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M/nera/J Eng/neer/ng, Vol. 5, No . 2, pp. 205- 221, 1992 0892-6875/92 $5. 00 + 0.

00
Printed in Great Britain Pergamon Press pie
PARTICLE TRANSPORT IN GRAVITY CONCENTRATORS
AND THE BAGNOLD EFFECT
P.N. HOLTHAM
Centre for Minerals Engineering, University of New South Wales,
P.O. Box 1, Kensington, NSW 2033, Australia
(Received 4 July !991; accepted 5 August 1991)
ABSTRACT
The literature in a number of disciplines concerned with particle transport by
water streams has been reviewed, from which it is clear that a better
understanding of such transport exists than is reflected in the gravity
concentration literature, which uses as a basis the 1939 analysis o/Gaudin. The
review highlights the importance o/ t he work of Bagnold on particle-particle
interactions in sheared flows, which has been widely cited in the gravity
concentration literature. There appears however to have been no evaluation of
the Bagnold flow regime for any gravity concentration device. The experimental
evaluation of the/low regime on two different spirals represents a preliminary
attempt at remedying this situation.
Keywords
Gravity Concentration; Particle Transport; Bagnold Force, Spiral Concentrators
INTRODUCTION
Gravity concentration devices such as the spiral, pinched sluice and Rei chert cone can be
regarded as sediment transport systems in which particles are sorted according to their
density (and size) as they pass through the device. In nature, rivers perform the same
functions of transportation and sorting on a much larger scale, and t he mechanics of
sediment transport by natural streams has been an important research topic for many years
in the disciplines of sedi ment ary geology, civil engineering and fluid mechanics. This has
led to t he development of a very extensive literature, some of whi ch is relevant to the
understanding of gravity concentration processes, and this is reviewed below.
Three important differences between natural streams and gravity concentration devices
should however be noted at the outset. Firstly, rivers and streams transport sediment over
loose rough beds of similar material, with sediment being picked up (er oded)and deposited
depending on the local hydrodynamic conditions. Gravity concentration devices on the
other hand have fixed, generally smooth beds, and treat approximately constant flow rates
of solids and water, with deposition of the solids and erosion (or wear of the bed) being
undesirable. Secondly, rivers have a very shallow slope and the down slope component of
the particle immersed weight can be neglected, this is not the case with units such as the
spiral for example. Thirdly, the depth of flow in gravity concentration devices is generally
very much less than in rivers, hence it is di ffi cult in such devices to sample, or take
measurements over the flow depth.
2 0 5
206 P. N. HOLTHAM
PARTICLE TRANSPORT BY FLUIDS
Singl e Particl e Motion
In his classic 1939 t ext book Gaudi n [1, p281 ] analysed t he forces act i ng on a single part i cle
rolli ng or sli di ng i n a t wo di mensi onal lami nar fi lm along a smoot h bed, and t he st udy of
part i cle t ransport by flui ds i n t he gravi t y concent r at i on li t erat ure does not appear to have
advanced much beyond this point.
In pract i ce, t he mot i on of particles bei ng t ransport ed by flui ds is consi derably more
complex t han descr i bed by ~Gaudin's analysi s, Exper i ment ally, t he st udy of sedi ment
t ransport is di ffi cult ; it is impossible to follow t he mot i on of a single par t i cle wi t hi n a
movi ng t hr ee di mensi onal di spersi on of ot her particles except at ver y low part i cle
concent rat i ons. Franci s [2] used a mult i - expos ur e phot ogr aphy t echni que to follow t he
mot i on of a single part i cle over a fi xed r ough bed, acknowledgi ng t hat this approach
i gnor ed t he effect s of part i cle concent rat i on. Franci s di vi ded t he part i cle mot i on i nt o t hree
modes:
I. rolli ng or sli di ng, i n whi ch t he part i cle always mai nt ai ned cont act wi t h t he bed
(analysed by Gaudi n [1 ]);
. saltation, i n whi ch t he part i cle made j umps up i nt o t he flui d followi ng a ballistic
t r aj ect or y befor e once agai n comi ng i nt o cont act wi t h t he bed;
.
suspensi on, i n whi ch t he part i cle made longer and hi gher t raject ori es whi ch di ffer ed
fr om those of saltation i n that t he upper parts appear ed wavy due to support fr om
t ur bulent eddies;
wi t h t he mode adopt ed by t he part i cle bei ng established by t he t ransport stage:
t ransport stage ffi u* / u* o
(1)
wher e u* (defi ned as ~/(f/p)), wi t h r t he bed shear stress and p t he flui d densi t y) is t he
shear veloci t y of t he observat i on, and u* 0 is t he cri t i cal shear veloci t y for t he i ni t i at i on of
mot i on i f t he part i cle forms part of a co- planar fully mobi le bed. The value of u* 0 was
det er mi ned fr om Shields' cr i t er i on (Yalin, [3] pg0). By t he si mple expedi ent of i ncreasi ng
t he flui d viscosity, Franci s demonst r at ed t hat saltation persisted i n lami nar flow, hence this
mode of part i cle mot i on cannot be at t r i but ed to flui d t ur bulence.
The wor k of Franci s was later ext ended by Abbot t and Franci s [4], who pr ovi ded
quant i t at i ve dat a on t he relat i onshi p bet ween mode and t ransport stage. It was found mor e
appropri at e to use u* 1 i nst ead o f u*9 i n t he defi ni t i on of t ransport stage, u* 1 bei ng defi ned
as t he cri t i cal shear veloci t y for t he i ni t i at i on of part i cle movement when t he particles wer e
placed on top of a fi xed bed - this wi ll also be a mor e realistic cr i t er i on i n t he case of a
gravi t y concent r at i on devi ce, alt hough still li kely to be an overest i mat e. Obvi ously, u* 1 <
u* 0. The mean for war d gr ai n speed was shown to be li nearly dependent on u* for a
part i cular st ream dept h over a range of t ransport stages fr om 0.75 to 3.05. (Mot i on at a
t ransport stage less t han 1.0 was due to t he observed part i cle pr ot r udi ng above t he
sur r oundi ng bed). At t he l o we r e n d t he part i cle was r ol l i ng90 - 100% of t he t i me, at t he
hi gher end of t he range t he part i cle was i n suspension almost 95% of t he t i me. Fi gur e 1 is
r edr awn fr om [4] and implies t hat particles of di ffer ent densi t y can be ' t ransport ' sorted
i n a down st ream di r ect i on i n t he manner summari sed by Ga udi n [1, p280] and subsequent
gravi t y concent r at i on texts, and as suggested by Sli ngerland [5] i n his exami nat i on of nat ural
gravi t y concent rat i on.
