Pilot-plant data for the design of primary autogenous and semi-autogenous mills

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 74, No. 835, 1981

C.A. ROWLAND, Manager, Grinding Process Development, Allis-Chalmers Corporation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Plant owners and operators, plant designers and grinding mill manufacturers are giving much attention to the design and manufacture of autogenous and semi-autogenous grinding mills, particularly the mills that have large diameters and draw power up to 10,000 hp and greater. Reliable designs giving long operating lives are required in today's ore processing plants.This paper reviews bench-scale and pilot-plant testing to determine first if the ore is suitable to be ground by these methods and then reviews the data obtained from pilot-plant testing that is used to select the mills and the grinding circuit. The paper then discusses the use of the pilot-plant results to design the mills. The most important pilot-plant data used for mill design are power and the amount of ball charge to be used. The mill size selected is a combination of these factors. Pilot-plant data not only establish power requirements, but can be used in the selection of the type of drive, variable speed or fixed speed, and the operating procedure to be followed. This leads into the mill control circuit to be used. The total charge in the mill, the type of drive and mill discharge arrangements are needed in the calculation of stresses and bearing loads. Conclusions reached from pilot-plant work are used to obtain data for process design, and autogenous and semi-autogenous mill design should be part of any test program incorporating either or both of these grinding methods.
Keywords: Equipment, Maintenance, Comminution, Grinding, Milling, Autogenous grinding, Power data, Ball mills, Rod mills.