Ducom Rotary Tribometer enabled laboratory test setup can reproduce the tribological process in mineral processing. Donhad from Australia is using the Ducom Rotary Tribometer to develop the low wear grinding balls used in mineral processing.
According to Amir from Donhad, grinding media cost is a big portion of mines consumable cost. It is very important to offer a product to the customer that has better wear life, hence reducing their cash cost. Depending on the size of the mineral processing plant, 5% improvement in wear rate of grinding media could save millions of dollars per year. In mineral processing plants, measuring small changes in the wear rate of grinding media due to change in its material properties is often too difficult. It is due to lot of noise and variation inherent in the process. Thus, it is essential to use a laboratory test setup that can precisely reproduce the parameters used in mineral processing.
The key process parameters that influence the life of grinding media are impact load and frequency, sliding velocity and temperature. For Donhad, it was important that Ducom reproduces these process parameters with high precision. For this project, we picked the basic design platform of Ducom Rotary Tribometer and added key features like automated loading unit (fixed or impact load), automated sliding speed control, abrasive chamber and chamber heating. Even the pin and disk sample holders were designed to match various grinding media types and sizes.
Figure 2. Schematic of Ducom Pin-on-Disk Rotary Tribometer designed for mining companies.
CUSTOMER BENEFIT. Impact load and speed profiles observed during mineral processing are reproduced in the lab. The process parameters are controlled at ±1% of the maximum value and has a good repeatability. Ducom Rotary Tribometer is able to detect minor changes in the hardness of grinding balls and map their friction and wear behavior. Amir concludes that the Ducom PoD helps them in finding a correlation with the field wear, thus saving time and cost in assessing new products performance in terms of wear life.