Crushing, Screening & Conveying

Crushing, Screening & Conveying2017-04-04T06:57:13-04:00
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It's all about the FLOW? (1 reply and 1 comment)

TISM
2 years ago
TISM 2 years ago

While metallurgists and process engineers go to great lengths to select and optimise the unit operations in our pit-to-port value chains, we are often let down when it comes to the commercial operation because the bulk solids just won't flow consistently. It is an interesting thing in that all our work on unit operations determines the value-adding potential or capability of the value chain, but that actual revenue and overall operational productivity depends on the flow. Even the perfect combination of unit operations with the potential to operate at 100% efficiency, can only deliver revenue and operate at an efficiency given by the actual flowrate of ore/nameplate. So in that regard, we are really in the FLOW business! Don't know about you but it was not part of my undergraduate training and most of the detailed designers I have worked with are similarly ignorant. As such our professional reputations are often at risk and there are many examples where this risk has been realised.

Bulk solids handling is a specialised area (as we have better things to do in terms of adding value) so I have prepared a list of questions you can gently put to those responsible for making your flowsheets come to life (and for your professional reputations in the process!) to help ensure they achieve the controlled flow through your lovingly crafted value chains. Hope you find it useful (it has held me in good stead over the years)

Hope you find it useful (it has held me in good stead over the years)

PS There are some great references freely available in the public domain which have been hyperlinked in the Reference section.

akhil999in
2 years ago
akhil999in 2 years ago

Waste Slurry pumping from ore processing plant to tailing pond through rubber lined steel pipes is such a common activity but apparently an as yet unsolved design problem, with wide variations in calculations recommended by different authorities. Too large pipe diametre risks clogging due to too slow flow speed causing settlement in the pipelines. Too small diametre risks clogging upstream due to insufficient capacity, as well as fast wear of rubber lining.

Flow problems in pipelines or agitated tanks or other, are often hard to solve with confidence. It comes down to industry practice, personal experience and preference rather than science or engineering.

TISM
2 years ago

All the best with the trial and error approach but I’m an engineer and wherever the science exists (as it does in the case of bulk solids flow) l’m going to seek it out and use it so things can be fixed once and for all and in one iteration but I appreciate that others have a different approach.

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