High pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) have been used for more than 20 years to grind iron ore pellet feed. Besides coarse comminution (crushing), where HPGR are installed upstream of the ball mill, there are numerous flow sheets where HPGR are used after ball milling and dewatering for re- or finish grinding.
There is a clear growing interest in grinding of pellet feed with HPGR during the last few years. In addition to their known advantages of low specific energy consumption, high availability, low steel consumption and improved pelletising processes the lower environmental load (reduced or no water consumption) became a strong driving factor for the application of HPGR in pellet feed grinding.
This growing demand increases the interest in better understanding of the HPGR grinding process with fine iron ore concentrates. One of the most important process parameters is the moisture content of the feed material which influences the performance of the HPGR enormously. The HPGR can react to fluctuations of the fresh feed properties to a certain degree by adjusting grinding force and roller speed. Nevertheless, there are limitations by the physics of the compression process and the capability of water absorption by the concentrate. The capability varies for different concentrates and different specific surface areas. This fact has to be considered during engineering of the beneficiation plant.
The paper focuses on the influence of feed moisture content on the HPGR performance in view of throughput, increase of Blaine number and process stability on the basis of numerous pilot plant tests, modelling results and industrial experiences.
Heinicke, F, Günter, H and Hunger, P, 2017. Influence of feed moisture on high pressure grinding roll pellet feed grinding, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 187–194 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).