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A new model for the degree of entrainment in froth flotation based on mineral particle characteristics

Yang, Bin, Yin, Wanzhong, Zhu, Zhanglei, Wang, Donghui, Han, Huili, Fu, Yafeng, Sun, Haoran, Chu, Fudong, Yao, Jin
Powder technology 2019 v.354 pp. 358-368
calcium silicate, hematite, image analysis, models, particle size, powders, prediction
It is well known that the particle shape, in addition to the particle size and density, also significantly affects the entrainment behavior of gangue minerals. There is, however, no model for the degree of entrainment related to the particle shape in a froth flotation. In this study, the mineral particle shapes are quantified using three-dimensional shape factors through a MATLAB-based image analysis technology and the entrainment tests were carried out using albite, hematite and wollastonite. The results suggest that the entrained mineral recovery is linearly related to the water recovery and there are significant differences in the degrees of entrainment for minerals with different particle shapes. It is a consequence of the differences in the settling velocities, since the settling velocities have a dominant role in entrainment. The particle shape is also considered to be a vital factor affecting the settling velocities of entrained-mineral particles in addition to the particle size and density. Thus, a new model related to the particle shape for the degree of entrainment was first proposed based on the settling velocity. Compared with the other models for the degree of entrainment, this model is more suitable for predicting the degrees of entrainment of gangue minerals with different particle characteristics, specifically different particle shapes.