameter ratio of such mills is usually within the range of about 15 to 1 and 5 to 1.
It will be noticed that the differentiation between ball mill and the tube mill arises only from the different length to diameter ratios involved, and not from any difference in fundamental principles. The rod mill, however, differs in principle in that the grinding bodies are rods instead of spheres whilst a pebble mill is a ball mill in which the grinding bodies are of natural stone or of ceramic material.
As the name implies, in the batch mills, Fig. 1.4a, the charge of powder to be ground is loaded into the mill in a batch and, after the grinding process is completed, is removed in a batch. Clearly such a mode of operation can only be applied to mills of small or moderate sizes; say to mills of up to about 7 ft diameter by about 7 ft long.
In the grate discharge mill, Fig. 1.4b, a diaphragm in the form of a grating confines the ball charge to one end of the mill and the space between the diaphragm and the other end of the mill houses a scoop for the removal of the ground material. The raw material is fed in through a hollow trunnion at the entrance end of the mill and during grinding traverses the ball charge; after which it passes through the grating and is picked up and removed by the discharge scoop or is discharged through peripheral ports. In this connection, it is relevant to mention that scoops are sometimes referred to as lifters in the literature. In the present work, the use of the term lifter will be confined to the description of a certain form of mill liner construction, fitted with lifter bars in order to promote the tumbling of the charge, which will be described in a later section.
In the trunnion overflow mill, Fig. 1.4c the raw material is fed in through a hollow trunnion at one end of the milland the ground product overflows at the other end. In this case, therefore, the grating and discharge scoop are eliminated.
A variant of the grate discharge mill is shown in Fig. 1.4d, in which the discharge scoop is eliminated by the provision of peripheral discharge ports, with a suitable dust hood, at the exit end of the mill.
Within the classes of mills enumerated above there are a number of variations; for example there occur in practice mills in which the shell is divided into a number of chambers by means of perforated diaphragms and it is arranged that the mean diameter of the balls in the various chambers shall decrease towards the discharge end of the mill; such an arrangement being shown in Fig. 1.6. The reason for this distribution of ball size is that, for optimum grinding conditions, the ratio of ball diameter to particle diameter should be approximately constant. In consequence smaller balls should be used for the later stages of the grinding process, where the powder is finer, and by the adoption of a number of chambers in each of which the mean ball diameter is suitably chosen an approximation is made towards the desired constancy in the ratio of the ball size to the particle size.
The problem of the optimum distribution of ball size within a mill will be dealt with more fully in a later chapter, but at this point it is relevant to mention a mill in which the segregation of the balls is brought about by an ingenious method; especially as the mill carries a distinctive name, even though no principles which place it outside the classification given previously are involved.
The Hardinge mill, Fig. 1.7, uses spheres as a grinding agent but the body is of cylindro-conical form and usually has a length to diameter ratio intermediate between those associated with the ball mill and the tube mill. The reason for this form of construction is that it is found that, during, the operation of the mill, the largest balls accumulate at the large end of the cone and the smallest balls at the small end; there being a continuous gradation of size along the cone. If then the raw material is fed in at the large end of the mill and the ground product removed at the smaller end, the powder in its progression through the mill is ground by progressively small balls and in consequence the theoretical ideal of a constant ratio between ball size and particle size during grinding is, to some extent, attained.
The type of ball mill illustrated in Fig. 1.3, incorporates a peripheral discharge through line screens lining the cylindrical part of the mill. Heavy perforated plates protect the screens from injury and act as a lining for the tumbling charge; sometimes also the fine screen is further protected by coarse screens mounted directly inside it. This type of mill, which is often known as the Krupp mill, is of interest since it represents a very early type of mill which, with modifications, has retained its popularity. The Krupp mill is particularly suited to the grinding of soft materials since the rate of wear of the perforated liners is then not excessive. At this point it will perhaps be useful to discussthe factors upon which the choice between a ball a tube or a rod mill depends.