The t ransport of a single part i cle by t ur bulent flow along t he bot t om of an open channel
was also i nvest i gat ed phot ographi cally by Sumer & Oguz [6] (for t he smoot h bot t om case)
and Sumer & Dei gaard [7] (for t he r ough bot t om case). The part i cle li ft off and subsequent
mode 3 t ype mot i on, as well as t he mode 3 mot i on observed by Abbot t & Franci s [4] bei ng
Particle transport in gravity concentrators 207
r elat ed to t he burst t heor y for t he st r uct ur e of t ur bulence i n boundar y layers (Oft en &
Kli ne [8]).
,60] i
Parucie
140 Density
-] + 1" 21 ~ f " ~ / " I
4 1"541 . , / / , / t I
> 1001 * 1"761 ~ / f I
.~ 80" ] x 2.601 A ~ " ~ r' ,e / t " I
6o
20
0
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Shear Velocity u* (an/ s )
Transport Sorting of Di ffer ent Densi t y Particles
(aft er Abbot t and Franci s [4])
Fig.1
Hi g h Co n ce n tr a ti o n s o f Pa r ti cl e s
The observat i on of single part i cle mot i on i n ei t her lami nar or t ur bulent flow is too
simplistic. For t he case wher e part i cle concent rat i ons are hi gh, Leeder [9] modi fi ed and
added to Franci s' ori gi nal modes:
I.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
rolli ng (as before);
uni nt er r upt ed saltation (t he saltation of Francis);
uni nt er r upt ed part ly suspensive saltation i n whi ch t he nor mal ballistic saltation
t r aj ect or y is modi fi ed by t he effect of flui d t ur bulence (t he suspensi on of Francis);
i nt er r upt ed part ly suspensive saltation, as 3 above, but wi t h t he addi t i on of upwar d
accelerat i on due to i nt er -par t i cle collision;
i nt er r upt ed suspension, i n whi ch t he part i cle is mai nt ai ned i n suspensi on by bot h
flui d t ur bulence and i nt er -par t i cle collisions;
uni nt er r upt ed suspension, i n whi ch t her e is t r ue suspensi on of t he part i cle by flui d
t urbulence;
These modes are i llust rat ed i n Fi gur e 2. In sedi ment t ransport nomenclat ur e, t he di vi si on
of part i cle t ransport bet ween suspended load and bed load can now be defi ned i n t erms of
whet her t he part i cles are oper at ed on by flui d moment um t r ansfer alone or a combi nat i on
of solid and flui d moment um t ransfer.
Suspended load can be defi ned as those particles held i n t r ue suspensi on agai nst gravi t y by
r andom eddy cur r ent s of t ur bulence havi ng veloci t y component s nor mal to t he bed great er
t han t he t er mi nal settling veloci t y of t he part i cles relat i ve to t he flui d s ur r oundi ng t hem,
i.e part i cles i n mode 6 only. The part i cles may r emai n out of cont act wi t h t he bed
i ndefi ni t ely, dependi ng on t he nat ur e of t he t ur bulence. Modes 1 to 5 are all modes of bed
load t ransport .
I n a gr avi t y concent r at i on devi ce, wher e a load of het er ogeneous part i cles (i n t erms of bot h
size and densi t y) is bei ng t ransport ed, all six modes can co-exi st . The part i cles wi ll have
208 P.N. HOLTHAM
di ffer ent values of cri t i cal shear veloci t y u*0, but t he shear veloci t y u* at a part i cular poi nt
wi ll be common to all part i cles, result i ng i n di ffer ent t ransport stages for di ffer ent particles.
Thus large dense part i cles may be i n t he rolli ng or saltation modes, whi le small less dense
particles are i n t he t r ue suspension mode.
1. Roiling 2. Uninterrupted Saltation
3. Uninterrupted, Partly
Suspensive Saltation
4. Intm'rupted, Partly
Suspensive Saltation
5. Interrupted Suspension
collision events
6. Uninterrupted
Suspension
Fig.2 Part i cle Transport Modes (aft er Leeder [9])
With r egar d to modes 3 to 6, and t he effect of t ur bulence on part i cle t ransport , it has been
observed t hat t ur bulence is suppressed by hi gh concent rat i ons of part i cles (Bagnold [10]).
This phenomenon is di scussed i n more det ai l by Het sroni [11], whose t heoret i cal analysis
suggests t hat part i cles wi t h low part i cle Reym~lds number s (based on r elat i ve veloci t y and
size) ,tend to suppress t ur bulence, whi le t he presence of part i cles wi t h Reynolds number s
great er t han about 400 t end to enhance t ur bulence. More exper i ment al dat a is r equi r ed to
fully quant i fy t he effect .
Limiting Stage of Unsuspended Transport
Of i nt er est i n gravi t y concent r at i on processes is t he li mi t i ng stage for unsuspended part i cle
t ransport . Particles mai nt ai ned ent i r ely i n suspension may not be fully subj ect ed to t he
sort i ng process and wi ll t end to follow t he st ream i n whi ch t ur bulence is greatest. Bagnold
[12] developed a t heoret i cal cr i t er i on f o r establishing t he onset of suspended t ransport ,
showi ng t hat a part i cle should become liable to suspensi on at a t ransport stage of
appr oxi mat ely 0.8vt /u*0, wher e v t is t he part i cle t ermi nal veloci t y i n wat er. Fi gur e 3
(r edr awn fr om [ 12])' with u* 0 agai n calculat ed fr om Shields' cr i t er i on, shows t hat for cluartz
part i cles great er t han about 700 #m di amet er , vt / u* 0 has an appr oxi mat ely const ant value
of 4.5, and hence such part i cles could be expect ed to become suspended at a t ransport stage
of about 3.6, a value si mi lar to t hat found exper i ment ally by. Franci s [2]. It can also be seen
t hat t he rat i o vt / u* 0 decreases rapi dly as t he par t i cle size decreases, unt i l for quart z particles
fi ner t han 100 # m some suspensi on should occur a t t he t hreshold of bed movement .
