Laboratory Testing & General Mineral Processing Engineering

Laboratory Testing & General Mineral Processing Engineering2017-04-04T06:57:51+00:00
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Separate Al of different thickness and shape (6 replies and 3 comments)

6 months ago
SaveMetals 6 months ago

Hello All, 

I am trying to separate two different aluminum alloys in scrap that I'm processing where one alloy is significantly more pure (higher value) than the other. At the moment I'm thinking of trying to rod mill to reduce the size of one fraction without affecting the other, but I'm wondering a)if this is realistic what types of rods can I use/what calculations for processing parameters need to be done and b) whether there is a better technology ofr solution for this problem.

$$$ material = Aluminum, 2-3mm thickness originally now curled into balls, dense

$ material = Aluminum, <1mm easily torn by hand if single piece but in crumpled more compact pieces now, oblong to ball like shape, feels less dense.

What I imagine is a rod mill to tear the $ material into smaller pieces but not sure how to determine impact other than through experimenting which will not affect the $$$ material or only minimally effect it (bend and dent but not break). Would like to know method for calculating the size and mass of rods.

Any suggestions appreciated.

6 months ago
Yves 6 months ago

What about using a hammer mill. I think you will get more brakeage. You can use a 5mm screen below

Alex Doll
6 months ago
Alex Doll 6 months ago

Probably not a great application for a rod mill.  But if you really want to go down that route, here is the Bible you need to study (use your professional association membership to access the document): 

6 months ago
denverphil 6 months ago

I would think the easiest approach is to "waterfall" off an elevated conveyor discharge and a blower in the direction of the conveyor discharge.  Usually put up a wall so that the most dense falls behind wall and least dense flies over wall.  Fast and cheap

6 months ago

May need to 'pre-screen' first to get size fractions blown to be more nearly same size

6 months ago
Robert 6 months ago

Another consideration - how pure does the pure fraction need to be in order to demand a premium? If high purity is required you may need to accept a lower yield in separation.  

Todd H
6 months ago
Todd H 6 months ago

I think denverphil has the right idea, i would use a sorting technology that exploits a dissimilar characteristic

SG, Color, Emission (XRF)

Ore sorting can use any method of separation provided it is fairly unique to one or the other. see this link -

It all costs money!


Todd Harvey - Global Resource Engineering

6 months ago
SaveMetals 6 months ago

Yves, I thought about a turbomill (similar idea to hammer mill) but they are expensive -small budget here. As are color sorters, (very expensive!) and any sort of air puff classification system even though color would work well here. 

Alex Doll thanks for the helpful links, unfortunately I do not have a membership where I can view the long document but can try to ask around.

Denverphil I also like your idea, will try it out. Unfortunately the density difference between these material types seems smaller than the stiffness difference in this particular case, but worth a shot.

6 months ago

It is not the density (sp gr) difference I'm referring to, it is the "apparent density". You said one "feels less dense". Therefore, it should blow further. Assuming similar particle size and constant cross-sectional velocity of the air. (curtains and distribute air flow so it is essentially equal across width of conveyor discharge. This is an 'air knife' application and you should not overload the conveyor so as to impede air flow. To get a feel for it, I would drop some hand sorted pieces in front of a fan and see where they land. Usually a hurdle wall is placed so as to lose a bit of the higher value product to the lower value stream. For a conveyor you can use a treadmill for testing. Cheap enough I hope.

6 months ago

Oops, could blow less far if surface area high. It doesn't really matter so long as one goes further.

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