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MEI Online: Gravity Concentration: Latest News: April 8th 2004


:: New Cyclone Test Rig for Research and Development

Multotec Process Equipment has erected a state-of-the-art cyclone test rig in Spartan, Kempton Park, according to Pieter Neveling, product manager responsible for the project.

Commenting on the rationale behind the test rig, Neveling says that it will facilitate research resulting in a better understanding of the complex separation processes occurring in cyclones. The test rig was completed in September 2003 and commissioned during October. The project was partly funded by a Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) grant from the Industrial Development Corporation. The pilot plant will enable Multotec Process Equipment to advance the technological development of products for the local and the international market.

The height of the new test rig is equivalent to a three-storey building. It has a structural mass of approximately six tonnes supported by a reinforced concrete foundation. The facility can be used for both dense medium and classification cyclones. The device to mount cyclones, located on the second floor of the structure, has the capability to have classification cyclones installed either vertically or inclined. This feature makes this test rig unique.

The test rig was designed to accommodate cyclones with a diameter of up to 350 mm. The static pressure head located on the third floor was primarily designed to provide an accurate constant pressure head of between 4D and 15D for a 250 mm diameter cyclones. Cyclones installed in the test rig can either be fed from the pump on the ground level or from the static pressure head arrangement.

The feed pressure to an installed cyclone is indicated on a pressure gauge installed at the cyclone inlet. The test rig has the ability to handle feed with a relative density of up to 3.2. Both the overflow and underflow streams from the respective collection tanks are directed onto a sub-divided sieve bend for media recovery and sample reclaiming. Reclaiming baskets fitted to the bottom of the sieve bends can be used to recover tracers introduced for specific trials.

The test rig is equipped with instrumentation to measure and monitor the operational parameters. Samplers capable of cutting right across the flow of streams, producing unbiased representative samples, have been installed before the overflow and underflow collection tanks. Flow in the system is measured by employing a technique based on volumetric measurements.

The facility allows developers to experiment with a wide range of operational parameters. Alterations to the dimensional characteristics of cyclones and the introduction of novel designs can be investigated.



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