When a mill is used as a batch mill, the capacity of the mill is clearly limited to the quantity which can be handled manually; furthermore the mill is, as far as useful work is concerned, idle during the time required for loading and unloading the machine: the load factor thus being adversely affected. Clearly then, there will be a considerable gain in throughput, a saving in handling costs and improved load factor, if the mill operation is made continuous by feeding the material into the mill through one trunnion and withdrawing it either through the other trunnion or through discharge ports at the exit end of the mill body.
Since, however, the flow of powder through the mill is now continuous, it is necessary that the mill body is of such a length that the powder is in the mill for a time sufficiently long for the grinding to be carried to the required degree of fineness. This, in general, demands a mill body of considerable length, or continuous circulation with a classifier, and it is increased length which gives rise to the tube mill.
In the metallurgical industries very large tonnages have to be handled and, furthermore, an excess of fine material is undesirable since it often complicates subsequent treatment processes. In such applications a single-stage tube mill in circuit with a product classifier, by means of which the material which has reached optimum fineness is removed for transport to the subsequent processing and the oversize is returned to the mill for further grinding, is an obvious solution. Once continuous feed and a long mill body have been accepted, however, the overall grinding efficiency of the mill may be improved by fairly simple modifications.
As has already been mentioned; for optimum grinding conditions there is a fairly definite ratio of ball size to particle size and so the most efficient grinding process cannot be attained when a product with a large size range is present in the mill. If, however, a tube mill is divided into a number of compartments and the mean ball size of the grinding media decreases in each succeeding compartment; then the optimum ratio between ball size and particle size is more nearly maintained, and a better overall performance of the mill is achieved; this giving rise to the compartment mill shown in Fig. 1.6. The tube mill has the further advantage that, to some extent, the grinding characteristics of the mill are under control; for example, an increase in the size of the balls in the final chamber will reduce the rate of grinding of the finer fractions but will leave the rate of grinding of the coarser fractions sensibly unchanged and so the amount of coarse material in the final product will be reduced without any excessive overall increase in fineness.
The principal field of application of the rod mill is probably as an intermediate stage between the crushing plant and the ball mills, in the metallurgical industries. Thus, material between about 1-in. and 2-in. size may be reduced to about 6 mesh for feeding to the ball mills. Rod mills are, however, being used in closed circuit with a classifier to produce a product of less than about 48-mesh size, but such applications are unusual.
Studies have been made on the grinding conditions for SCh21-40 gray cast iron chip of sizes from 10 2 0.2 to 20 5 0.5 mm in vibrating mills containing various media. During dry grinding, the mean particle size falls for 6 h, but after 7 h there is agglomeration. Grinding in the presence of distilled water is most effective when the mill body cooling system is switched off. The grinding in that case is accelerated by a factor of 1.52.
A. N. Shteinberg and A. A. Kolesnikov, Mechanical alloying as a method of making finely divided composite powders, in: Properties and Uses of Finely Divided Powders [in Russian], Kiev (1986) pp. 7884.
Praters CLM is a classifying impact mill that is an industry-leading particle size reduction product. The CLM Air Classifying Mill offers the combination of two-stage closed circuit grinding mill with internal air classification, all in one efficient unit. The unique capabilities of the CLM Air Classifying Mill out performs single-stage air classifier mills when handling difficult to grind products and those products requiring a narrow particle distribution.
There are three stages when processing material through a Prater Air Classifying Mill. The initial grinding stage is similar to what is accomplished in the M Series Fine Grinding Mills; however, a secondary inlet provides additional air for the second stage internal air classifier. This additional air also adds an element of cooling to the material being processed. Over-sized particles that are larger than specified are rejected by the classifier and are directed to the third stage, which is a separate part of the grinding rotor. This recycled material is ground again in the mill section, then redirected to the air classifier, allowing only properly sized product to exit the mill.
All Prater Air Classifying Mills come with an automatic door interlock. This device prevents access to mill internals during operation and prevents dangerous motion during access. A large access door on these mills allows for quick inspection and/or cleaning of the main classifier mill rotor as well as the air classifier rotor.
