Thu, 30 Jun 2022
22.7 C
Durban

Testwork vital to prove best separation methods

Home Manufacturing & Processing Chemicals Testwork vital to prove best separation methods

FOR customers looking for answers about how best to separate and concentrate particles, mineral processing specialists Multotec has dedicated testing facilities to do just this.

Its Technology Division has research and development (R&D) capabilities with a range of specialised facilities. According to Faan Bornman, technology manager at Multotec, a range of testwork can be conducted.

“Much of our testwork comes from customers who are in the early stages of project development. They need to understand more about how their minerals or material will separate under given conditions. Often there is not a mathematical model that can predict accurately what they can expect,” Bornman said.

Thorough testwork reduces project risk significantly, providing a solid foundation for the subsequent design and optimisation of process facilities. Bornman said that physical testwork is usually the best way of finding out how particles will behave in a process plant.

The equipment available includes laboratory-scale wet high-intensity magnetic separators (WHIMS), cyclone rigs, filtration equipment, centrifuges, spiral rigs and a screening research rig. There is even capacity to test water purification methods on mine effluent.

“Extensive test work is especially relevant when a customer is wanting to mine and treat less traditional minerals like lithium or graphite. As demand grows for commodities like these, we have had customers bring samples to test how our equipment would perform. In these tests, we trial various methodologies and scientifically record and compare the results.”

The R&D laboratory prepares samples and conducts particle size analysis using equipment such as pressure filters, drying ovens, sieves, shakers, sizers and separating funnels. When chemical analysis is required, samples are sent to outside laboratories.

Bornman highlights that the technology division also receives enquiries from existing customers when they face particular challenges.

“We research the application of different methodologies to customer material, often leading to the development of a new product or improvements to our existing products,” he says. “In addition to providing a solution for the customer, we are also able to contribute to the efficiency of the industry as a whole, with an updated and commercialised product.”

With the growth of environmental awareness, there is also considerable scope for applying separation technology in the field of recycling, he said, adding that Multotec has successfully conducted testwork on electronic waste, for example, and has also been requested to separate metal from plastic in milled material.

Most Popular

The rollercoaster and exhilaration of being a demolition specialist

TODAY is International Women in Engineering Day. To celebrate, Jet Demolition contracts and project manager Kate Bester highlights what it's like being in close...

Financial reports won’t save local government crisis, warns town and regional planners

By Burgert Gildenhuys: Director, BC Gildenhuys & Associates IT is unclear whether South Africa has the will or guts to confront issues contributing to the...

N3 truck blockade: It’s ‘economic sabotage’, say ministers and business

ANOTHER truck blockade saw Van Reenen's Pass on the N3, the country's main domestic trade route, being closed on Thursday 16 June. This protest...

Factory of the Year competition returns as economy bounces back

FOLLOWING a challenging two years in the manufacturing sector, Kearney, a leading management consulting firm, is excited to announce the return of the Factory...