The perfect small miner shaker table measures in at 36″ x 60″ (3' x 5') or 15 square feet of tabling area. Its all carbon steel frame holds on 3 legs at some 3' from the ground. The table's deck is made with a CNC machined 3/8″ thick high-density polyethylene (HDPE) laminated on a 16 gauge steel bed. The table has 5″ wide concentrate troughs also made of thick 16 gauge steel. The troughs are commonly used as: 2 high grade concentrate, 1 middlings and 1 tailings outlet.
The deck of this precision built gravity concentrating table has an adjustable incline and everything on it is either TIG or MIG welded. A 1″ diameter pipe insures a generous wash water supply.
This concentration table comes with a convertible multi-current motor 110/220 Volts for 50/60 Hz and a standard variable speed drive allowing you to optimise your table' stroke speed.
The table comes complete with built-in stand. The complete table weighs in at around 200 lbs.
The Quake 5VS3 has 4-5 times the deck area of an RP4.
Small scale table concentration tests have many critics. Many metallurgists consider that such tests are of problematical value because of the difficulties involved in conducting and interpreting them. Many kinds of small-scale ore dressing tests are difficult to conduct, and there is, perhaps, good reason for thinking that table concentration tests are amongst the most difficult. Interpretation of results from small-scale tests is the responsibility of the metallurgists and engineers in charge, and it is often held that small-scale table concentration tests are particularly difficult to interpret.
Testing for Table Concentration
On analysis it appears that the difficulties encountered in conducting small-scale table concentration tests are of three fairly distinct kinds.
Firstly, there are difficulties due inherently to the small-scale nature of the operations; for example the smaller width of all mineral bands on the table and the less complete separation due to the shorter length of travel between the feed and discharge points.
Secondly, there are the effects of batch operation owing to the fact that the mineral particles behave differently during the initial period when the sample is just beginning to spread over the table, the middle period when feed and discharge are even and continuous, and the final stage, when the last of the sample has been added and the table is beginning to empty itself.
In the third place, there are the difficulties duo to lack of refinement in testing, for example, slackness in supports and slope adjustment, irregular water distribution and erratic feeding.
If the test must be conducted as a small-scale batch test, difficulties due to the first two causes are inevitable, but by proper attention to the equipment and technique used for laboratory table concentration tests, difficulties due to inevitable causes may be minimized.
Unfortunately, it is common to find that insufficient attention has been given to the careful design of laboratory concentrating tables, and it is believed that difficulties arising from this cause, combined with crude testing techniques, are largely responsible for difficulties in interpreting results. If proper attention is given to the points mentioned, there seems no reason why the results obtained should not be a reliable guide to the optimum performance of a commercial plant.
It is interesting to know that rather similar viewpoints are held by some investigators of the United States Bureau of Mines.
The present paper describes the development of the concentrating table used in the laboratory operated jointly by the Mining Department of the University of Melbourne and the Ore Dressing Section of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. Although the paper contains some discussion of the technique of table concentration testing, the bulk of it is devoted to describing the steps taken to improve the mechanical rigidity of the table and the convenience of its adjustments and controls.
Special Difficulties in Batch Tests
In order to comprehend the reason for the modifications made, it is helpful to consider, first, how a mixed feed of dense and light particles, say galena and quartz, behaves in an ordinary batch table concentration test.
It is supposed that the feed rate is uniform throughout the test and that the side slope and cross water are adjusted so that when stable conditions have been established on the table, the line of demarcation between galena and quartz will be on the concentrate end of the table 2 in. from the corner.
As the feed starts to flow on to the table, scarcely any galena appears for an appreciable time and the uppermost band of quartz appears well up along the concentrate end of the table.
Galena is scarce because the quartz moves more quickly; quartz appears well up the slope of the table because the forces tending to wash it across the table are not fully operative. There is little galena on the riffled portion of the deck, so that more quartz particles remain in the riffles where they have little opportunity to be forced by the galena to the top of the bed in the riffles, from where they would be washed down by the cross water.
As the feed continues to flow, more galena appears on the table, and when stable conditions have been established, the line of demarcation between galena and quartz moves down to a point 2 in. from the corner. This condition continues until feeding ceases. Shortly it will be noted that there is scarcely any quartz on the table and that the line of demarcation between the galena and the remaining quartz moves down the concentrate end of the table towards the corner.
