The principal objective of this work was to develop a thermal imaging technique to measure the radiant heat coming from rock particles during or immediately after crushing, with the purpose of minimising energy losses while maintaining the efficiency of rock crushing. The main goal of the work was energy optimization of crushing in High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGR). We were able to perform reproducible measurements of the temperature increase that occurs during transient events such as dynamic rock breakage and HPGR crushing. Results obtained show that with an increase of energy introduced, there is an increase in the maximum temperature along the fractured surface as well as increases in the overall amount of thermal energy.
Results obtained during HPGR testing clearly indicate that there is an optimum intensity of pressure to which rock needs to be exposed. Any further increase in pressure, results in only a marginal increase in fragmentation and a significant increase in unproductive heating of rock. We were also concerned about the effect of the size of particles coming into the HPGR. The fraction of new fine material (fines) produced during HPGR crushing is much higher in the case of feed with a narrow size distribution, i.e. without pre-existing fines. Significantly, improved performance is achieved with a reduced amount of net comminution energy.