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An analysis of the influence of grinding aids on the breakage process of calcite in media mills

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The effectiveness of calcium stearate, boric acid, and silica as additives for the fine grinding of calcite in media mills, i.e. ball, rod, and vibration mills, were explored, by following the size distribution of the ground product collected at various time intervals from 15 s of grinding up to 30 min, using a single size feed. While calcium stearate could achieve a modified grinding rate factor of 1.5 in the ball mill and had indicated an optimum concentration for maximum performance, both boric acid and silica remained inert materials without indicating any influence. It was also found that the presence of calcium stearate during the initial stages of grinding introduced a retardation effect on the grinding process, with the product being coarser in comparison with the blank sample. To overcome this retardation effect for the breakage process induced by the additive, it was found preferable to delay the introduction of the additive by around 5 min. Analysis of the breakage process was carried out by estimating the breakage parameters using the G-H solution for the size-discretized batch grinding equation. It was found that while the additive reduced the breakage rates of coarser size fractions during the retardation period, it helped to significantly increase the breakage rates of finer particles during the finer stages of grinding. The higher breakage rates at finer stages of grinding and the reduced agglomeration observed during this period indicate the acceptability of the alterations in the flow behavior of the mill charge as the possible mechanism for the additive in media milling.

Affiliations: 1: Powder Technology Division, Microfines, 72 Pondy Bazaar, T. Nagar, Madras 600 017, India; 2: Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras 600 036, India


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