Novel Technology Provides for on-Line Measurement of Particle Size in Individual Cyclones

Additonal authors: Poplawski, J.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Cirulis, D.

In mineral processing plants, cyclones typically perform the classification duty prior to the downstream recovery process. Particle size distribution of the cyclone overflow is an important parameter and can be viewed as the product of the comminution process. Too coarse of a product will likely have poorly liberated valuable minerals and make recovery difficult. Too fine of a product may represent a missed opportunity to increase plant throughput and/or also result in low recovery due to poor kinetics. “Near-line” particle size measurement instrumentation has been in place for several decades, its availability and low measurement frequency have typically been inadequate for reliable use in automatic control. CiDRA Minerals Processing has developed a novel and robust technology that provides a highly reliable and low maintenance system for “on-line” measurement of the particle size in the overflow of individual cyclones. The system is based around a wetted sensor design with no moving parts and provides a real-time trend of the desired target grind size parameter. The system does not require sampling and associated sample transfer piping that is prone to plugging, thus avoiding high maintenance requirements. Plant data and benefits realized from the latest installations of the CYCLONEtrac PST will be presented. INTRODUCTION Impact-based real-time hydrocyclone particle size measurement Acoustic impact-based particle size tracking is a unique method for measuring and controlling the particle size in cyclone overflow streams. The implementation of this technology is centered upon a sensor probe that is inserted into the overflow slurry stream via a two-inch (50 mm) hole in the overflow pipe (Figure 1). Particles within the slurry stream impact the surface of the probe generating travelling stress waves within the probe. A sensor converts these travelling stress waves into an electrical signal and proprietary signal processing techniques convert these signals into a particle size measurement that is output every four seconds. The sensor is constantly in contact with many particles in the slurry stream, thus obtaining information from orders of magnitude more particles than traditional sample-based technologies. The sensor has no impact on cyclone performance because it is located downstream of the hydrocyclone and the presence of an air core ensures there is no change in the back pressure seen by the hydrocyclone.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019