The first effect occurs because the quartz moves across the table more quickly than the galena. The second effect occurs because the cross water washes the galena further down the unriffled part of the deck since there is practically no quartz to stop it.
It will be found, then, that if in a batch test a table is fed- uniformly and neither the cross, water nor the side slope is altered, the line of demarcation between concentrate and tailing will start at a point well up the concentrate end of this table, move gradually to a stable point and, at the end of the test, move rather quickly to a point much closer to the corner of the table.
If a clean separation is to be obtained, it will be necessary to move a splitter to follow this line of demarcation. However, it is common to find the movement of the separation point so great that moving a splitter is not alone sufficient to cope with the large changes which occur. In this case it is necessary to alter the side slope of the table.
The desirability of being able to change smoothly, easily and rapidly both the splitter position and the side slope of the table is thus made apparent.
The necessity for changing the side slope of the table during, a test introduces two corollary conditions:—
The method of changing the side slope should be such that no twisting strain is put on the driving mechanism.
Changing the side slope should not affect the cross water distribution.
Modifications to the Table Construction
To facilitate the conduct of table concentration test every aspect of the table construction was examined and a number of modifications introduced.
Shaker Table Head Motion
The table was originally used with a Wilfley head motion, a type which has proved very popular and has been used in a wide range of applications.
However, the head motion used on the laboratory table had been in service for a number of years, and had become badly worn. As alternative plans for a replacement were being considered, Mount Isa Mines Ltd. offered to donate to the laboratory a commercial Deister Plat-O head motion in excellent mechanical condition. This offer was gratefully accepted. For compactness, a frame was built to accommodate the table deck directly above the case containing the head motion, the movement being transferred through a lever arm pinned to the frame. The arrangement is illustrated in Figs. 1 and 3.
Lever arm lengths can be adjusted readily to give a stroke length ranging from 5/16 in- to 1½ in. The sharpness of the “kick” can also be adjusted. To date no experiments on the effect of either of these variables have been conducted. The speed is constant at about 300 strokes per min. and adjustment can only be effected by changing the driving pulley.
Shaker Table Frame
The frame is of welded construction. The base is made of 5 in. channels, and the rest of the frame of 3 in. channels and 2 in. and in. angles. The ample sections combined with the cross-bracing give a rigid frame.
Table Deck and its Supports
The commonest type of deck used on commercial tables is a wooden frame covered with linoleum. The riffles are usually of wood attached to the deck with copper nails.
A deck of this kind has only one major defect for test work—the difficulty of avoiding contamination of successive runs owing to solids lodging between the riffles and the linoleum surface. This trouble has been minimized by using a waterproof adhesive as well as the nails to attach the riffles. Another source of contamination in the old model table was a flat-bottomed feed box which was difficult to clean. The feed box now used was made from a short length of 1½ in. dia. pipe and may be seen in Fig. 1. This type of feed box is very easy to clean.
The deck is supported on four slipper rods which slide in seats arranged in independent pairs at each end of the table. Each pair of seats can move freely about a pivot, the pivots being aligned accurately. This arrangement provides a very rigid support, which accommodates itself easily to change of slope. A clear view of the rods may be seen at A, in Fig. 2, while the seats may be seen at A in Fig. 3.
The deck is connected to the head motion through a shackle and pin, (A and B, Fig. 5), while a spring attached at an angle beneath the deck keeps the slipper rods seated. A crank operated by hand-lever (A in Fig. 4) applies tension to the spring. Either one of two decks with slightly different riffling may be used. To remove the deck, spring tension is released by turning the hand-lever, and detaching the spring. The pin A (Fig. 5) is removed from the shackle B and the deck lifted off. To fit the other deck, these operations are repeated in reverse order. The changing of decks can be effected in about two minutes.
The table is provided with two adjustable splitters, a concentrate-middling splitter on the concentrate end of the table, and a middling-tailing splitter on the tailing side of the table. An external view of the splitters is shown in Fig. 6.
The concentrate end of the table is faced with a 1½ in. wide strip of 16 gauge brass sheet, its edge being flush with the edge of the linoleum deck surface. The splitter itself is a vertical sheet of brass, the top edge of which is about 3/8 in. below the deck surface. The splitter and its small attached launder are mounted on a split block which slides along two brass rods mounted on brackets underneath the table. The halves of the block are held against the rods by crossed leaf springs tensioned by a small knurled nut. The method of attachment is shown in Fig. 2. The cutter moves readily when slight pressure is applied, and maintains any set position.
