Sie sind auf Seite 1von 8

KREBS gMAX CYCLONES

For Finer Separations


With Larger Diameter Cyclones

August 2000

Introduction
A significant challenge in many mineral and coal processing plants is to utilize
the installed cyclones to produce a fine separation at high feed densities. This
requires numerous small diameter cyclones operating at high pressure drop
leading to higher operating and capital expenses. The new Krebs gMAX cyclone
produces a separation 35% finer than traditionally designed cyclones allowing
the use of larger diameter units and/or lower operating pressure drop.
The primary problem associated with operating small cyclones at high pressure drop is
high cyclone and pump wear. This results in high manpower requirements for
maintenance and often in poor cyclone performance. In large operations, the number of
required cyclones results in large floor space requirements and difficulty splitting the
slurry equally between all of the cyclones. Larger diameter cyclones tend to mitigate
these problems but have not been capable of producing the fine separation required at
many operations.

Traditional Cyclone Design


The original cyclones offered prior to 1950 featured outer wall tangential feed entry and
12-15 mm thick rubber liners. This design was not adequate for fine separations or for
abrasive slurry applications. Krebs Engineers recognized the limitations of cyclones
with outer wall tangential feed entries in 1953 when the company patented a cyclone
with an involute feed entry. The patent was based on testwork that clearly showed the
involute feed entry minimized turbulence in the inlet and this allowed the cyclone to
make slightly finer separations at higher capacities. Although reduced wear life was not
part of the patent, a cyclone with an involute entry provides longer wear life than a
cyclone with the standard outer wall tangential feed. Today, most cyclone
manufacturers have redesigned their cyclones to include some form of involute or
centerline tangential feed. Figure 1 illustrates the various types of cyclone feed entries.

Figure 1

Krebs Super Cyclones

Page 1 of 7

Krebs Engineers recognized the limitations of cyclones with 12-15 mm thick rubber
liners in grinding circuits and in 1990, introduced a whole new line of Super Cyclones
with 25 mm thick liners and other design feature to minimize wear. These cyclones
range from 250 mm to 840 mm in diameter. Today nearly all cyclones 250 mm and
larger installed in mineral processing plants utilize thicker replaceable liners. An
exception is coal plants that use all ceramic liners in the cyclones.
In recent years, cyclone companies have introduced ramped or modified involute inlet
designs with claims of greatly improved cyclone performance. While some
improvements have been made in inlet head wear life, a ramped inlet design tends to
result in a lower capacity cyclone with no improvement in the cyclone separation. The
full involute feed shown in Figure 2 with curved corners provides the best performance
while not compromising on wear life. Figure 3 illustrates the performance differences
between an involute feed entry design and the relatively new ramped design. While the
performance is similar, the involute feed cyclone has significantly higher capacity.

Figure 2

Krebs Super Cyclones

Page 2 of 7

Com parison of Involute Feed and Ramped Feed Designs


with 3096 sq mm Inlets and 100 mm Vortex Finders operating at 1.4 bar pressure drop

Corrected Recovery to Underflow

FEED C ONDITIONS: 55-57% Solids, 65-70% +38 micron, ~35% +212 micron

100
90
80
70
60

K rebs 250 mm Cy clone with Involute Feed, 10.5 degree cone, 85 m 3/h

50

D50c = 80, alpha = 4.2

40

Ram ped 250 m m Cy c lone, 10 degree c one, 72 m 3/h

30

D50c = 84, alpha = 4.0

20
10
0
10

100

1000

Particle Size, microns

Figure 3
Typically cyclones have used a cylinder section length equal to one cyclone diameter in
combination with a 20-degree cone section. For finer separations the traditional
approach was to add a second cylinder section. While the longer cylinder section
provided greater residence time and thus more capacity, it also reduced the tangential
velocity. This results in minimal if any improvement in cyclone separation. The higher
capacity with the longer cylinder section did allow cyclone manufacturers to provide
smaller vortex finders, which does improve cyclone performance.
A better approach is to use a longer cone angle. Figure 4 illustrates the difference
between 10 and 20 degree cones. The longer cone produced a finer and sharper
separation at a higher unit capacity. A number of cyclone manufacturers use longer
cones on 150 to 500 mm cyclones and in the past 3 years most new cyclones in this
size range have the longer cone sections. Side by side cyclone testwork in which one
cyclone has a 10-degree cone versus the other cyclone with a 20-degree cone will
greatly favor the cyclone with the longer cone regardless of the inlet design.
Longer cone sections alone are not the answer. Maintaining the tangential velocity at
its maximum is the key to optimal cyclone performance.