Applyi ng Bagnold' s suspensi on cr i t er i on to gravi t y concent r at i on devi ces suggests t hat mi nus
100#m quart z particles will be t r ans por t ed ent i r ely i n mode 6, t ur bulent suspension.
However , as also not ed previ ously, t ur bulence is consi derably dampened by t he presence of
solids, result i ng i n t he onset o f t ur bulence bei ng delayed unt i l a much hi gher t ransport stage
is reached.
Particle transport in gravity concentrators 209
10
i . . . . . . . . . . .
Particle Density[
2.65
o 1. 5
.1
.01
Fig.3
. . . . . . . . | . . . . . . . . | . . . . . . . . m . . . . . . . .
.1 1 1 0 I 0 0
P a r t i c l e S i z e ( n u n )
B a g n o l d ' s S u s p e n s i o n C r i t e r i o n ( a f t e r B a g n o l d [ 1 2 ] )
The Bagnold Effect
Tr anspor t modes 4 and 5 descr i bed above occur wi t h hi gh part i cle concent rat i ons and t he
r heology of suspensions of large solid particles i n flui ds at hi gh shear rates is of i nt erest to
many ot her di sci pli nes, as well as mi ner al processing. Where part i cle concent rat i ons are hi gh
(such as i n all pract i cal gravi t y concent r at i on devi ces) t her e is a si gni fi cant i ncrease i n t he
shear resi st ance of t he part i culat e f l ui d and consi derable di st ort i on of t he veloci t y
di st ri but i ons compar ed wi t h those of t he flui d phase alone.
Some of t he earli est exper i ment s deali ng wi t h this t ype of flow wer e car r i ed out by Bagnold
[10] who, mot i vat ed by an i nt erest i n t he physics of sedi ment t ransport i n r i ver beds,
measur ed t he shear and nor mal stresses developed over a range of shear rates when neut r ally
buoyant wax spheres suspended i n wat er wer e sheared i n a coaxi al- cyli nder Couet t e flow
apparat us. Dependi ng on t he value of a dimensionless shear rat e gr oup B, t he Bagnold
number , analogous to Reynolds' number , Bagnold defi ned t wo li mi t i ng flow regi mes, t he
macrovi scous (B _< 40) and t he par t i cle-i ner t i a (B >_ 450) separat ed by a t ransi t i on regi on (40
< B < 450), wher e B is gi ven by:
B = ( a A - S D a / / ~ ) ( d u / d z ) (2)
and du/ dz is t he mean shear rat e, a t he part i cle densi t y, D is t he part i cle di amet er , # t he
flui d viscosity and A, t he li near concent r at i on, is t he ratio of t he part i cle di amet er to t he
mean fr ee separat i on di st ance bet ween particles. As a funct i on of t he volume concent r at i on,
C, A is gi ven by:
A = l/((C*/C)l/3-1) (3)
wher e C* is t he maxi mum possible part i cle concent rat i on. Mor e r ecent wor k (Savage and
McKeown, [13]) suggests t hat t he values of B defi ni ng t he boundari es of t he di ffer ent
regi mes may di ffer fr om those gi ven by Bagnold [10].
In t he macrovi scous regi me, stresses are t r ansmi t t ed by i nt erst i t i al flui d fr i ct i on and are
t her efor e dependent on flui d viscosity but are i ndependent of part i cle densi t y, and based
on exper i ment al observat i ons i n t he Couet t e apparat us, Bagnold [ 10] proposed t he empi r i cal
relat i onshi ps,
shear stress rzx = A3/2/~(du/dz) (4)
210 P. N. HOLTHAM
normal or d i s p e r s i v e stress rzz = 1.3rzx (5)
i.e t he stresses are li nearly dependent on shear rat e, and are i ndependent of part i cle size and
densi t y. Bagnold at t r i but ed t he normal stress to an ani sot ropy i n t he spatial particle
di st r i but i on (Fi gure 4a).
In t he par t i cle- i ner t i a regi me, Bagnold ar gued t hat t he i nt erst i t i al flui d plays a mi nor role
and t he domi nant effect s arise fr om t he succession of par t i cle-par t i cle collisions as t he
part i cles of one layer over t ake those of an adj acent slower layer (see Fi gur e 4b). By
consi deri ng t he mean paths of particles under goi ng rapi d shear, Bagnold recogni sed t hat
bot h t he moment um t r ansfer per collision and t he fr equency of part i cle collision are
proport i onal to t he mean shear rat e, result i ng i n normal and shear stresses quadrat i c i n t he
mean shear rate.
a ) p o s s i b l e statistically p r e f e r r e d d i s t r i b u t i o n o f
p a r t i c l e s i n t h e ma cr o vi s co us r e g i m e
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
b) particle-pertide collision in shea_,x~ layers
in the particle-inertia regime
z I '~zz T
0 0 , . , , . , ,..,
[~ter layer
O ,
slower layer
Fig.4 Par t i cle-Par t i cle Int eract i ons in Flui d Transport (aft er Bagnold [ 10])
Bagnold exper i ment ally ver i fi ed this quadrat i c stress dependence, as well as the strong
dependence of t he stresses on t he volume concent r at i on of particles for B > 450 and 1.4 <
< 14, and proposed t he followi ng relationships (Bagnold, [10], Hanes and Inman, [14]):
nor mal stress rzz ffi o(AD)2(du/dz) 2 (6)
shear stress rzx ffi (AD)2(du/dz) 2 (7)
i.e t he stresses are i ndePendent of flui d viscosity but are dependent on part i cle size, densi t y
and concent r at i on, and hence are li kely to be si gni fi cant i n gravi t y concent r at i on processes.
Bagnold hi mself not ed t hat for a gi ven shear rat e du/ dz, t he nor mal stress bei ng
proport i onal to D 2 suggests t hat when a range of part i cle sizes of const ant densi t y is sheared
t oget her i n a gr avi t y flow t he larger particles should t end to move t owards t he zone of least
shear st rai n, i.e t he fr ee surface, and t he smaller particles t owards t he zone of great est shear
st rai n, i.e t he bed [10].
