A comparative analysis of steel and alumina balls in fine milling of cement clinker via PBM and DEM

Nontawat Muanpaopong, Rajesh Davé, Ecevit Bilgili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explored the breakage kinetics of cement clinker in a lab-scale ball mill loaded with steel or alumina balls of 20, 30, and 40 mm sizes and their mixtures. The temporal evolution of the particle size distribution (PSD) was measured by sieving and laser diffraction. A global optimizer-based back-calculation method, based on a population balance model (PBM), was developed to estimate the breakage parameters. The ball motion in the mill was simulated via discrete element method (DEM). Our results show that steel balls achieved faster breakage of clinker into finer particles than alumina balls, which was explained by the higher total–mean energy dissipation rates of the steel balls. The PSD became finer as smaller balls were used. This study suggests that replacement of steel balls with alumina balls in continuous ball mills could provide significant energy savings if one accounts for the slower breakage with the alumina balls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118454
JournalPowder Technology
Volume421
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering

Keywords

  • Back-calculation
  • Cement clinker
  • Discrete element method
  • Dry ball mill
  • Global optimization
  • Population balance model

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