The middling-tailing splitter rides on the outside edge of the launder; it is provided with a small capstan-headed lock screw, but it has been found that, generally, this is unnecessary.
Cross Slope Adjustment
The cross slope of the table is adjusted by a lever arm attached to the pair of slipper rod seats at the concentrate end. A second lever operates a locking nut at the back of the pivot. The two lever arms are shown in Fig. 4. When using this simple two lever arrangement, it has been found that when the locknut is released the cross slope of the table may change suddenly and jerkily. To improve this feature, a vertical screw type of adjustment is being attached to the lever arm B.
When the cross slope of the table is changed, a couple is applied to the bridge bar (D, Fig. 2) connecting the two slipper rods at the head motion end. To avoid applying a twist to the shackle E, the nut F tightens onto a shoulder on the pin G and not onto the bridge bar. The clearance is so small (0.001 in.) that there is no perceptible slackness although the shackle can twist quite freely.
Water Distribution Launder
The top edge of the table deck is not parallel to the axis about which the deck is tilted. Consequently, if the launder distributing cross water were attached to the deck, the water distribution would change when the cross slope was changed. To avoid this, the launder has been attached to the main frame by two pieces of 1½ in. x 3/16 in. flat steel bent appropriately. The launder is attached by hinges and may be folded up out of the way to facilitate changing of decks. The method of attaching the water launder is made clear in Fig. 4.
A common method of feeding a table for batch test work is by scoop. The discussion given of the behaviour of dense and light minerals in a batch test in which the feed is quite regular enables conditions to be foreseen when the table is fed by scoop. Suppose a somewhat extreme example in which a scoopful is fed onto the table in five seconds, and successive scoopsful added every 30 seconds subsequently. In the period immediately after adding each scoopful, the quartz added will move more rapidly than the galena, and so will push the line of demarcation between concentrate and tailing up. Subsequently, the corresponding amount of galena will arrive at the table edge, and so will push the line of demarcation down. This cycle will be repeated for each scoopful added. The result will be that the line of demarcation between concentrate and tailing will fluctuate. The extent of the movement will depend on the irregularity of the feed, and although with care the fluctuation may be minimized, the operation will inevitably be tedious and time-consuming, and even the best result will leave much to be desired.
Experiments with a launder feeding method have shown that it has decided advantages. The V-bottom launder used is shown in Fig. 1. The feed is spread fairly uniformly along the bottom of the launder, and the rate of feed regulated by the rate of feeding water to the head of the launder. About 90% of the feed will flow without further alteration, but some additional wash water is necessary near the end of a run to clean down the sides of the launder.
More elaborate launder feeding methods with progressing water jets, etc., have been proposed, but although these would appear to have further advantages, the simple method described has proved satisfactory. It does not give absolutely regular feed, but the changes occur, gradually and are easy to cope with.
Experiments with continuous circulation have also been conducted. The arrangement is shown, in Fig. 7. Concentrate, middling and tailing separate on the table and are deflected into a common pump, which discharges the, mixed feed into the dewatering cone shown. The overflow runs to waste and the discharge returns to the table. This system gives far more regular feed than any other method tried. It works very well for demonstration purposes, but quantitative tests have not yet been undertaken. The method proposed is to establish equilibrium conditions, and then take timed samples.
Three product hoppers are used, two small hoppers which are fixed, to the table framework being provided for concentrate and middling, while the tailing is collected in a large hopper fitted into a framework mounted on wheels. The large mobile hoppers of 30 gal. capacity are extremely useful in the laboratory for many purposes, such as the collection and settlement of slime, collection of jig and table tailings, and in fact any large quantities of ore pulp.
Both the fixed and mobile hoppers are closed with rubber bungs from inside, the bungs being fixed to long brass rods with T-handles. The clearance below the hopper outlets is sufficient for a 3 gal. bucket.
A laboratory concentration table was modified by incorporating a sturdier head motion, main frame and supports, and altering the controls so as to make them positive, convenient and independent of each other.
The advantages from the modifications to the table construction cannot readily be expressed in quantitative results. The important effect is that every operation, such as feeding the table, adjusting the side slope or product splitters, and handling the products, is easier, and the table itself is much less prone to erratic disturbances due to lack of rigidity in the framework, supports and adjustments. It is felt that these substantial mechanical improvements are bound to express themselves in improved metallurgical performance.