The ball mill accepts the SAG or AG mill product. Ball mills give a controlled final grind and produce flotation feed of a uniform size. Ball mills tumble iron or steel balls with the ore. The balls are initially 510 cm diameter but gradually wear away as grinding of the ore proceeds. The feed to ball mills (dry basis) is typically 75 vol.-% ore and 25% steel.
The ball mill is operated in closed circuit with a particle-size measurement device and size-control cyclones. The cyclones send correct-size material on to flotation and direct oversize material back to the ball mill for further grinding.
Grinding elements in ball mills travel at different velocities. Therefore, collision force, direction and kinetic energy between two or more elements vary greatly within the ball charge. Frictional wear or rubbing forces act on the particles, as well as collision energy. These forces are derived from the rotational motion of the balls and movement of particles within the mill and contact zones of colliding balls.
By rotation of the mill body, due to friction between mill wall and balls, the latter rise in the direction of rotation till a helix angle does not exceed the angle of repose, whereupon, the balls roll down. Increasing of rotation rate leads to growth of the centrifugal force and the helix angle increases, correspondingly, till the component of weight strength of balls become larger than the centrifugal force. From this moment the balls are beginning to fall down, describing during falling certain parabolic curves (Figure 2.7). With the further increase of rotation rate, the centrifugal force may become so large that balls will turn together with the mill body without falling down. The critical speed n (rpm) when the balls are attached to the wall due to centrifugation:
where Dm is the mill diameter in meters. The optimum rotational speed is usually set at 6580% of the critical speed. These data are approximate and may not be valid for metal particles that tend to agglomerate by welding.
The degree of filling the mill with balls also influences productivity of the mill and milling efficiency. With excessive filling, the rising balls collide with falling ones. Generally, filling the mill by balls must not exceed 3035% of its volume.
The mill productivity also depends on many other factors: physical-chemical properties of feed material, filling of the mill by balls and their sizes, armor surface shape, speed of rotation, milling fineness and timely moving off of ground product.
where b.ap is the apparent density of the balls; l is the degree of filling of the mill by balls; n is revolutions per minute; 1, and 2 are coefficients of efficiency of electric engine and drive, respectively.
A feature of ball mills is their high specific energy consumption; a mill filled with balls, working idle, consumes approximately as much energy as at full-scale capacity, i.e. during grinding of material. Therefore, it is most disadvantageous to use a ball mill at less than full capacity.
The ball mill is a tumbling mill that uses steel balls as the grinding media. The length of the cylindrical shell is usually 11.5 times the shell diameter (Figure 8.11). The feed can be dry, with less than 3% moisture to minimize ball coating, or slurry containing 2040% water by weight. Ball mills are employed in either primary or secondary grinding applications. In primary applications, they receive their feed from crushers, and in secondary applications, they receive their feed from rod mills, AG mills, or SAG mills.
Ball mills are filled up to 40% with steel balls (with 3080mm diameter), which effectively grind the ore. The material that is to be ground fills the voids between the balls. The tumbling balls capture the particles in ball/ball or ball/liner events and load them to the point of fracture.
When hard pebbles rather than steel balls are used for the grinding media, the mills are known as pebble mills. As mentioned earlier, pebble mills are widely used in the North American taconite iron ore operations. Since the weight of pebbles per unit volume is 3555% of that of steel balls, and as the power input is directly proportional to the volume weight of the grinding medium, the power input and capacity of pebble mills are correspondingly lower. Thus, in a given grinding circuit, for a certain feed rate, a pebble mill would be much larger than a ball mill, with correspondingly a higher capital cost. However, the increase in capital cost is justified economically by a reduction in operating cost attributed to the elimination of steel grinding media.
In general, ball mills can be operated either wet or dry and are capable of producing products in the order of 100m. This represents reduction ratios of as great as 100. Very large tonnages can be ground with these ball mills because they are very effective material handling devices. Ball mills are rated by power rather than capacity. Today, the largest ball mill in operation is 8.53m diameter and 13.41m long with a corresponding motor power of 22MW (Toromocho, private communications).
