The floatability component method is a useful technique for modelling flotation. A floatability component is a mathematically grouped set of particles that display a similar flotation rate, but otherwise do not necessarily possess common physical characteristics. This means that it is currently not possible to determine floatability components from physical properties of the feed stream prior to flotation. The current study aimed to assign physical significance to floatability component model parameters to assist linking comminution, classification and flotation models.
Floatability component model parameters (flotation rates and corresponding mass fractions) for galena in the feed stream to a 40-L continuous flotation cell were determined concurrently with the measurement of a property-based size-by-liberation floatability distribution. Two floating and one non-floating components were derived and visually compared to the floatability distribution. It was found that the derived components provided an adequate approximation of the shape of the distribution. From this comparison, size-by-liberation particle classes were designated fast, slow or non-floating, thus determining the physical attributes of particles within the floatability components.