Thickener feedwell gets scrutinised

Outotec has approached a team of CSIRO researchers, working through the Parker Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions, for an independent analysis of their patented new feedwell design.

Outotec has approached a team of CSIRO researchers, working through the Parker Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions, for an independent analysis of their patented new feedwell design.

Outotec director Richard Triglavcanin drew upon the researchers’ expertise in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to see how solids distribute, fluid flows, and flocculants perform in its new feedwell design.

CSIRO’s Dr Alex Heath, who worked closely with Triglavcanin, said CFD models were used to generate a ‘virtual image’ inside the feedwell, which allowed researchers to investigate adaptations quickly and cost effectively.

After simulating Outotec’s feedwell design, some subtle geometry changes were made to achieve the final design.

“What ensued, I believe, is the first real feedwell design enhancement in 15 years,” Triglavcanin said.

Design improvements include extending the feedwell shelf to increase solids residence time, adding a fourth dilution port to improve flocculation, and using horizontal but angled vanes to create two feed zones within the feedwell, the upper for mixing and momentum dissipation and the lower for maximising aggregate growth.

Marina Johnson

CSIRO Minerals

03 9545 8746

marina.johnson@csiro.au

www.csiro.au

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