Planetary ball mills. A planetary ball mill consists of at least one grinding jar, which is arranged eccentrically on a so-called sun wheel. The direction of movement of the sun wheel is opposite to that of the grinding jars according to a fixed ratio. The grinding balls in the grinding jars are subjected to superimposed rotational movements. The jars are moved around their own axis and, in the opposite direction, around the axis of the sun wheel at uniform speed and uniform rotation ratios. The result is that the superimposition of the centrifugal forces changes constantly (Coriolis motion). The grinding balls describe a semicircular movement, separate from the inside wall, and collide with the opposite surface at high impact energy. The difference in speeds produces an interaction between frictional and impact forces, which releases high dynamic energies. The interplay between these forces produces the high and very effective degree of size reduction of the planetary ball mill. Planetary ball mills are smaller than common ball mills, and are mainly used in laboratories for grinding sample material down to very small sizes.
Vibration mill. Twin- and three-tube vibrating mills are driven by an unbalanced drive. The entire filling of the grinding cylinders, which comprises the grinding media and the feed material, constantly receives impulses from the circular vibrations in the body of the mill. The grinding action itself is produced by the rotation of the grinding media in the opposite direction to the driving rotation and by continuous head-on collisions of the grinding media. The residence time of the material contained in the grinding cylinders is determined by the quantity of the flowing material. The residence time can also be influenced by using damming devices. The sample passes through the grinding cylinders in a helical curve and slides down from the inflow to the outflow. The high degree of fineness achieved is the result of this long grinding procedure. Continuous feeding is carried out by vibrating feeders, rotary valves, or conveyor screws. The product is subsequently conveyed either pneumatically or mechanically. They are basically used to homogenize food and feed.
CryoGrinder. As small samples (100 mg or <20 ml) are difficult to recover from a standard mortar and pestle, the CryoGrinder serves as an alternative. The CryoGrinder is a miniature mortar shaped as a small well and a tightly fitting pestle. The CryoGrinder is prechilled, then samples are added to the well and ground by a handheld cordless screwdriver. The homogenization and collection of the sample is highly efficient. In environmental analysis, this system is used when very small samples are available, such as small organisms or organs (brains, hepatopancreas, etc.).
The vibratory ball mill is another kind of high-energy ball mill that is used mainly for preparing amorphous alloys. The vials capacities in the vibratory mills are smaller (about 10 ml in volume) compared to the previous types of mills. In this mill, the charge of the powder and milling tools are agitated in three perpendicular directions (Fig. 1.6) at very high speed, as high as 1200 rpm.
Another type of the vibratory ball mill, which is used at the van der Waals-Zeeman Laboratory, consists of a stainless steel vial with a hardened steel bottom, and a single hardened steel ball of 6 cm in diameter (Fig. 1.7).
The mill is evacuated during milling to a pressure of 106 Torr, in order to avoid reactions with a gas atmosphere. Subsequently, this mill is suitable for mechanical alloying of some special systems that are highly reactive with the surrounding atmosphere, such as rare earth elements.
A ball mill is a relatively simple apparatus in which the motion of the reactor, or of a part of it, induces a series of collisions of balls with each other and with the reactor walls (Suryanarayana, 2001). At each collision, a fraction of the powder inside the reactor is trapped between the colliding surfaces of the milling tools and submitted to a mechanical load at relatively high strain rates (Suryanarayana, 2001). This load generates a local nonhydrostatic mechanical stress at every point of contact between any pair of powder particles. The specific features of the deformation processes induced by these stresses depend on the intensity of the mechanical stresses themselves, on the details of the powder particle arrangement, that is on the topology of the contact network, and on the physical and chemical properties of powders (Martin et al., 2003; Delogu, 2008a). At the end of any given collision event, the powder that has been trapped is remixed with the powder that has not undergone this process. Correspondingly, at any instant in the mechanical processing, the whole powder charge includes fractions of powder that have undergone a different number of collisions.
