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Validation of tumbling mill charge-induced torque as predicted by simulations

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2013, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 220-225

Jonsen, P.; Stener, J.F.; Palsson, B.I.; Haggblad, H.-A.


Understanding mill charge motion is important. In the charge, the center of gravity is shifted from the rotational center of the mill system, and its motion is induced by rotation of the mill. At the same time, the charge creates a torque in the mill system. Breakage of ore particles and wear of liners/ball media are closely linked to this motion. To study these phenomena in a physically correct manner, numerical models for different parts of the mill system are needed. Validations of such models are scarce, because of the difficulty of measuring inside a tumbling mill. Experimental measurements in a lab mill were done for a number of load cases: varying feed material, mill filling, mill speed and pulp liquid. The mill is set up to measure the charge-induced torque. The accuracy is good, with relative uncertainty less than ± 2% for relevant load cases. A full three-dimensional numerical model of the whole mill is used to predict induced torque. Agreement between predicted and measured torque at steady-state is good. In addition, the model can accurately predict the mill startup behavior for torque and mill power. This proves that the model is physically correct, and can be used for modeling large-scale mills.