Bagnold di d not expli ci t ly consi der particles of di ffer ent densi t y, however t he li kely
si gni fi cance of t he Bagnold for ce for t he segregat i on of particles has been ver y wi dely not ed
in t he gr avi t y concent r at i on li t erat ure. Burr [ 15, p97], and Si vamohan and Forrsberg [ 16] use
Particle transport in gravity concentrators 211
equation 6 to show that sorting in the particle-inertia regime places coarse light particles
above fine dense particles, while in the macroviscous regime equation 5 was used to show
that fine light particles are maintained in the faster flowing upper layers of the flow. The
limited experimental evidence of Bonsu [17] describing particle distributions vertically
through the pulp on a Humphreys spiral is suggestive of Bagnold's particle-inertia normal
stress in operation (Table 1). Sallenger [18] used an identical argument to apply Bagnold's
results to natural sizing and gravity concentration of quartz and heavy mineral assemblages
and found the data suggested that the Bagnold normal stress could be contributing to the
concentration process.
TA BLE I Recovery o f Particl es in Upper and Lower Pul p
( f e e d pul p density 320/0 w/ w, pul p depth g mm, sampl e 7 cm f r om inne r r im)
( a f te r Bonsu [17])
Si ze (l~m) Recover T to Lo we r Pulp (%) Recover}, t o Up p e r Pul p (%)
-1200 +850 18.3 81.7
-850 +600 29.7 70.3
-600 +425 61.4 38.6
-425 +300 82.9 17.1
-300 +212 83.3 16.7
-212 +150 78.6 21.4
-150 +106 75.0 25.0
-106 +75 100.0 0.0
Bagnold's results have stood for some 30 years under the conditions for which they were
formulated: steady, uni form, simple shear flow of neutrally buoyant spherical particles.
However in cases involving more complex flows, application of Bagnold's relationships leads
to unrealistic constraints. In particular, in Bagnold's formulation, the stresses vanish for
vanishing mean velocity gradient because there is no source for particle velocity variations
other than mean shear (Hanes and Inman [14]). Only relatively recently have attempts been
made to extend Bagnold's work both experimentally and theoretically. Savage and Jeffrey
[19] developed a ' kinetic' model for the rapid shear flow of cohesionless spheres by
explicitly considering the fluctuating velocity component in calculating the momentum
transfer due to binary particle collisions. The normal and shear stresses predicted
theoretically are of the right order of magnitude and consistent with Bagnold's experimental
results with respect to particle density, diameter and the mean shear rate. The variations
with part i cle concentration are predicted correctly up to volume concentrations of 0.5, but
for values greater than 0.5 the experimental stresses increase much more rapidly. The
results of the most recent experimental work (in special shear cell apparatus) of Hanes and
Inman [14] and Savage and MeKeown [13] confirm that shear and normal stresses are
developed in particulate-fluid flow and that at sufficiently high shear rates the stresses are
quadratically dependent on the mean shear rate at a given volume concentration, which
supports Bagnold's hypothesis that the stresses result from particle collisions.
Experimental evidence of the significance of the Bagnold stresses in a more realistic
engineering application has been obtained by Nasr-el-Di n et al [20] who measured lateral
concentration variations in horizontal slurry pipelines, thereby eliminating the effect of
particle immersed weight. Figure 5a-b redrawn from [20] show the lateral concentration
distributions of fine and coarse quartz sand. At high particle concentrations, there is clear
evidence of particle migration towards the pipe centre line which was attributed by Nasr-
el-Di n et al to the effect of the normal or dispersive stress component, the effect being
more noticeable with the coarser particles, as expected from Bagnold's analysis.
212 P . N. HOLTHAM
a) Fine Sand (Ds0 = 190 ~ra)
A
t3
60"
50 1
30"
20"
10"
0 o
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Dimensionless Pipe Radius
Fi g.5
b) Coarse Sand (Dso = 900 gin)
~ 3(1
~ 20
0 ~
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Dimensionless Pipe Radius
Lat er al Conce nt r a t i on Di s t r i but i ons i n a Hor i zont al Slur r y Pi peli ne
(aft er Na s r - e l - Di n et al [20])
Fi gur e 6 (also r e d r a wn f r o m [20]) shows t he ver t i cal di s t r i but i on o f coar se pol ys t yr e ne
whe r e t he nor ma l st ress occur s in combi na t i on wi t h t he for ce o f gr avi t y. At t he lowest
conce nt r a t i on t her e is a s i gni fi cant d i f f e r e n ce i n conce nt r a t i on be t we e n t op a nd bot t om of
t he pi pe, a nd at t hi s conce nt r a t i on (0.09) lat er al var i at i on was negli gi ble. At a conce nt r a t i on
o f 0.21, a s t eeper conce nt r a t i on gr adi ent occur s near t he t op o f t he pi pe whe r e t he nor mal
stress act s i n combi na t i on wi t h gr avi t y.
Ne a r t he bot t om o f t he pi pe, gr a vi t y is i ns uffi ci e nt to mai nt ai n a negat i ve conce nt r a t i on
gr a di e nt a nd t he nor ma l stress causes a conce nt r a t i on r ever sal. At t he hi ghes t conce nt r a t i on,
t he pr ofi l e is almost s ymme t r i ca l wi t h t he nor mal stress becomi ng domi na nt compa r e d wi t h
ot he r effect s .
Of mor e r el evance, s uppor t for t he s i gni fi cance o f t he Bagnold nor ma l stress i n gr avi t y
conce nt r a t i on can be f o un d f r o m e xa mi na t i on o f t he oper at i on o f t he pi nche d slui ce or t he
Re i che r t cone. Bot h o f t hese devi ces gi ve adequat e s egr egat i on onl y at hi gh pulp densi t i es
(i.e hi gh vol ume conce nt r a t i on o f par t i cles) i n whi ch Bagnold' s pa r t i cl e - i ne r t i a condi t i ons
mi ght be e xpe ct e d to apply and hence i n whi ch a s i gni fi cant nor mal stress woul d be
developed.
