Grinding media oscillation: effect on torsional vibrations in tumble mills
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Tumble mills are hollow cylindrical shells of large diameter carrying grinding media (a combination of rock/iron ore/chemical flakes and metal balls/rods), which, upon rotation of the mill, will be ground into fine powder. These mills rotate at low speeds using a gear reduction unit and often have vibration problems. These vibration problems result in increased gear wear and occasional catastrophic failures resulting in production loss. The objective of this research is to investigate the effect of oscillation of grinding media on torsional vibrations of the mill. A theoretical model was developed to determine the oscillating frequency of the grinding media. A 12" (0.3 m) diameter tumble mill test rig was built with a 0.5 hp DC motor. The rig is tested with sand and iron bb balls to simulate the industry process application. At low volume levels the grinding media oscillates like a rigid body as compared to higher volumes. It is shown that tumbling action of grinding media causes torsional excitation and hence its effect has to be considered in torsional vibration analysis. At starting, the load on the gears is much higher due to this oscillation.
Toram, Kiran Kumar (2005). Grinding media oscillation: effect on torsional vibrations in tumble mills. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from