Sedimentation testing has traditionally been done manually and is prone to human error. Accurate, reliable data can now be achieved through a new technology for measuring the sedimentation and separation efficiency curves of mineral process streams.
Accurately measuring sedimentation in settler tanks
One key bottleneck in mineral processing plants is the efficiency of the sedimentation process (solid-liquid separation).
Measuring the sedimentation rate is important for operating plants. For example, the information is used to optimise their reagent use and assist with investment decisions on infrastructure development.
However, current tests are conducted manually by personnel, which is both time-consuming and prone to interpretation errors. Accurate data is needed to inform better decision making.
A digitally-enabled tool for measuring sedimentation and separation curves
We have developed a portable device for measuring and generating sedimentation and separation curves, called WI-SED.
Once samples are collected from process streams such as settler tanks and gravity thickeners, WI-SED automatically records the sedimentation curves by tracking the mud line of liquid slurry.
WI-SED is Wi-Fi enabled to send minerals processing plant operators repeatable and accurate results via their computer or smartphone. It overcomes human interpretation errors and reduces reliance on personnel to make repeated measurements, which saves companies time while producing more robust datasets.
Numerous tests can also be performed within a shorter time period, allowing greater data to be collected.
Greater efficiencies with accurate, robust measurement data
WI-SED saves time and costs by eliminating the need for operators to monitor settling tests and undertake specialist training.
Greater, more robust data means that operators can optimise their processes to achieve higher throughput rates with substantial associated cost benefits.