Particle transport in gravity concentrators 213
Coarse Polystyrene (Ds0 ffi 1400 gut)
1.0
0.8
i5 0.6-
o. 4. v o l . I I
cone. II
9 11
0 . 2 . * %11
00 . . . . *
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Vol. Conc. C (%)
Fi g.6 Ver t i cal Concent r at i on Di st r i but i ons i n a Hor i zont al Slur r y Pi peli ne
(aft er Na s r - e l - Di n et al [20])
Abdi ne gor o and Par t r i dge [21] car r i ed out a sampli ng pr ogr a mme on a pi nche d slui ce, and
t hei r result s are s ummar i s ed i n Fi gur e 7a- b, whi ch should be compa r e d wi t h Fi gur e 6. The
pr ofi les suggest t hat a nor mal stress is developed only at hi gh concent r at i ons , as t heor et i cally
r equi r ed. Fr o m t he or i gi nal dat a it is possi ble to est i mat e t he value of t he Bagnold numbe r
B. The feed par t i cle size was not complet ely speci fi ed but i f a Ds0 of 500/ ~m is assumed,
for t he condi t i ons unde r whi ch t he slui ce was oper at ed t he value of B falls wi t hi n t he
macr o- vi s cous (low feed concent r at i on) and low t r ansi t i onal (hi gh feed concent r at i on)
r egi mes, as t he mean shear rat e was qui t e low (t ypi cally only 30 s - l). If t he feed was i n fact
fi ne r t han assumed, t he value of B would decrease, Bagnold [10] hi ms elf suggest s t hat t he
di sper si ve for ce e ffe ct i n t he par t i cle- i ner t i a r egi me should di sappear when t he par t i cle size
is less t han about 200 #m.
Subasi nghe and Kelly [22] also car r i ed out exper i ment al wor k on a pi nche d slui ce and
obt ai ned result s whi ch could only be explai ned i n t er ms of t he exi st ence of t he Bagnold
nor mal stress.
Modelling of Particle Transport
Much of t he ver y ext ensi ve s edi ment t r anspor t li t er at ur e is devot ed to t he de ve l opme nt of
complet ely gener al models, relat i ng t he bulk flow rat e of s edi ment to t he pr evai li ng
hydr odyna mi c condi t i ons, for solids whi ch are gener ally assumed to be of quar t z densi t y.
A n umbe r of such models have been r evi ewed by Yali n [3].
The r equi r ement s of gr avi t y concent r at i on modelli ng are di ffe r e nt , t he pr edi ct i on of t he
bulk flow rat e t hr ough a devi ce is not r equi r ed, what is r equi r ed is a des cr i pt i on of how t he
i nt er act i on bet ween part i cles and flui d at a gi ven pulp flow rat e and pulp dens i t y leads to
segr egat i on by dens i t y and size, i.e t he r equi r ement is a model capable of pr edi ct i ng t he
par t i cle concent r at i on di st r i but i ons wi t hi n t he flui d (i n t he ma nne r of Fi gur e 7) as a
funct i on of par t i cle size and dens i t y and pulp flow rat e and solids concent r at i on.
The classical appr oach to t he modelli ng of part i cle t r ans por t by suspensi on i n t ur bul ent flow
(t he s us pended load) is t hr ough a di ffus i on process, wi t h expr essi ons of t he for m (Allen
[23]):
CV s ffi _~s(dC/dz ) (8)
whi ch can be i nt egr at ed, gi vi ng:
214 P. N. HOLTI-IAM
C = C r e f e X p ( - v t ( Z - Z r e f ) / e s }
(9)
wher e C is t he solids concent r at i on, v t t he par t i cle t er mi nal fall veloci t y, es t he di ffus i on
coeffi ci ent and Cre f t he r efer ence concent r at i on at a known hei ght fr om t he bed Zre f.
Equat i ons 8 and 9 r efer to t he s us pended s edi ment as a whole, wi t hout di st i nct i on as to
par t i cle size (or densi t y, agai n quar t z densi t y part i cles are assumed).
a) Feed concent r at i on 4 % soli ds by vol ume
I
[ + llmenite
3
1
0
0 10 20 30 40
Mi ner al Di s t r i but i on %
b) Feed concent r at i on 25 % soli ds by vol ume
nmeni t e
5 o Quar t z
4
0
v
t~
Fi g.7
! !
0 10 20 30 4O
Mi ner al Di s t r i but i on %
Part i cle Concent r at i on Di st r i but i ons i n a Pi nched slui ce
(part i cle size 180/~m, feed flow rat e 1.2m3/ hr)
(aft er Abdi negor o and Par t r i dge [21])
Models based on t hi s appr oach are ver y successful, yet s uffe r fr om t he seri ous li mi t at i on
t hat t hey gi ve no i ndi cat i on of t he nat ur e and or i gi n of t he upwa r d act i ng for ce whi ch by
Newt on' s fi r st law mus t be equal and opposi t e to t he i mmer s ed wei ght of t he part i cles
(Bagnold [12]). Equat i on 9 also shows t hat t he s us pended load is only pr edi ct able usi ng a
di ffus i on model when a r efer ence concent r at i on at a r efer ence hei ght has s omehow been
de t e r mi ne d. Refer r i ng agai n to equat i on 9, t he part i cles are char act er i sed ki nemat i cally i n
t er ms of t hei r t er mi nal set t li ng veloci t y (as i n ' classical' gr avi t y concent r at i on t heor y) and
Particle transport in gravity concentrators 215
not dynami cally. As put r at her pi ct ur es quely by Bagnold, t he di ffus i on t heor y t reat s t he
par t i cles as li t t le fi shes o f zero i mme r s e d wei ght per pet ually s wi mmi ng downwa r ds at t hei r
t er mi nal veloci t y, and wi t h some assumpt i ons a bout t he t ur bulence, succeeds i n pr edi ct i ng
t he decr ease i n concent r at i on of li t t le fi shes wi t h di st ance fr om t he boundar y. The t heor y
fai ls to pr edi ct any li mi t to t he t ot al wei ght of fi shes whi ch a gi ven t ur bul e nt flow can car r y
i n suspensi on. Fr om t hi s vi ewpoi nt , Bagnold [ 12] developed an alt er nat i ve dynami cal model
of s edi ment t r anspor t , whi ch agai n only yi elded t ot al s edi ment t r ans por t rat e, and not
par t i cle concent r at i on di st r i but i on. However his obj ect i ons to t he di ffus i on t heor y r emai n
vali d.
