Coal Preparation

Detection of Non-Ferrous Broken Pick Tips and Clay Balls in the Dense Medium Cyclone

Coal Preparation » General

Published: May 21Project Number: C27050

Get ReportAuthor: Michael O'Brien, Clint McNally and Andrew Taylor | CSIRO

Tramp metal, in particular tungsten carbide pick tips, can cause severe damage to the linings of Dense Medium Cyclones (DMCs). In addition, clay balls recirculating in the cyclones decrease the efficiency of cyclone operation, reducing yields and product quality. This project's aim was to produce a cost-effective monitor that would notify plant operators when these materials were detected in the DMCs.

The use of vibrations or acoustics to "listen" to a Dense Medium Cyclone (DMC) is not new however, systems that were previously developed were expensive and beyond justification to use as a "tramp" monitor. The vibrations (sounds) emitted from a DMC with a circulating pick tip are loud and easily distinguished from the background noise. CSIRO has developed several low-cost accelerometer-based systems for use on screens. This technology was used as the foundation for developing a pick tip and clay ball monitor.

A technically cost effective and straightforward method to detect tramp metal circulating in DMCs was developed, tested in the laboratory and pilot plant, then trialed on three 1.3m DMCs at a site in the Bowen Basin. The system consisted of a single axis MEMs accelerometer glued onto the surface of the DMC, an AD converter, a small mini PC, wireless connectivity, and software specifically written to provide alarm state indications.

A plant trial has confirmed that the system can accurately identify the presence of pick tips in the cyclone, providing an email alarm when the alarm state is activated. While this plant does have clay ball events, they are relatively rare, and therefore, during this trial period to date, no clay balls were confirmed as being present in the three cyclones that were monitored.

A wealth of information is embedded in these vibration spectrums, and the data may include medium to coal ratios, lining wear, flow rates, and feed types. Other properties may emerge with time. It is recommended that further research be undertaken where these spectrums can be matched to plant/cyclone operating conditions.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C34019Longwall Bretby Cable Handling Monitoring With Fibre Optics

This project examined the potential of using fibre optic sensing tec...

C28028The Inclusion Of High Interest Native Plants In Mine Site Restoration Programs: Propagation, Translocation And Field Re-Introduction

This report synthesises over 10 years of ex situ and in si...

C27049Mine Machine Radar Sensor Integration

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated radar sensor an...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C34029Validation Of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) As A Rapidly Deployable Field Technology To Estimate Coal Quality

Rapid evaluation of a coal resource by in-situ characterisation dow...

C34028Guidelines For Assessment Of Geotechnically Safe And Stable Post-Mining Landforms

The purpose of this project was to develop a guidelines document as ...

C34016Elements In Coal – A Start-To-End Analysis

This project explores the fate and concentration potential of critical e...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26016Determining The Benefits Of Online Thickener Underflow Rheology Measurements

The aim of this project is to determine how useful the rheology meas...

C33056Modelling And Control Of Classifying Cyclones

Hydrocyclones are one of the key technologies for the classification...

C28056Surface Alloying Of Centrifuge Baskets And Sieve Bends Screen Surfaces To Increase The Service Lifetime

The main objective of this project was to improve the wear resistanc...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C33066Washability And Distribution Of Sulfur And Trace Elements For Different Size And Density Fractions Of Raw Coals

Based on the hypothesis that the levels of sulfur and other toxic tr...

C34060In-Situ Investigation Of Coke Structure Formation Under Stamp Charged Coking Conditions

Stamp charged cokemaking has emerged as an effective technique to im...

C34062Improving The Classification Of Microstructure Distribution In Coke CT Images Using Deep Learning And Lineal Path Calculations

This project builds on a number of earlier projects that have helped...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL)

This third and final stage of this project was the culmination of a ...

C29069Low-Cost Catalyst Materials For Effective VAM Catalytic Oxidation

Application of ventilation air methane (VAM) thermal oxidiser requir...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook