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Introduction to Cement Manufacturing

  • 4. Air Separators

    • 4.1 Introduction

Separators are utilized in a closed circuit grinding system for the purpose of separating the fine and coarse particles of the feed. The fine particles are passed through the separator to become finished product while the coarse particles are returned to the mill as rejects for further grinding.

4.2

Types

First Generation Separators These are separators with internal cyclones, e.g. Sturtevant and Raymond.

Second Generation Separators

These are separators with external cyclones, e.g. Wedag-Zub and O&K, (mainly in Europe). As a general rule their efficiency in terms of bypass, fractional separation, and grinding is superior to the first generation separators. Some first generation separators can reach the same performance levels with modifications.

High Efficiency Separators of the Third Generation

These are characterized, other than by external ventilation, by the presence of a squirrel-cage, which allows an improved fractional separation over other separator types.

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Static Grit Separators

These permit the separation of large particles from the material being transported in the mill air sweep.

  • 4.2.1 Static Grit Separator

Principle of operation

During the process of grinding in the ball mill, an external fan drafts fine and coarse particles from inside the mill through the mill discharge. In process terms, the material in swept from the mill.

The method of particle separation in static separator is a very basic process. The dust laden air swept from the ball mill flows upward into the bottom of the separator cone. As the air (gas) rises, it flows between the inner and outer cone until it reaches the inlet vanes. There it flows through the vanes, imparting a circular motion, into the upper section of the inner cone. Due to the much larger areas of the inner cone, the velocity decays and the coarse particles (grits) fall by gravity to the bottom of the inner cone out the reject spout back to the grind circuit. In addition the circular motion of the air (gas) improves the separation of coarse and fines by centrifuge. The air (gas) with the fine particles continues up through the thimble out of the separator to elsewhere in the process.

Static Grit separators are commonly employed on semi air swept finish mills and on air swept coal mills.

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Components

This separator does not compare in design to the conventional separator.

Its

design

compares to a cyclone with

the exception that internal vanes can be

adjusted.

  • a) Outer Cone

Can be described as the outer shell of the separator. The bottom of the cone (inlet)

receives unclassified material from the ball mill sweep.

  • b) Inner Cone

Installed inside the outer cone. The bottom is piped outside the separator for rejecting coarse (grit) particles from the separator.

  • c) Inlet Vanes

Located below the top of the separator, separates the inner and outer cone. The vanes are adjustable and can be moved to increase or decrease the circular motion of air as it enters the inner cone. Typically they are mechanically linked and are adjusted using a single hand wheel.

  • d) Thimble

Placed through the separator top (center). Fines and (exit gas) leaves the separator through this duct. Adjustable to pick fines from the air flow inside the separator. However, the thimble is set up at installation and not moved as a regular procedure.

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Static Grit Separator: Cutaway Schematic Exit Gas and Fines Product Thimble Adjustable Guide Vanes Inner Cone
Static Grit Separator:
Cutaway Schematic
Exit Gas and
Fines Product
Thimble
Adjustable Guide Vanes
Inner Cone
Modif ication Idea:
Outer Cone
f or high blaine
product mount a
f resh air bleed
v alv e in f ront of
each guide v ane.
Inlet Duct
Rejects Pipe
(f rom mill)

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Control

  • a) Fineness Control

A change in the product fineness can result of either the volume of air swept from

the mill changed or the separator vanes are adjusted. Keep in mind that either change will have effect on the separator efficiency.

Air Volume An increase in volume of air swept from the mill results in a higher percentage of coarse material going through the separator to the collector - lower product Blaine.

Vane Adjustment Each static separator vane adjustment area is marked for direction of movement. A coarser adjustment (less spin) will result in the removal of fines to the collector with a higher percentage of coarse particles - lower product Blaine.

Modification Idea Installed in Demopolis, fresh air bleed in valves were mounted in front of each guide vane. By opening these valves fresh air leaks in which reduces dust loading (favouring the superfines), but maintains the same high internal grit velocities in order to maximize separation.

Inspection requirements No moving components or power source. Basic inspection requirement is a visual inspection of the separator and related intake and exhaust piping for leaks. Depending on the material abrasiveness the vanes and the inner cone should be checked for replacement at least every 4 to 6 years.

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  • 4.2.2 Sturtevant Separators

 

Operation

Material goes down the feed spout to the intake cone and to the lower distributing plate hub.

By centrifugal action (rotation) the particles are thrown outward through the ports of the hub and onto the lower distributing plate (protected by the upper distributing plate).

Particles are dispersed from the plate into the separating zone. A curtain or umbrella of material is formed outside the lower distributing plate.

Forces acting on the particles are ascending air, gravity, and centrifugal action.

Coarse particles settle by gravity to the tailings or rejects chamber.

Finer particles are acted upon by the upward air flow created by the main circulating fan and lifted to the selective zone where final selection takes place.

The selector blades impart additional centrifugal force. Heavier particles are thrown outward underneath the drum cover to the rejects cone. The finer, lighter particles are drawn through the path of the selector blades to the finished product area.

More selector blades or fewer main fan blades will result in a finer product.

Control valves (or diaphragm) are located between selector blades and main fan blades, and move in or out to vary the size of the opening between the two.

Return air vanes (between the fines cone and the inside drum cone) allows fines to settle, while returning air to the separating zone.

Drying in the separator can also be achieved through balanced hot air inlet(s) and outlet(s) to a dust collector and fan.

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Introduction to Cement Manufacturing Material Flow Pattern inside a Sturtevant Sturtevant Separator Adjustment The possible operating

Material Flow Pattern inside a Sturtevant

Sturtevant Separator Adjustment

The possible operating adjustments that can be made on a separator are, in order of decreasing priority:

Diaphragm if there is one

Number of fan or selector blades

Main fan diameter

or by means of the feed flow rate in terms of the output and fineness.

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The general rules under all circumstances are:

SEPARATOR ARROW DIAGRAM

Direction Change of Variable

By pass or

Higher Speed (for separate drives)

DIAPHRAGM or VALVES

% Opening

SEPARATOR FEED RATE

(or mill circulating load)

SEPARATOR FEED

PRODUCT FINENESS

*

More Blades

Fewer Blades

Rejects

Direction Change of Adjustment

MAIN FAN

More Blades (or larger Diameter)

Fewer Blades (or smaller Diameter)

Higher Speed (sheave change)

SELECTOR BLADES

Circuit Ty pe

Varies with Mill

By pass or Higher Speed (for separate drives) DIAPHRAGM or VALVES % Opening SEPARATOR FEED RATE
By pass or Higher Speed (for separate drives) DIAPHRAGM or VALVES % Opening SEPARATOR FEED RATE
By pass or Higher Speed (for separate drives) DIAPHRAGM or VALVES % Opening SEPARATOR FEED RATE

*

MAIN FACTOR

In the case of a separator with a diaphragm, as a general rule, it should be adjusted for the different modes of operation (selector fan, main fan) in such a manner that, during normal operation, the diaphragm will be near its maximum opening.

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Sturtevant

12 18 17 21 11 13 24 9 19 5 15 10 23 22 7 20
12
18
17
21
11
13
24
9
19
5
15
10
23
22
7
20
16
8
14
6
4
3
1
2
  • 1. Inside Drum Cover

Fines Chamber

9.

17.

Intake Cone

  • 2. Inside Drum Cover Liner

Tailings Cone

10.

18.

Intake Cone Line

  • 3. Valve & Valve Rod

Ring Liner

11.

19.

Fan Cone

  • 4. Air Vane

12.

Gear Reducer

20.

Packing Ring

  • 5. Outside Casing

13.

Main Shaft

21.

Upper Dist. Plate

  • 6. Outside Casing Liner

14.

Distributing Hub

22.

Upper Dist. Plate Liner

  • 7. Inside Drum

15.

Dist. Hub Liner

23.

Selector Blade

  • 8. Inside Drum Liner

16.

Lower Dist. Plate

24.

Main Fan Blade

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Air separator arrangement for air drying or air cooling

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing Air separator arrangement for air drying or air cooling Technical C.T.S Training
Introduction to Cement Manufacturing Air separator arrangement for air drying or air cooling Technical C.T.S Training
Introduction to Cement Manufacturing Air separator arrangement for air drying or air cooling Technical C.T.S Training
Introduction to Cement Manufacturing Air separator arrangement for air drying or air cooling Technical C.T.S Training
Introduction to Cement Manufacturing Air separator arrangement for air drying or air cooling Technical C.T.S Training

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  • 4.2.3 Raymond Separators

 

Operation

Material is introduced into the top of the separator and falls on the distribution plate. The material is slung outward into an air stream, created by the fan, and lifted to and through the separation blades.

The double whizzers knock down the coarse particles where they are collected and discharged from the inner cone back to the mill inlet for regrinding.

The finer particles are lifted through the whizzers passing by the selector vanes and collected and discharged from the outer cone to a transport devise.

The selector vanes determine how much air and material is directed through the double whizzer blades. If all the material were to be directed through the whizzer blades there would be too many returns. This means higher production costs. If too little material is directed through the whizzer blades there is not proper segregation and the proper amount passing a 325 mesh screen is not achieved.

The selector vanes can be adjusted and serve the same function as the adjustment plates in a Sturtevant separator.

Since the system is not of the air through type there is no need for a large dust collector. The only air generated is from the transportation system (air gravity conveyor) and thermal displacements.

Water cooling jackets are fixed on the exterior of the outer cone in case the finished product is excessively hot.

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Raymond Double Whizzer Separator Material Flow and Air Sweep Through The Air Separator Fan blade Control
Raymond Double Whizzer Separator
Material Flow and Air Sweep Through The Air Separator
Fan blade
Control
damper
Detector
Selection
Air sweep
Whizzer blades
zone
Separation
Sweep
zone
Guide vanes
Inner cone
Outer cone
Rejects returning to mill

Finish cement

  • 4.2.4 High Efficiency Separators

Principle of Operation

High efficiency separators (HES) are sometimes called CAGE ROTOR separators. One of the most obvious differences between and HES and the older Sturtevant and Raymond separators is that the older machines had internal fans while the HES has no fan and relies on an external fan to supply air for separation and transport of material. With in Lafarge in North America there two types of HES

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presently in service. O-SEPA's are built and sold by Fuller under license from Onoda Cement in Japan. SEPOL's are built and sold by Polysius. Note also that the major difference between the O-Sepa and the Sepol is that air is down-drafted in the Sepol where as it is up-drafted in the O-Sepa. Operational installations are as follows:

O-SEPA:

Bath

FMA, FMB

Richmond

FM1, FM2

Whitehall

FM2

SEPOL:

Alpena

FM19, FM20, FM21

Classification Process

The only moving part within the separator is the cage rotor. The rotor is driven by a variable speed motor controlled from the control room. Clean air enters the volute housing and is forced to travel in a circular path by the shape of the housing. The air encounters the inlet vanes which are arranges in a circle completely around the cage rotor. The air next enters the classification zone which is the space between the inlet vanes and the cage rotor vanes. The air now enters the cage rotor through its vanes. The air then exits through the bottom of the cage rotor in Sepol's; or through the top of the cage rotor in O-Sepa's; and then out of the separator through the exit elbow. Unclassified material enters the separator at the top and falls by gravity to the top of the cage rotor and lands on the distribution table. Since the table is rotating, centrifugal force propels the material outwards and off the rim of the distribution table where it impacts a wear ring and begins to fall into the classification zone.

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O-Sepa Details

Classif ication Zone Feed Cage Rotation Inlet Unif orm Plenum Flow Dist'n Guide Vane Direction
Classif ication Zone
Feed
Cage Rotation
Inlet
Unif orm
Plenum
Flow Dist'n
Guide Vane Direction

At this time, the material encounters the air entering through the inlet vanes and begins to fall through the classification zone in a circular path induced by the air currents. The larger, heavier particles tend to fall through the circular air currents while the smaller lighter particles tend to flow with the air currents into the cage rotor and out of the classifier as finished product. Particles which are marginal in size may enter the cage rotor vanes but may also be rejected if their velocity is not great enough to pass between adjacent vanes without being struck by a vane. One way to visualize this operation is to consider that there is specific amount of time between the passing of one vane and the next vane. If a particle can travel through the rotor vanes in less time than this passing time, it can penetrate the cage and flow out of the separator. If the particle is traveling too slowly, it will be struck by a vane and be rejected.

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Fineness control

Understanding of the previous described classification process leads to an understanding of the manner in which the fineness is controlled. Two methods are available for controlling the fineness:

  • A) By varying the volume of air flowing through the separator, the velocity of the air entering the cage is also varied. As the volume and velocity is increased, the PRODUCT becomes coarser. As the volume and velocity is decreased, the PRODUCT becomes finer.

  • B) By varying the speed of the cage rotor, the blade passing time is varied. As the rotor speed is increased, the PRODUCT becomes finer. As the rotor speed is decreased, the PRODUCT becomes coarser.

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing Fineness control Understanding of the previous described classification process leads to an

Table speed refers also to cage rotor speed. The circulating load for 3300 to 3800 cm 2 /g is in the order of 100 to 200%.

It is readily seen that product fineness control is much easier with the HES than with the older types of separators. In addition, there are no selector blades to change. All fineness control can be done from the control room.

The finer material that leaves the HES in the air stream is considered finished product. This product is carried in the air stream and on to the dust collection system. It is here that the dust laden air entering the collector is cleaned and the finish product is collected and transported via air slides and air lock feeders to the cement pump which pumps it to the storage silos.

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Rejects from the HES are returned back into the system. If the ball mill circuit is equipped with a roller press, the rejects are proportionality divided between the two. Otherwise, all rejects go back to the ball mill to assist in its grinding capability. These rejects are considered the circulating load of the circuit.

ALPENA HES DESIGN DATA

 

FM 19

FM 20,21

Separator horsepower

200

500

Cage rotor diameter (m)

2.0

3.1

Fan HP

300

700

Draft rating (ACFM)

59,000

143,000

Rotor speed range (RPM)

47-280

31-190

Design feed rate (TPH)

165

514

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High Efficiency Separator: Fuller O-SEPA

Breakaway View Fuller/O-SEPA

Fine Product

(to Dust Driv e Shaf t Collector) CW Rotation (looking down) Feed Inlet (1 of 2)
(to Dust
Driv e Shaf t
Collector)
CW Rotation
(looking down)
Feed Inlet
(1 of
2)
Dispersion Plate
(Buf f er Plates
not shown)
Primary Air
Secondary Air
Rotor Cage Assembly
with Swirl Vanes and
Partition Plates
Guide Vanes

Coarse Discharge (Reject)

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing High Efficiency Separator: Fuller O-SEPA Breakaway View Fuller/O-SEPA Fine Product (to Dust

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High Efficiency Separator: O-SEPA Cross Section Motor Reducer Reducer Support Coupling Driv e Support Shaf t
High Efficiency Separator: O-SEPA Cross Section
Motor
Reducer
Reducer Support
Coupling
Driv e Support
Shaf t Assembly
Exit Duct (To Dust
Collector & Fan)
Feed
Air Seal
Buf f er Plate
Dispersion Plate
Guide Vanes
Partition Plate
Swirl Blade
Secondary
Air Intake
Primary
Air Intake
Tertiary Air
Intake &
Damper
Hopper
Flap Gate

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High Efficiency Separator: Polysius SEPOL

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing High Efficiency Separator: Polysius SEPOL Technical C.T.S Training 4 - 19

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High Efficiency Separator: SEPOL Cross Section

Motor Gear unit Coupling Motor Gear distance support piece Feed hopper Distributing Baffle ring plate Air
Motor
Gear unit
Coupling
Motor
Gear distance
support
piece
Feed hopper
Distributing
Baffle ring
plate
Air guide
plate
Guide
Rotor
vane ring
Upper section
of housing
Lower section of
Tailings cone
housing
Flap valve

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Probability of Rejection

(report back to mill)

  • 4.3 Separator Efficiency

Some suppliers and engineers have used concepts of separator efficiency as

related to

%

of

#325 in

the feed which is selected.

oversimplification.

This single figure

is

an

  • 4.3.1 Tromp Curve

In Lafarge, we use a Tromp curve (also called partition or Selectivity or Fractional Recovery Curve) to evaluate the performance of a separator. This is simply a plot of the probability of rejection of a particle versus its size.

A) Perfect Separator

For example for a perfect #325 (45 µm) screen the Tromp or Selectivity or Partition Curve would look as follows;

100% 80% Perfect Screen 60% 40% 20% 1 um 10 um 45 um 100 um
100%
80%
Perfect Screen
60%
40%
20%
1 um
10 um
45 um
100 um

Particle Size (um)

Unfortunately this separator exists only in a process engineer's dreams.

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B) Bypass Now let's assume the screener is lazy and installs a splitter that automatically "bypasses"
B)
Bypass
Now let's assume the screener is lazy and installs a splitter that automatically
"bypasses" 20% of the feed. Instead of screening it he simply throws it in the reject
chute. Now the partition curve will look like this;
100%
80%
Perfect Screen with
Bypass
60%
40%
20%
"Bypass"
1 um
10 um
45 um
100 um
Particle Size (um)
The bypass corresponds to the minimum probability of rejection. In a real separator
it means that a certain percentage of the feed which is of correct size to be selected
is rejected without a good chance to be selected. Generally it is felt that these
smaller particles get caught in the boundary layer or wake of larger ones and
carried directly to the rejects.
Reducing bypass by design (high-efficiency separators) involves increased
retention times, distributing the feed around a large classification zone and low
material to air concentrations in the classification zone to break up the particle cloud
and allow selection of the small sizes.
Reducing bypass in the Sturtevants involves more air through the classification
zone or spreading out the "cloud" so air can get at these small particles and select
them.
C)
Imperfection
Probability of Rejection
(report back to mill)

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On top of this, we discover that the screen is worn in some areas and has build-up on others. So some coarser particles can get through and sometimes particles finer than 45 µm are rejected. Now the partition looks like this;

100% 80% Imperfect Screen with Bypass 60% 40% "Imperfection" d75-d25/2*d50 20% 1 um 10 um 45
100%
80%
Imperfect Screen with
Bypass
60%
40%
"Imperfection"
d75-d25/2*d50
20%
1 um
10 um
45 um
100 um
Probability of Rejection
(report back to mill)

Particle Size (um)

In a real separator the imperfection is likely a result of somewhat uneven flow velocities in the classification zone and also non-uniform feed distribution in that airstream. This means that at some locations due to different velocities a particle may be rejected at one part of the separator and selected at another.

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  • D) Secondary Bypass

Finally this crazy guy throws some of the finest of the selected fines back into the rejects .

The combination of the three "inefficiencies";

• bypass of a portion of the feed stream straight to rejects,

imperfection of the cut, and

• return of a portion of the fines back into the rejects,

creates the classic separator efficiency curve shown below.

100% "Real" Separator 80% Bypass, Imperfection and Bypass in Outer Cone 60% 40% "Fish hook" 20%
100%
"Real" Separator
80%
Bypass, Imperfection
and Bypass in Outer Cone
60%
40%
"Fish hook"
20%
Partition Curv e in the outer cone
1 um
10 um
45 um
100 um
Probability of Rejection
(report back to mill)

Particle Size (um)

In a real separator the outer fines collection cone, or external cyclones in a second generation machine, are simply separators where the 'fines' or smallest particles are 'selected'. This selected product is be re-introduced into the inner cone where much is trapped by the curtain of rejects and carried back to the mill.

Therefore the Tromp curve of the outer cone works in reverse where the rejects are actually going to finish product and the fines are rejected back to the mill.

The three inefficiencies create the classic fishhook curve so often seen.

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  • E) Example Tromp Curves

For Sturtevant separators typically have high bypasses (30 to 60 %). Higher feedrates or circulating loads tend to raise the bypass.

Example Tromp Curve (Sturtevant)

100 7 99.38 6 93.32 5 69.15 4 50.00 By pass = 56% 30.85 3 6.68
100
7
99.38
6
93.32
5
69.15
4
50.00
By pass = 56%
30.85
3
6.68
2
Acuity Limit = 25 um
0.62
1
1
10
100
1000
Particle Size, um, (x)
Probability, P(x)

On the other hand High

Efficiency separators will significantly lower bypass and the imperfection or cut is

slightly better.

Example Tromp Curve (OSEPA)

100 7 99.38 6 5 93.32 69.15 4 50.00 30.85 3 6.68 2 By pass =
100
7
99.38
6
5
93.32
69.15
4
50.00
30.85
3
6.68
2
By pass = 8%
Acuity
Limit = 11 um
1
0.62
1
10
100
1000
Probability, P(x)

Particle Size, um, (x)

Depending on the Qf / Qa ratio used, bypass on H.E.S.'s vary between 6 and 15 %.

Typical Imperfection values are as follows (guidelines only):

High Efficiency

0.40

Raymond

0.45 - 0.60

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Sturtevant

0.60 - 0.70

  • 4.3.2 Rosin- Rammler Number

Within Lafarge, one will encounter the Rosin Rammler number. This term relates to the use of the Rosin-Rammler-Bennett curve. The Rosin-Rammler curve is simply a mathematical formula which can be made to approximate most powder size distributions.

Where as the Tromp curve requires a lot of laborious calculations in order for one to to evaluate the grinding and separation efficiencies, the R.R. calculation produces one value which reflects the efficiency of the whole circuit. In this case one inputs the values for the particle size distribution into the equation. The steeper the size distribution; the higher the R.R. number; the more efficient the grinding circuit is.

For finish cement here are some typical ranges:

0.75 - 0.85

open circuit grinding or very bad separator performance

0.85

-

1.00

bad to mediocre performance for first generation

 

separators (Raymond, Sturtevant) 1.00 - 1.20

good

performance

for

first

or

separators (Humbolt-Wedag)

second generation high efficiency separators

1.10

1.40

-

The figures given above are for cement, raw mix R.R. Nos. are usually lower.

  • 4.4 Mill Circulating Loads

  • 4.4.1 Definition

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A mill's circulating load is the amount material rejected by the separator (material that is too coarse) and is returned back to the mill for regrinding. This flow represents the tonnage rate of material that is "circulating" around inside the circuit. Mathematically, it is the amount of separator rejects expressed as a percentage of the mill's finished production rate.

For example, if the production rate is 90 tph and the rejects rate is 170 tph, then the circulating load is 188.9%. Note that the mill throughput is the sum of fresh feed rate and the rejects flowrate. In our example, it would be 260 tph.

  • 4.4.2 Circulating Load and Production Rates

Production is maximized at a certain circulating load which is a function of:

• product fineness • components in product • mill dimensions • ball charge • linings types • internal designs • separator type and size • separator tuning (airsweeps) • mill ventilation • auxiliary constraints (elevators, dust collection

This best circulating load is unique to each circuit and can only be found by experimentation.

  • A) Circulating Load Below Optimum

In this condition the mass flow rate to the mill is too low.

Therefore the mean

residence time is too long and the material is ground too fine in the mill.

The

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overgrinding means a lot of super fines are giving a high separator feed blaine so the separator is opened up, allowing coarser particles to product and the overall particle size distribution is not as sharp as it should be. Therefore the average particle size is smaller than desired, if #325 is maintained. Therefore production is reduced as the average work being done is higher.

In this condition underfilling of the first, and even the second compartment, is likely so ball wear will be exaggerated. If really low circulating loads are run then the material filling ratio may fall below 0.6 and material breakage rates will decrease.

However, back-spilling is not much of a risk and many mills run in this condition.

  • B) Circulating Load Above Optimum

Here all situations are reversed. In this condition the mass flow rate to the mill is high. Therefore the mean residence time is short and the material is not overground. Therefore, the ball charge is more efficient since the particle sizes are well sized related to the balls.

The separator feed is coarse so the separator is tightened up. However, the feed rate to the separator is now high. Therefore, the bypass increases and a percentage of the finished product is bypassed back to the mill.

In this condition overfilling of the second, and even the first compartment, is likely so breakage rates will be reduced. Eventually either the mill power drops, reducing production dramatically, or the internal transport mechanisms are overwhelmed and the mill back- spills.

However, if you are on manual control and your miller believes that elevator amps equals production the mill probably runs too high a circulating load.

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  • C) High Optimum C.L.

The following will require/allow a higher optimum circ. load; • short L/D • coarser ball charge • 2nd compartment lining with moderate lifting action • higher separator sweep

  • D) Low Optimum C.L.

The following will require/allow a lower optimum circ. load; • long L/D mill • finer ball charge • classifying liners • high efficiency separator • high mill ventilation

  • 4.4.3 L/D Ratio and Circulating Load

The L/D Ratio, or length divided by the diameter, is a fundamental characteristic of the mill. It is used to describe the relative length or shortness of the mill or the individual compartment. The appropriate L/D is selected by the supplier to achieve a certain type of grinding. For example, open circuit mills, (or mills grinding a harder than average clinker), will tend to be very long to ensure size reduction in one pass. Where as closed circuit raw mills will tend to be short, since we generally do not need to produce ultra fines. However it is important to realize that the L/D will influence to a certain extent the optimization range. For example, a high L/D ratio mill will prefer to grind with a low circulating load and attempts to grind with too much circulating load will result in a loss of production. Fig. 1 is a plot of various mills' nominal L/D vs circulating load. As a rule of thumb we can see that raw mills generally have a low L/D, (1.4 - 2.9) and operate with higher circulating loads than do finish mills which have a higher L/D, (2.8 - 3.8).

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Fig.1: Nominal L/D vs Circulating Loads

600 Combined Raw 500 (From Feb/90 Databank Inf o) 400 300 200 100 0 1.0 1.5
600
Combined
Raw
500
(From Feb/90 Databank Inf o)
400
300
200
100
0
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
5.0
L/D Ratio
Circulating Load, %

Recognize that there are many other factors that influence circulating loads such as grindability, ball charge design, blaine/mesh targets, separator designs and whether or not the circuit has been optimized. Due to the variability of these factors, from mill to mill, will results in a wide scatter of data shown above. CAUTION: the plot line represents the average for data gathered and does not represent optimum.

  • 4.4.4 Circulating Load Calculations

Earlier we defined circulating load as the flow of rejects divided by the flow of finish product (or mill fresh feed). However there are a number of ways to calculate circulating load.

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Circulating load can be determined by:

Mass flow (best method if you have an accurate rejects flow meter) Direct weight measurement.

Sieve Analysis (will give a very rough answer)

325

(45

µm)

mesh.

[Using blaines are reported to give better

approximations. factors used].

However some care must be taken regarding correction

Particles Size Distribution (long to get results, more accurate than just a

sieve)

Several sieve sizes Sedigraphs/Lasers Discrete samples Feed rates

(See also section in Circuit Evaluation for how to sample)

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing

Mass flow determination:

Where:

A = Separator Feed R = Separator Rejects F = Separator Fines

F R Circulating Load (C.L.) = x 100
F
R
Circulating Load (C.L.) =
x 100

Sieve analysis determination:

A Separator R F
A
Separator
R
F

The following equations can be written about the separator:

 

A

=

R + F

Aa(x)

=

Rr(x) + Ff(x)

where:

a(x)

= mass % of dimension x in feed

 

r(x) = mass % of dimension x in rejects

f(x)

= mass % of dimension x in fines

Substituting (R + F) for A gives:

(R + F) a(x) = Rr(x) + Ff(x)

R [a(x) - r(x)] = F [f(x) - a(X)]

and circulating load is defined as follows:

R F

*

100

= combining these two equations gives:

C.L.