Wilson and Pugh [24] combi ne d t he di ffus i on model wi t h Bagnold' s nor mal stress model to
gener at e t heor et i cal concent r at i on di st r i but i ons wi t h de pt h for var i ous par t i cle sizes. Good
agr eement bet ween pr edi ct i ons fr om t he model and t he exper i ment al meas ur ement s of
Na s r - e l - Di n et al [20] was obt ai ned.
Summa r y
The t r ans por t of part i cles by flui ds i n open channels has been ver y ext ensi vely s t udi ed i n
di sci pli nes ot her t han mi ner al engi neer i ng, and it is clear t hat gr avi t y concent r at i on
r esear cher s wi ll have to consi der mor e t han t he si mple r olli ng/ s li di ng along t he bot t om
model pr opos ed by Ga udi n [ I ] whi ch appear s to r epr es ent t he li mi t o f knowl edge i n mi ner al
pr ocessi ng texts. Models based on a di ffus i on mechani s m and also i ncor por at i ng Bagnold' s
nor mal stress have been developed by ot her di sci pli nes and s how good agr eement wi t h
meas ur ed concent r at i on pr ofi les for quar t z densi t y part i cles. The concent r at i on pr ofi le
appr oach, e xt e nde d to i nclude a r ange of par t i cle densi t i es, appear s to be a pr ofi t able
avenue o f r esear ch for gr avi t y concent r at i on processes i nvolvi ng shear flow.
Bagnold' s or i gi nal paper [10] has been ver y wi dely ci t ed i n t he gr avi t y concent r at i on
li t er at ur e as havi ng r elevance to t he par t i cle st r at i fi cat i on mechani s m, but t he fi ndi ngs do
not appear to have been appli ed ot her t han quali t at i vely. As far as t he aut hor is awar e, t he
only a t t e mpt to evaluat e t he Bagnold numbe r B for a gr avi t y concent r at i on devi ce and hence
de t e r mi ne whi ch flow r egi me appli es is t hat of Bur ch [25]. In addi t i on t her e is ver y li t t le
dat a i n t he li t er at ur e gi vi ng size, densi t y and concent r at i on di st r i but i ons in t ypi cal gr avi t y
concent r at i on devi ces, t hus t he ext ent to whi ch t he Bagnold for ce cont r i but es to t he par t i cle
sor t i ng process by ei t her size or densi t y is unknown.
The obj ect i ve of t he exper i ment al wor k descr i bed below, whi ch for ms par t of a lar ger s t udy
of flui d and par t i cle mot i on on spi rals, was to obt ai n a fi r st est i mat e of t he Bagnold numbe r
and hence t he flow r egi me on t wo met allur gi cally di ffe r e nt spi rals, i n or der to de t e r mi ne
t he li kely si gni fi cance of t he Bagnold for ce on par t i cle st r at i fi cat i on.
DETERMINATION OF THE BAGNOLD FLOW REGIME ON SPIRALS
Ge ne r a l Pr o ce dur e
A fully i ns t r ume nt e d exper i ment al rig was used consi st i ng of a Vi cker s FGL mi ner al spi ral
and a Mi ner al Deposi t s LD9 coal spi ral capable of bot h open and closed ci r cui t oper at i on.
Each spi ral was fi t t ed wi t h a spli t t er box, di vi di ng t he di schar ge i nt o 8 st r eams o f known
wi dt h, and a mul t i - p o i n t comput e r cont r olled pulp de pt h gauge. Full det ai ls o f t he spi ral
ri g have been gi ven elsewher e [26].
An open ci r cui t exper i ment al r un was car r i ed out on each spi ral unde r aut omat i c cont r ol,
at a flow rat e o f 6 m3/ hr on t he LD9 spi ral and 4 m3/ hr on t he FGL spi ral, and a nomi nal
pulp dens i t y i n each case of 15 % solids by mass of quar t z sand. The size di s t r i but i on o f t he
sand is s hown i n Fi gur e 8. Di ffi cult i es wi t h choki ng of t he sampli ng devi ce li mi t ed t he
feed pul p dens i t y to a value consi der ably lower t han woul d be used i n i ndust r i al pr act i ce.
Dupli cat e de pt h meas ur ement s wer e made and t r i pli cat e st r eam samples t aken. The st r eam
samples wer e wei ghed wet and dr y, t hen dr y scr eened to de t e r mi ne t he size di s t r i but i on o f
100
each. As a check on t he sampli ng pr oce dur e , t he feed pulp dens i t y and feed size di s t r i but i on
wer e back calculat ed fr om t he st r eam samples for compar i s on wi t h t he set poi nt feed pulp
dens i t y and meas ur ed feed size meas ur ed, i n bot h cases t he aut omat i c cont r ol syst em used
ens ur ed good agr eement was achi eved.
r
75
50
..~
U 25
0
10
f
216 P. N. HOLTHAM
f
Fi g.8
10( 1000 10000
Si ze (ttm)
Part i cle Size Di st r i but i on of Quar t z Sand
Re sul ts
Al t hough t he feed pulp dens i t y on bot h spirals was low, t he st r eam pul p dens i t y i n t he i nne r
t r ough r egi ons was ver y hi gh, especi ally i n t he case of t he LD9 spi ral, wher e a ma xi mum
of 73 % solids by mass was achi eved (a volume concent r at i on of 50.5 %). The par t i cle
concent r at i ons by volume i n each st r eam are compar ed i n Table 2. These hi gh solids
concent r at i ons wer e r eflect ed i n t he de pt h pr ofi les, wher e i n bot h cases t he de pt h was
not i ceably gr eat er t han when oper at i ng t he spirals wi t h clear wat er [26], cont r adi ct i ng t he
fi ndi ngs o f Dallai re et al [27], who not i ced no di ffe r e nce i n de pt h bet ween pulp and clear
wat er. The pulp de pt h pr ofi les on each spi ral are plot t ed i n Fi gur es 9a and b.