The individual reactive processes at the perturbed interface between metallic elements are expected to occur on timescales that are, at most, comparable with the collision duration (Hammerberg et al., 1998; Urakaev and Boldyrev, 2000; Lund and Schuh, 2003; Delogu and Cocco, 2005a,b). Therefore, unless the ball mill is characterized by unusually high rates of powder mixing and frequency of collisions, reactive events initiated by local deformation processes at a given collision are not affected by a successive collision. Indeed, the time interval between successive collisions is significantly longer than the time period required by local structural perturbations for full relaxation (Hammerberg et al., 1998; Urakaev and Boldyrev, 2000; Lund and Schuh, 2003; Delogu and Cocco, 2005a,b).
These few considerations suffice to point out the two fundamental features of powder processing by ball milling, which in turn govern the MA processes in ball mills. First, mechanical processing by ball milling is a discrete processing method. Second, it has statistical character. All of this has important consequences for the study of the kinetics of MA processes. The fact that local deformation events are connected to individual collisions suggests that absolute time is not an appropriate reference quantity to describe mechanically induced phase transformations. Such a description should rather be made as a function of the number of collisions (Delogu et al., 2004). A satisfactory description of the MA kinetics must also account for the intrinsic statistical character of powder processing by ball milling. The amount of powder trapped in any given collision, at the end of collision is indeed substantially remixed with the other powder in the reactor. It follows that the same amount, or a fraction of it, could at least in principle be trapped again in the successive collision.
This is undoubtedly a difficult aspect to take into account in a mathematical description of MA kinetics. There are at least two extreme cases to consider. On the one hand, it could be assumed that the powder trapped in a given collision cannot be trapped in the successive one. On the other, it could be assumed that powder mixing is ideal and that the amount of powder trapped at a given collision has the same probability of being processed in the successive collision. Both these cases allow the development of a mathematical model able to describe the relationship between apparent kinetics and individual collision events. However, the latter assumption seems to be more reliable than the former one, at least for commercial mills characterized by relatively complex displacement in the reactor (Manai et al., 2001, 2004).
A further obvious condition for the successful development of a mathematical description of MA processes is the one related to the uniformity of collision regimes. More specifically, it is highly desirable that the powders trapped at impact always experience the same conditions. This requires the control of the ball dynamics inside the reactor, which can be approximately obtained by using a single milling ball and an amount of powder large enough to assure inelastic impact conditions (Manai et al., 2001, 2004; Delogu et al., 2004). In fact, the use of a single milling ball avoids impacts between balls, which have a remarkable disordering effect on the ball dynamics, whereas inelastic impact conditions permit the establishment of regular and periodic ball dynamics (Manai et al., 2001, 2004; Delogu et al., 2004).
All of the above assumptions and observations represent the basis and guidelines for the development of the mathematical model briefly outlined in the following. It has been successfully applied to the case of a Spex Mixer/ Mill mod. 8000, but the same approach can, in principle, be used for other ball mills.
The Planetary ball mills are the most popular mills used in MM, MA, and MD scientific researches for synthesizing almost all of the materials presented in Figure 1.1. In this type of mill, the milling media have considerably high energy, because milling stock and balls come off the inner wall of the vial (milling bowl or vial) and the effective centrifugal force reaches up to 20 times gravitational acceleration.
The centrifugal forces caused by the rotation of the supporting disc and autonomous turning of the vial act on the milling charge (balls and powders). Since the turning directions of the supporting disc and the vial are opposite, the centrifugal forces alternately are synchronized and opposite. Therefore, the milling media and the charged powders alternatively roll on the inner wall of the vial, and are lifted and thrown off across the bowl at high speed, as schematically presented in Figure 2.17.
However, there are some companies in the world who manufacture and sell number of planetary-type ball mills; Fritsch GmbH (www.fritsch-milling.com) and Retsch (http://www.retsch.com) are considered to be the oldest and principal companies in this area.
Fritsch produces different types of planetary ball mills with different capacities and rotation speeds. Perhaps, Fritsch Pulverisette P5 (Figure 2.18(a)) and Fritsch Pulverisette P6 (Figure 2.18(b)) are the most popular models of Fritsch planetary ball mills. A variety of vials and balls made of different materials with different capacities, starting from 80ml up to 500ml, are available for the Fritsch Pulverisette planetary ball mills; these include tempered steel, stainless steel, tungsten carbide, agate, sintered corundum, silicon nitride, and zirconium oxide. Figure 2.19 presents 80ml-tempered steel vial (a) and 500ml-agate vials (b) together with their milling media that are made of the same materials.