Circulating load =

a(x) f(x) - - a(x) r(x)

* 100

or

* 100 feed fines - rejects - feed =
* 100
feed fines - rejects - feed
=

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing

Factors affecting circulating load:

Mill dimensions

Ball charge gradation

Size of the feed material

Amount of feed material (fresh and tailings)

Mill ventilation

Type of partition(s)

Linings

Grinding aid

Water spray

Separator efficiency

Mill bypass

Product fineness

Auxiliary constraints

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing

  • 4.5 Qf / Qa Principle

The fact that the separator runs in a circuit means that the parameters of the feed may change. Primarily these are; feedrate and feed fineness, of a secondary nature is the particle size distribution shape and the mix in a multi-component product.

Also there are other parameters which affect the separator performance. Sizing, speed, main fan blade number and position, air ventilation, the number of selectors and the diaphragm position all affect efficiency, as well as typical maintenance issues like; the gap between the selectors and the drum cover and how far the blades extend under the drum.

In reviewing separator performance one over-riding relationship, feed concentration, affects efficiency.

Qf/Qa
Qf/Qa

This ratio neatly ties up the combined effect of; circulating load, system output, separator and fan speed as well as blade position and number and also separator sweep on a high efficiency separator. The Qf/Qa ratio is simply;

Qf/Qa =

kg feed to separator m 3 of air sweep through the classification zone

All air separators are predominantly affected by this ratio.

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing

  • 4.5.1 Bypass and Qf/Qa

The bypass is usually related to Qf/Qa in an exponential way. This is shown below for both an O-Sepa and a Sturtevant.

Qf/Qa vs Bypass - O-Sepa & Sturtevant 80 70 Sturtev ant 60 50 40 30 O-Sepa
Qf/Qa vs Bypass - O-Sepa & Sturtevant
80
70
Sturtev ant
60
50
40
30
O-Sepa
20
10
0
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
Bypass (%)

Qf/Qa (kg feed/m3 separator sweep)

Bath

Sturtev ant

What the above graph shows is that as separator feed is increased bypass also increases provided the amount of separator internal airsweep remains the same. Increasing sweep through the separator with more fan, more speed, more blades or a larger diameter fan should all reduce the bypass. Therefore reducing sweep through closing the diaphragm will reduce efficiency or increase bypass.

In general high efficiency separator operators have the luxury of being able to adjust separator draft as separator feed changes and adjust cage rotor speeds to control blaines and 325 mesh. Sturtevant separator operators do not have this on line ability except for the diaphragm, (valves). They must instead make adjustments to fan and selector blades, during shutdown intervals.

For Sturtevant separators, the general rule

of

thumb for best separator

performance is to find the combination of selector and fan blades that maximizes the number of each type. One or the other will be the limiting factor depending on the cement type being ground. For example, on most Type 1 cements one should be using the full complement of fan blades and adjust the number of selector blades accordingly. However on very high blaine products (7700 cm 2 /g) it could be the

Introduction to Cement Manufacturing

exact opposite. More importantly, if the separator is operated with the valves or diaphragm nearly always closed, one should be adding more selector blades to control fineness. This will increase internal airflow and reduce bypass.

For high efficiency separator operators the idea is similar. One should maximize the fan flow and adjust the cage rotor speed accordingly to maintain fineness.

In both cases the general rule is to strive for the largest amount of internal airflow or the lowest Qf/Qa ratio that still meets product quality constraints. At these settings the separator will likely operate at its best efficiency.