TA BLE 2 Pa r ticl e Co n ce n tr a ti o n s in e a ch Str e a m (% v/ v)
L D 9 spiral
F G L s p i r a l
St r e a m
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
49.0 50.5 46.1 13.0 3.1 1.7 0.7 0.4
25.4 37.0 41.5 42.7 39.6 29.5 7.8 1.1
Fi gur e 9a shows t hat t he LD9 spi ral exhi bi t ed a pr onounce d bulgi ng of t he pul p s ur face i n
st r eams 1, 2 and 3, whi ch may be a mani fes t at i on of t he Bagnold nor mal stress. Thi s effect
is not so not i ceable on t he FGL spi ral (Fi gur e 9b); t her e is a sli ght bulge ext endi ng as far
as st r eam 7, r eflect i ng t he fact t hat hi gher concent r at i ons are mai nt ai ned fur t he r i nt o t he
out er st r eams t han on t he LD9 spi ral, however t he ma xi mum concent r at i ons on t he FGL
spi ral are lower. It is i nt er est i ng to not e t hat bot h Hanes and Inma n [14] and Savage and
Je ffr e y [19], who i nvest i gat ed t he Bagnold nor mal stress exper i ment ally, fo un d t hat the
stress was only weakly de pe nde nt on par t i cle volumet r i c concent r at i ons up to 50 %, but
above t hi s fi gur e t he stress i ncr eased rapi dly. The exper i ment al values i n st r eams 1, 2 and
3 on t he LD9 spi ral are appr oachi ng t hi s value, whi le t he st r eam concent r at i ons on t he FGL
spi ral all fall well below. Thi s agai n may suggest t hat t he Bagnold nor mal stress is causi ng
a) LD9 Coal spiral
160
]
120
b) FGL Mi ner al spiral
0 40 80 120 160 200 240 280
Radial Di st ance fr om Column Wall (mm)
160
t
0
0
| i , J J J . iS " ! ~ " e " " " ' t ~ ' i , ~ I
40 80 120 160 200 240
Radi al Di st ance fr om Column Wall (ram)
Particle transport in gravity concentrators 217
t he observed pulp di lat i on and hence may cont r i but e si gni fi cant ly t o part i cle st rat i fi cat i on
on t he spiral.
i |
28O
Fig.9 Pulp Dept h Profi les (feed pulp densi t y 15% quart z sand by mass)
The mean st ream velocities on each spiral wer e calculat ed fr om t he mean st ream dept h (and
hence cross-sect i onal area) and t he st ream volumet r i c flow rat e i n t he manner descr i bed i n
Holt ham [26], t he results are shown i n Table 3. In t he case of bot h spirals, t he mean st r eam
veloci t i es i n t he i nner t rough ar e great er t han those i n t he clear wat er case [26]. This appears
to be a r eflect i on of t he great er pulp flow rat e i n t hese streams result i ng fr om t he presence
of t he quart z sand.
The DSO of t he part i cles i n each st ream is gi ven i n Table 4. The di ffer ence i n t he st ream
Dso bet ween t he t wo spirals is not i ceable. The FGL spiral exhi bi t s a r egular pat t er n of DSo
i ncreasi ng out wards (wi t h t he except i on of st ream $) and this has been obser ved previ ously
on this spiral wi t h a di ffer ent feed (Holt ham and Stitt [28]). The LD9 does not follow this
pat t er n, and exami nat i on of t he size analysis dat a shows t hat t he size di st ri but i ons i n each
st ream are by no means regular.
218 P. N. HOLTHAM
TA BLE 3 Mean Stream Vel ocities ( m/ s )
LD9 s pi r al
FGL s pi r al
St r e a m
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 &8
0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.5 2.5
0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 1.7
TA BLE 4 Stream Particl e Dso (/~ m)
LD9 s pi r al
FGL s pi r al
* e s t i ma t e d
St r e a m
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
560 560 375 750 880 95 45* 28*
120 215 300 380 495 680 720 560
The exper i ment al dat a above now per mi t an est i mat e to be made of t he value of t he Bagnold
number B (defi ned by equat i on 2) in each st ream of bot h spirals, and hence t he Bagnold
flow regi me.
The Bagnol d Flow Regime
If t he maxi mum concent r at i on C" (loose packi ng) of nat ural quart z particles i n wat er is
t aken to be 0.558 (Allen, [23] p34), t he part i cle densi t y a to be 2650 kg / m 3, t he wat er
vi scosi t y/~ to be 0.00106 Pa s, D to be t he part i cle Ds0 values (/~m) and C t he measur ed
fr act i onal volumet r i c concent rat i ons i n each st ream, t hen aft er calculat i on of ~, using
equat i on 3, t he only unknown i n equat i on 2 is t he shear rat e du/ dz.
Values of t he shear rate i n t he pr i mar y flow di r ect i on du/ dz can be calculat ed for values
of B cor r espondi ng to t he boundari es of t he t ransi t i on bet ween t he macr o-vi scous and
part i cle i nert i a flow regi mes (B = 40 and B ffi 450 respect i vely, using Bagnold' s suggested
values). The assumpt i on is made t hat part i cle concent r at i on, and part i cle di amet er
t hr oughout t he dept h of t he flow are uni for m. In pract i ce it is appar ent fr om t he discussion
earli er t hat t he Bagnold stress wi ll affect bot h t he concent r at i on and size gradi ent s.
For compari son, values of mean shear rate du/ dz i n streams 1 to 6, and 7 and 8 combi ned
wer e est i mat ed fr om t he exper i ment al st ream veloci t y dat a (in Table 2) by assumi ng t hat t he
dept h profi les can be descr i bed by t he lami nar equat i on (in t he i nner t rough region):
u = (r0h/#){(y/h)(1-[y/h])} (4)
and t he smoot h t ur bulent equat i on (in t he out er t rough region):
u/ u* = 2.5 ln[yu*/~,] + 5.5 (5)
wher e y/ h is t he fract i onal dept h and ~ t he ki nemat i c viscosity. The j ust i fi cat i on for t he use
of these equat i ons was discussed i n Holt ham [26]. However , as not ed earli er, when particles
are suspended by a flowi ng flui d, t he vert i cal gr adi ent of part i cle concent r at i on may affect
t he flow dynami cs suffi ci ent ly to cause a devi at i on of t he veloci t y profi le fr om t hat
descr i bed by equat i ons 4 and 5. In t he case of t ur bulent flow (equat i on 5) any change i n t he
Particle transport in gravity concentrators 219
pr ofi le fr om t he logar i t hmi c for m was at t r i but ed i n t he past to an alt er at i on o f t he Ka r ma n
const ant ~ f r o m t he clear wat er value o f 0.4, hence changi ng t he fact or 2.5 (1/ ~) i n equat i on
5 (Yali n [3], p22). Mor e r ecent ly however , i t has become possi ble to explai n t he effect of
par t i cle concent r at i on on t he obs er ved logar i t hmi c vel oci t y pr ofi les physi cally wi t hout
r ecour se t o a var yi ng ~; [29]. Soulsby and Wai nwr i ght [29] s how t hat an est i mat e of u* i n
par t i cle laden flows i n whi ch t he effect s of t he part i cles have been neglect ed wi ll always be
an over es t i mat e compa r e d wi t h t he t r ue value, and t hey pr ovi de a cr i t er i on for est abli shi ng
whe n i n pr act i ce t he par t i cle effect can be neglect ed.
