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MEI Online: Gravity Concentration: Latest News: April 4th 2007


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:: New Innovation in Dense Media Cyclones Technology

Multotec Process Equipment, a global leader in the design and application of dense media cyclones, is poised to launch a new improved design specifically aimed at the coal sector. Developed in conjunction with a major university, this dense media cyclone has higher spigot or apex capacities.

Johan Engelbrecht, managing director of Multotec Process Equipment, says the increased coal price has resulted in the retreatment of dumps and lower-grade deposits, and this has necessitated a different design in cyclone. Traditionally, cyclones were controlled by the quantity of sinks or rejects that could be handled when treating these lower yield feeds.

“This latest innovation will help maintain our position as a global leader in technological development," Engelbrecht says. “As a company that is actively involved in research and development, we have been exposed to varying and difficult coal types in South Africa, which has led to cyclone designs with improved efficiencies."

Some of the specially adapted features on Multotec dense media cyclones include longer barrel sections where misplaced materials are reduced by as much as 30%. “In terms of bottom-line savings and the impact on profitability, this is a substantial benefit for most mines," Engelbrecht says.

“However, in order to exploit the advantages of the longer barrels fully, the design of the total system must be taken into account as well. This includes density control with the distribution system involved as well as the properties of the magnetite media," he continues.

With the introduction of large-diameter cyclones, larger top-size particles could be treated, with a consequent impact on the wear rate. Construction materials have also paralleled developments in process technology.

“At present the move is away from the traditional Ni-Hard and high-chrome cast iron materials to the more exotic ceramics such as alumina and silicon carbide. The current preference in the industry for lining a cyclone is to use 25-mm-thick high-alumina ceramic engineered tiles due to the cost-effectiveness.

“It is important that these tiles are engineered properly, as their wear life is only as good as the joints. Therefore the actual manufacture of these tiles, and their installation, are critical factors in maximising wear life," Engelbrecht says. Practical operations have shown that properly engineered and installed tiles can provide up to double the life of hand-cut standard tiles.

“Multotec has been fortunate in having a large local base of heavy media applications. This involves processing of diamond ores, iron ores, manganese ores and andalusite ores, as well as some chromite ores, through dense media cyclones. The need for very high cut densities in the range of four necessitated our involvement in the whole circuit, especially densification, where we have developed a couple of solutions in terms of densification and cleaning of the media," Engelbrecht says.

Another recent development is a unique high-intensity magnetic drum separator, which not only improves the densities attainable in densification, but also minimises the losses of the expensive ferrosilicon. This is in line with Multotec’s mission statement to get involved in the entire process so as to give the customer the added benefit of our full spectrum of process knowledge.




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