Figure 2.18. Photographs of Fritsch planetary-type high-energy ball mill of (a) Pulverisette P5 and (b) Pulverisette P6. The equipment is housed in the Nanotechnology Laboratory, Energy and Building Research Center (EBRC), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR).
Figure 2.19. Photographs of the vials used for Fritsch planetary ball mills with capacity of (a) 80ml and (b) 500ml. The vials and the balls shown in (a) and (b) are made of tempered steel agate materials, respectively (Nanotechnology Laboratory, Energy and Building Research Center (EBRC), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)).
More recently and in year 2011, Fritsch GmbH (http://www.fritsch-milling.com) introduced a new high-speed and versatile planetary ball mill called Planetary Micro Mill PULVERISETTE 7 (Figure 2.20). The company claims this new ball mill will be helpful to enable extreme high-energy ball milling at rotational speed reaching to 1,100rpm. This allows the new mill to achieve sensational centrifugal accelerations up to 95 times Earth gravity. They also mentioned that the energy application resulted from this new machine is about 150% greater than the classic planetary mills. Accordingly, it is expected that this new milling machine will enable the researchers to get their milled powders in short ball-milling time with fine powder particle sizes that can reach to be less than 1m in diameter. The vials available for this new type of mill have sizes of 20, 45, and 80ml. Both the vials and balls can be made of the same materials, which are used in the manufacture of large vials used for the classic Fritsch planetary ball mills, as shown in the previous text.
Retsch has also produced a number of capable high-energy planetary ball mills with different capacities (http://www.retsch.com/products/milling/planetary-ball-mills/); namely Planetary Ball Mill PM 100 (Figure 2.21(a)), Planetary Ball Mill PM 100 CM, Planetary Ball Mill PM 200, and Planetary Ball Mill PM 400 (Figure 2.21(b)). Like Fritsch, Retsch offers high-quality ball-milling vials with different capacities (12, 25, 50, 50, 125, 250, and 500ml) and balls of different diameters (540mm), as exemplified in Figure 2.22. These milling tools can be made of hardened steel as well as other different materials such as carbides, nitrides, and oxides.
Figure 2.21. Photographs of Retsch planetary-type high-energy ball mill of (a) PM 100 and (b) PM 400. The equipment is housed in the Nanotechnology Laboratory, Energy and Building Research Center (EBRC), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR).
Figure 2.22. Photographs of the vials used for Retsch planetary ball mills with capacity of (a) 80ml, (b) 250ml, and (c) 500ml. The vials and the balls shown are made of tempered steel (Nanotechnology Laboratory, Energy and Building Research Center (EBRC), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)).
Both Fritsch and Retsch companies have offered special types of vials that allow monitoring and measure the gas pressure and temperature inside the vial during the high-energy planetary ball-milling process. Moreover, these vials allow milling the powders under inert (e.g., argon or helium) or reactive gas (e.g., hydrogen or nitrogen) with a maximum gas pressure of 500kPa (5bar). It is worth mentioning here that such a development made on the vials design allows the users and researchers to monitor the progress tackled during the MA and MD processes by following up the phase transformations and heat realizing upon RBM, where the interaction of the gas used with the freshly created surfaces of the powders during milling (adsorption, absorption, desorption, and decomposition) can be monitored. Furthermore, the data of the temperature and pressure driven upon using this system is very helpful when the ball mills are used for the formation of stable (e.g., intermetallic compounds) and metastable (e.g., amorphous and nanocrystalline materials) phases. In addition, measuring the vial temperature during blank (without samples) high-energy ball mill can be used as an indication to realize the effects of friction, impact, and conversion processes.