Values of d u/ d z calculat ed fr om t he exper i ment al st r eam conce nt r a t i on and size dat a for
Bagnold numbe r s of 40 and 450 usi ng equat i ons 2 and 3 are compa r e d i n Tables 5 and 6
wi t h exper i ment al est i mat es o f t he mean shear rat e (over fr act i onal de pt h 0.1 to 0.5) fr om
t he as s umed flow pr ofi les. In maki ng t he est i mat es, t he e ffe ct o f t he par t i cle concent r at i on
on u* was neglect ed, as a result u* is over est i mat ed, hence t he act ual values of d u/ d z are
li kely to be sli ght ly lower t han t hose s hown i n t he tables.
TA BLE 5
i
DS0 (tun)
Vol Conc. C
~1/2
(du/dz)Bffi40 (s -1)
(du/dz)B=450 (s "1)
(du/ dz)expt . e s t . ( S " 1 )
LD9 Spiral : Eva l ua tio n o f Ba g n o l d Fl o w Re g i me
St ream
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
560 560 375 750 88O 95 45 28
0.49 0. 5 1 0.46 0.13 0. 03 0.02 0.01 0.00
4.69 5.34 3.86 1.27 0.79 0.67 0.55 0.49
11 10 29 22 27 2667 5195 41649
122 107 321 250 300 30000 58442 470000
230 195 195 53 60 43 200
TA BLE 6 FGL Spiral : Eva l ua tio n o f Ba g n o l d Fl o w Re g i me
DS0 (~an)
Vol Conc. C
x l / 2
(du/dz)B-_.40 (s "1)
(du/dz)B=450 (s -1)
(du/ dz)expt . est. (s -1)
Stream
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
120 215 300 380 495 680 720 560
0.25 0.37 0.42 0.43 0.40 0.30 0.08 0.01
1.82 2.60 3.09 3.25 2.86 2.05 1.04 0.61
571 133 57 34 23 17 30 83
6429 1500 643 385 257 190 333 938
80 80 125 170 170 69 125
The dat a i n Table 5 s how t hat t he flow r egi me on t he LD9 spi ral vari es fr om macr o- vi s cous
i n t he out er t r ough (st reams 6 to 8), t hr ough t r ansi t i onal (st reams 4 and 5) r eachi ng t he
par t i cl e- i ner t i a r egi me i n st reams l and 2, and, i n vi ew of t he uncer t ai nt i es associ at ed wi t h
t he shear r a t e det er mi nat i on, possi bly i n st r eam 3 also. Thus i n t he i nne r t r ough, a
s i gni fi cant Bagnold stress may be expect ed, whi ch wi ll ma r ke dl y affect t he coar ser part i cles
i n t he st r eam. The calculat i on pr ovi des confi r ma t i on t hat t he bulge i n t he pul p pr ofi le i n
st r eams 1 t o 3 can (at least i n part ) be at t r i but ed to a Bagnold nor mal stress. The quest i on
as to what pr opor t i on o f t he bulge is due to t he Bagnold stress and what pr opor t i on to t he
nor mal concent r at i on of solids r emai ns to be det er mi ned. It is wor t h not i ng however t hat
MI NE- - - 5/ 2- - - G
220 P. N. HOLTHAM
si mi lar bulges are observed i n non- Newt oni an flui ds such as polymer melts, whi ch are also
at t r i but ed to t he development of a nor mal stress (Tanner [30, p5]).
The flow regi mes on t he FGL spiral are complet ely di ffer ent (Table 6). Unde r t he
exper i ment al condi t i ons used, none of t he streams exhi bi t par t i cle-i ner t i a t ype flow. Streams
1 and 2 are i n t he macr o-vi scous regi me, all ot her streams are transitional.
The explanat i on for t he di ffer ence i n flow regi mes bet ween t he two spirals appears to lie
i n t he di ffer ence bet ween t he st ream Ds0 values and t he values of solids concent r at i on
achi eved i n each stream. Dur i ng pr eli mi nar y development of t he dept h gauge on t he FGL
spiral, pr onounced pulp bulges wer e not i ced i n t he mi ddle st reams when t reat i ng a
somewhat coarser feed t han used her e, and as would be expect ed those streams had t he
hi ghest pulp densi t y values.
CONCLUSION
A r evi ew of t he li t erat ure fr om a number of di sci pli nes has shown t hat t here exists a
consi derable body of wor k concer ni ng t he t ransport and sort i ng of part i cles by bot h size and
densi t y i n shear flows. The wor k by Bagnold on par t i cle-par t i cle i nt er act i on i n such flows
whi ch is wi dely ci t ed but only appli ed quali t at i vely i n t he gravi t y concent r at i on li t erat ure
has also at t ract ed t he at t ent i on of a number of researchers elsewhere, and it is clear t hat t he
Bagnold effect is real and may cont r i but e si gni fi cant ly to part i cle st rat i fi cat i on i n gravi t y
concent r at i on devi ces at hi gh feed pulp densities.
The li mi t ed exper i ment al wor k r epor t ed i n this paper has shown t hat t he condi t i ons under
whi ch t he Bagnold nor mal for ce occurs are li kely to exist on t he spiral, especi ally at feed
pulp densi t i es used i n pract i ce. At t he low feed pulp densi t y used, solids concent rat i ons by
volume at some points on t he t r ough of each spiral wer e suffi ci ent to t ake t he flow near to
or i nt o t he par t i cle- i ner t i a regi me. The results must however be t r eat ed wi t h some caut i on
i n vi ew of t he uncer t ai nt y associated wi t h t he choi ce of t he veloci t y profi les used, and t he
effect of part i cle concent r at i on on t he result ant shape of t he profiles.
I.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
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