Krebs Super Cyclones

Page 3 of 7

Effect of Cone Angle on Cyclone Performance


with 3096 sq mm Inlets and 100 mm Vortex Finders operating at 1.4 bar pressure drop

Corrected Recovery to Underflow

FEED CONDITIONS: 55-57% Solids, 65-70% +38 micron, ~35% +212 micron

100
90
80
70

Krebs 250 mm Cyclone, 10.5 degree cone, 85 m3/h

60
50

D50c = 80, alpha = 4.2

40

Krebs 250 mm Cyclone, 20 degree cone, 73 m3/h

30

D50c = 114, alpha = 3.7

20
10
0
10

100

1000

Particle Size, microns

Figure 4

gMAX Cyclone Design


Optimum cyclone performance relies on minimizing turbulence while maximizing
tangential velocity. Minimizing turbulence reduces the amount of coarse material
misplaced to the overflow and increases wear life. Maximizing tangential velocity
results in a finer separation and reduces the amount of misplaced fines in the underflow.
The new gMAX cyclone focuses on these two important cyclone factors significantly
advancing cyclone performance. To achieve the two design criteria, the gMAX
incorporates performance enhancing improvements to the inlet head area, cylinder
section, cone angles, and apex.
The Krebs involute feed has been redesigned to further minimize turbulence in the feed
section. Along with this updated inlet design, the gMAX also includes a longer vortex
finder design and an improved top cover plate. These improvements to the inlet head
area result in a reduction in turbulence which reduces the misplacement of coarse
material to the overflow and results in a more efficient conversion of feed pressure to
unit capacity.
The heart of the gMAX design is the optimization of the tangential velocity in critical
separating zones of the cyclone. An intensive development program was undertaken to
optimize the length of the cylinder section and the cone sections to produce the
maximum tangential velocity. It was discovered that each cyclone diameter has a
unique combination of cylinder length and cone angles that maximizes the tangential
velocity at a minimum overall cyclone length. The gMAX accomplishes this by using a
Krebs Super Cyclones

Page 4 of 7

sharper upper cone to accelerate tangential velocity and then a gradual tapering lower
cone to provide residence time for a finer separation. This results in a much better
performing cyclone at an overall length similar to a standard cyclone.
Finally the apex angle and design also has a big effect on performance. The gMAX
design incorporates an optimal apex angle in combination with a straight section to
maintain the finest possible separation with maximum dewatering.
This combination of the correct cylinder length with the right cone angles and apex
design, along with the improved feed section is the basis of the new patented Krebs
gMAX cyclone. Figures 5 and 6 illustrate the gMAX design.

Figure 6
Figure 5
Figure 7 illustrates the performance differences between the Krebs gMAX cyclone,
standard involute inlet cyclone with 10 and 20-degree cones, and ramped inlet cyclone
with a 10-degree cone. The gMAX cyclone results in a 35-40% finer separation
compared to the 20-degree cone and a 20-25% finer separation versus the 10-degree
cone cyclones. The gMAX cyclone produces this finer D50 separation while
maintaining a very sharp separation. A 35-40% improvement in separation is an entire
mesh size and allows the use of a larger diameter cyclone at lower pressure drops.

Krebs Super Cyclones

Page 5 of 7

Comparison of Krebs gMAX Cyclone and traditional Cyclones


with 3096 sq mm Inlets and 100 mm Vortex Finders operating at 1.4 bar pressure drop

Corrected Recovery to Underflow

FEED CONDITIONS: 55-57% Solids, 65-70% +38 micron, ~35% +212 micron

100
90
80

Krebs 250 mm Cyclone, 10.5 degree cone, 85 m3/h

70

D50c = 80, alpha = 4.2

60

Krebs 250 mm Cyclone, 20 degree cone, 73 m3/h

50

D50c = 114, alpha = 3.7

40

Krebs 250 mm gMAX Cyclone, 77 m3/h


D50c = 59, alpha = 4.0

30

Ramped 250 mm Cyclone, 10 degree cone, 72 m3/h

20

D50c = 84, alpha = 4.0

10
0
10

100

1000

Particle Size, microns

Figure 7

Comparative Plant Performance


Figures 8 and 9 illustrate the large differences between the traditional cyclone design
and the gMAX design. These results are from two different iron ore concentrators on
typical grinding circuit applications. Figure 8 is a comparison of 380-mm diameter
cyclones and Figure 9 is a comparison of 660 mm diameter cyclones. The
improvements in the gMAX design apply uniformly to small and large diameter
cyclones.

Data for Standard and gMAX Krebs 380 mm Cyclones


FEED CONDITIONS: 40-44% Solids, 36-41% +25 Micron, 1.25 bar pressure drop
North American Iron Ore Property

Corrected Recovery to Underflow

100
90
80
70

Krebs 380 mm gMAX Cyclone

60

D50 = 33 microns, Alpha = 3.5

50
Krebs 380 mm Standard Cyclone

40

D50 = 50 microns, Alpha = 2.5

30
20
10
0
10

100

1000

Particle Size, microns

Figure 8

Krebs Super Cyclones

Page 6 of 7

Data for Standard and gMAX Krebs 660 mm Cyclones

Corrected Recovery to Underflow

FEED CONDITIONS: 58% Solids, 35% +150 Micron, 0.8 bar pressure drop
South American Iron Ore Property
100
90
80
70
60

Krebs 660 mm gMAX Cyclone

50
40

D50 = 55 microns, Alpha = 2.4

30

Krebs 660 mm Standard Cyclone

20

D50 = 85 microns, Alpha = 1.5

10
0
10

100

1000

Particle Size, microns

Figure 9

Conclusion
The gMAX cyclone solves the problems of producing fine separations at high densities
in mineral and coal processing plants. It accomplishes this by uniquely combining the
correct cylinder length with the right cone angles and apex design, along with an
improved involute feed. These design enhancements minimize turbulence and
maximize tangential velocity in the separation zones.

Krebs Super Cyclones

Page 7 of 7