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Coarse and fine “fish hook” inflections in hydrocyclone efficiency curves

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2013, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 137-144

Eisele, T.C.; Jeltema, C.H.N.; Walqui, H.; Kawatra, S.K.


The literature contains many cases where the shape of hydrocyclone efficiency curves vary from the ideal “S” shape. These often appear as changes in slope, or inflections. These inflections can be divided into two categories: “coarse” inflections, which are caused by differences in the density of the minerals being separated, and “fine” inflections, for which there are a number of competing hypotheses concerning their cause. The existing literature addresses either the fine inflection or the coarse inflection, but no studies have reported both types of inflection occurring at once in a single hydrocyclone test. This paper presents hydrocyclone results from both in-plant studies and laboratory experiments that show both coarse and fine inflections. The industrial significance of both types of inflections is discussed.