Influence of Agitator Shape on Characteristics and Grinding Efficiency of Attritor Mill
Chenzuo Ye*1, Yutaro Takaya*2,*3, Yuki Tsunazawa*2,*4, Kazuhiro Mochidzuki*2,*5, and Chiharu Tokoro*2,*3,
*1Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University
3-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan
*2Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
*3Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
*4Geological Survey of Japan (GSJ), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan
*5Retoca Laboratory LLC, Funabashi, Japan
Grinding is a unit of operation of a pure mechanical process. An attritor is a grinder able to be used for fine or selective grinding. However, few studies have reported on the optimum design for the attritor. The attritor’s grinding characteristics and grinding effect depend not only on the operating conditions, but also on the geometry of the agitator. Therefore, we investigated the effect of the agitator shape on the grinding efficiency from the viewpoint of experiments, kinetic analysis, and discrete element method (DEM) simulations. We conducted grinding experiments with two different agitators. One was Agitator A, a traditional design with two pairs of 90° staggered mixing arms at the middle and bottom of the mixing shaft. The other was Agitator B, with a lower mixing arm inclined by 10° along the horizontal direction. We found that the grinding rate constant of Agitator B was approximately 40% greater than that of Agitator A. Although the size distribution of the particles was relatively dispersed after grinding with Agitator B, the distribution was concentrated mainly within two ranges (<0.5 mm and 2–4 mm) with Agitator A. These results and an elemental analysis of each size fraction suggested that the dominating grinding mode in Agitator A was surface grinding, whereas in Agitator B, it was bulk grinding. In terms of the influence of the agitator shape, the DEM simulation results showed that the kinetic energy of the grinding media in Agitator B was 0.0046 J/s, i.e., larger than the 0.0035 J/s obtained for Agitator A. A collision energy analysis showed that the dominating collision was between the media and wall in the tangential direction for both models. The collision energy of the media in Agitator B was larger than that of that in Agitator A. The results from the DEM simulation can help us evaluate the experimental results and infer the reasons why the grinding rate constant in Agitator B is larger than that in Agitator A.
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