More recently, Evico-magnetics (www.evico-magnetics.de) has manufactured an extraordinary high-pressure milling vial with gas-temperature-monitoring (GTM) system. Likewise both system produced by Fritsch and Retsch, the developed system produced by Evico-magnetics, allowing RBM but at very high gas pressure that can reach to 15,000kPa (150bar). In addition, it allows in situ monitoring of temperature and of pressure by incorporating GTM. The vials, which can be used with any planetary mills, are made of hardened steel with capacity up to 220ml. The manufacturer offers also two-channel system for simultaneous use of two milling vials.
Using different ball mills as examples, it has been shown that, on the basis of the theory of glancing collision of rigid bodies, the theoretical calculation of tPT conditions and the kinetics of mechanochemical processes are possible for the reactors that are intended to perform different physicochemical processes during mechanical treatment of solids. According to the calculations, the physicochemical effect of mechanochemical reactors is due to short-time impulses of pressure (P = ~ 10101011 dyn cm2) with shift, and temperature T(x, t). The highest temperature impulse T ~ 103 K are caused by the dry friction phenomenon.
Typical spatial and time parameters of the impactfriction interaction of the particles with a size R ~ 104 cm are as follows: localization region, x ~ 106 cm; time, t ~ 108 s. On the basis of the obtained theoretical results, the effect of short-time contact fusion of particles treated in various comminuting devices can play a key role in the mechanism of activation and chemical reactions for wide range of mechanochemical processes. This role involves several aspects, that is, the very fact of contact fusion transforms the solid phase process onto another qualitative level, judging from the mass transfer coefficients. The spatial and time characteristics of the fused zone are such that quenching of non-equilibrium defects and intermediate products of chemical reactions occurs; solidification of the fused zone near the contact point results in the formation of a nanocrystal or nanoamor- phous state. The calculation models considered above and the kinetic equations obtained using them allow quantitative ab initio estimates of rate constants to be performed for any specific processes of mechanical activation and chemical transformation of the substances in ball mills.
There are two classes of ball mills: planetary and mixer (also called swing) mill. The terms high-speed vibration milling (HSVM), high-speed ball milling (HSBM), and planetary ball mill (PBM) are often used. The commercial apparatus are PBMs Fritsch P-5 and Fritsch Pulverisettes 6 and 7 classic line, the Retsch shaker (or mixer) mills ZM1, MM200, MM400, AS200, the Spex 8000, 6750 freezer/mill SPEX CertiPrep, and the SWH-0.4 vibrational ball mill. In some instances temperature controlled apparatus were used (58MI1); freezer/mills were used in some rare cases (13MOP1824).
The balls are made of stainless steel, agate (SiO2), zirconium oxide (ZrO2), or silicon nitride (Si3N). The use of stainless steel will contaminate the samples with steel particles and this is a problem both for solid-state NMR and for drug purity.
However, there are many types of ball mills (see Chapter 2 for more details), such as drum ball mills, jet ball mills, bead-mills, roller ball mills, vibration ball mills, and planetary ball mills, they can be grouped or classified into two types according to their rotation speed, as follows: (i) high-energy ball mills and (ii) low-energy ball mills. Table 3.1 presents characteristics and comparison between three types of ball mills (attritors, vibratory mills, planetary ball mills and roller mills) that are intensively used on MA, MD, and MM techniques.
In fact, choosing the right ball mill depends on the objectives of the process and the sort of materials (hard, brittle, ductile, etc.) that will be subjecting to the ball-milling process. For example, the characteristics and properties of those ball mills used for reduction in the particle size of the starting materials via top-down approach, or so-called mechanical milling (MM process), or for mechanically induced solid-state mixing for fabrications of composite and nanocomposite powders may differ widely from those mills used for achieving mechanically induced solid-state reaction (MISSR) between the starting reactant materials of elemental powders (MA process), or for tackling dramatic phase transformation changes on the structure of the starting materials (MD). Most of the ball mills in the market can be employed for different purposes and for preparing of wide range of new materials.
Martinez-Sanchez et al.  have pointed out that employing of high-energy ball mills not only contaminates the milled amorphous powders with significant volume fractions of impurities that come from milling media that move at high velocity, but it also affects the stability and crystallization properties of the formed amorphous phase. They have proved that the properties of the formed amorphous phase (Mo53Ni47) powder depends on the type of the ball-mill equipment (SPEX 8000D Mixer/Mill and Zoz Simoloter mill) used in their important investigations. This was indicated by the high contamination content of oxygen on the amorphous powders prepared by SPEX 8000D Mixer/Mill, when compared with the corresponding amorphous powders prepared by Zoz Simoloter mill. Accordingly, they have attributed the poor stabilities, indexed by the crystallization temperature of the amorphous phase formed by SPEX 8000D Mixer/Mill to the presence of foreign matter (impurities).
Mineral processing refers to the process of separating the valuable minerals from gangue veins and extract as much valuable mineral as it can. There are tens of minerals contained in the rock or vein in different forms, thus various processing technologies are applied for different processing. After many years development of the mineral processing technology, there are common processing technology for common mineral ores. The complete mineral ore processing plant always includes crushing, grinding and beneficiation stages, and the beneficiation stage consists of different technology, mainly gravity separation, flotation, magnetic separation, chemical processing, etc. Prominer can customize the suitable technological process based on the mineral characteristics and supply full process solution.
For most of the mineral ores, due to the geological evolution, they are contained in or stick to rock veins. After mining the mineral ore is mined from underground, then the first procedure is to crush the big lump rock to small size for further processing. During this stage normally scrub washing will be applied for materials with much mud. Besides, grinding is a very important stage to liberate the mineral ore from the gangue veins, which makes subsequent beneficiation sufficiently.
Gravity separation is the traditional method for mineral beneficiation and irreplaceable when process minerals such as tungsten, gold, iron, tin, chrome, tantalum, niobium, coal, barite, etc. Because of its advantages such as low running cost, environmental protection and special effects on some minerals, it is still very popular at present. There are different types of equipment for gravity separation like jigger, spiral chutes, shaking table, etc.
Flotation is a typical mineral ore processing method based on the difference of the physical and chemical property and floatability between valuable minerals and veins. Technically, flotation can be used in almost all of the mineral separation. It is especially efficient to process metal and non-metal minerals like copper, pyrite, iron, gold, quartz, etc.
Magnetic separation takes advantage of the magnetic difference of different minerals and veins and separate under magnetic effect. It is not only used in the concentration process for magnetite, hematite, manganese, ilmenite, but also used for iron removal operation for coal, nonmetalliferous ores as well as construction material. It is the main beneficiation method in iron ore separation. The process of magnetic separation is simple but with high production capabilities, and it is also with advantages including low production cost, high efficiency and no environmental pollution.
Based on the chemical property differences among mineral compositions, Chemical processing utilizes chemical methods to change the minerals property to make the target component or impurity component selectively dissolved in the leaching solvent to achieve the purpose of separation. Chemical processing has been successfully used for processing many different minerals like gold, copper, graphite, lead, zinc, aluminum, silver, etc.
Prominer has been devoted to mineral processing industry for decades and specializes in mineral upgrading and deep processing. With expertise in the fields of mineral project development, mining, test study, engineering, technological processing.
Nano powder of natural clinoptilolite zeolite was mechanically prepared by using a planetary ball mill. Statistical experimental design was applied to optimize wet and dry milling of clinoptilolite zeolite. To determine appropriate milling conditions with respect to the final product crystallinity, particle size and distribution, different milling parameters such as dry and wet milling durations, rotational speed, balls to powder ratio and water to powder ratio (for the wet milling) were investigated. Laser beam scattering technique, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analyses were carried out to characterize samples. Results showed that larger than 1mm particle size of clinoptilolite powder may mechanically be reduced into the size range of less than 100nm to 30m by means of planetary ball milling.
Statistical experiment design was applied to optimize wet and dry milling of clinoptilolite zeolite by utilizing a planetary ball mill. For obtaining appropriate milling conditions with respect to crystallinity retention and powder size distribution different milling parameters consisting of dry and wet milling time and rotational speed, ball to powder ratio in dry state and ball to powder ratio and water to powder ratio in wet milling were selected in various levels.Download : Download full-size image