Anyone who has looked through my web site can see that I am fascinated with glass. I like to melt it, cast it, fuse it and turn it into new things. Eventually I got the idea of doing the ultimate glass hack and making my own glass from scratch. For that I needed a way of grinding and mixing the chemicals that would make up a batch of glass into a very fine and homogeneously mixed powder. I needed a ball mill. So naturally I decided to build my own. Here it is in all it's bodged together glory. It doesn't look like much, but it works great, and it cost almost nothing to build. As a bonus, this ball mill can also be used as a rock tumbler, or a glass tumbler to make your own "sea glass" at home. To use the mill as a rock tumbler, just leave out the steel balls, add rocks, tumbling grit and water, and let it spin.
Here is a video of my home-made ball mill in operation with a brief explanation of all the parts and how I put it together. For detailed descriptions of all the parts, how I built it, and how I use it, read further down this page.
The drum I used for the ball mill was originally a plastic container that held abrasive grit used in vibratory tumblers. It is about two liters in size. I had several empty containers of this type, and decided to put them to use in this project. They work pretty well in this application. There are a few potential problems. The container lids are not liquid-tight. So use as a rock tumbler would require adding a cork or rubber gasket. Also, a little bit of the plastic does get ground off the inside surface and contaminates the batch being ground. This is not a problem for my application because anything organic will be vaporized out of the mix long before it reaches melting temperature in my kiln. Contamination might be an issue for other uses. A steel drum would probably work better if you can find one, or make one, but it would be a lot louder in use.
Here you can see an overview of the ball mill with the drum removed. Construction is super simple. Just three pieces of wood plank banged together to make a platform for mounting all the parts. The platform is made from a 1X10 wooden plank 14 inches long. It sits on two pieces of 1X4 wood. Four inexpensive fixed caster wheels were mounted on top of the platform for the drum to roll on. They were mounted about 2 inches in from the edges of the platform, and 7.5 inches apart. The drive motor was mounted on the underside of the platform, and the dive belt comes up through a slot in the platform.
Here is a close-up showing how two of the caster wheels are mounted. The slot in the middle of the platform for the belt to pass through is also visible. The fixed caster wheels were quite inexpensive, and were one of the few items I actually had to buy to build this project.
Here is a close-up of the other side of the platform and the other two caster wheels. Also shown is a stop mounted on one side of the platform. It was found early on in using the mill that the drum tended to slowly walk toward one side and would eventually drop off the wheels. So I found a scrap piece of aluminum and mounted it the end the drum walked toward to act as a stop. The drum riding against the smooth aluminum surface doesn't seem to produce much friction.
The ball mill is powered by a fairly robust 12V DC motor salvaged from a junked printer. It had a pulley for a fine-toothed belt on it. It was left in place and it seems to drive the heavy round rubber belt well without slipping. The motor was mounted using screws on only one side, which were deliberately left loose. This allows the motor to pivot downward under its own weight to put tension on the belt.
A long, narrow slot was cut in the platform for the belt to pass through. I did it by marking out where I wanted it, drilling a hole at each end, and then cutting out the material between the holes with a jigsaw.
This photo shows the makeshift end stop that prevents the drum from walking off the casters. It is just a random piece of aluminum I found in my junk collection. It conveniently had some holes already drilled in it which made mounting easy. Just about anything that the drum will ride against nearly frictionlessly will work for a stop.
One of the few things I had to buy for this project, aside from the casters, was the steel balls. I found these online. They were quite inexpensive. I went with 5/8 inch diameter balls, which seem to work well in a mill this size.
I have been powering the ball mill with my bench variable power supply so I could fine tune the rotation speed. I wanted it to turn as fast as possible to speed grinding, but not so fast that centrifugal force pins the balls to the wall of the drum preventing them from tumbling over each other. With a little experimentation, the correct speed was found.
So far, this makeshift mill has worked well for me. It has been run for long periods with no problems. It does a good job of reducing even fairly chunky material into a very fine powder, and thoroughly mixing everything. The only real problem I have faced is accidentally over-filling the drum a few times. The drum should not be too full or the balls and material to be ground won't have enough free space to tumble around.
After a milling run, the contents of the drum are dumped out into a sieve over a bowl. With a few shakes of the sieve, the powder drops through the mesh into the bowl leaving the balls behind to be put back in the drum. The sieve also catches any bits that haven't been sufficiently ground down.
I need to add a disclaimer here for anyone thinking of using this sort of ball mill for milling gunpowder or other flammable or explosive powders. First of all, it is really not a good idea. You could cause a fire or explosion and destroy your place, or maybe even get yourself hurt or killed. So don't do it, and if you do it, don't blame me if something bad happens. I'll be saying I told you so. Also do not to use steel, ceramic or glass balls to grind flammable or explosive materials because they can create sparks as they bang against each other while they tumble.
Future improvements: The plastic container I am using is really thick-walled and sturdy, but using it in this application will eventually wear it out. I also get some plastic contamination in the materials I grind in it. So in the future I would like to replace the plastic container with a piece of large diameter steel or iron pipe with end caps. That should also help improve the grinding action as the steel balls bash against the hard walls of the pipe. If I switch to a steel or iron container, which would be heavier, I might also have to beef up the motor driving the unit. We'll see,
Other applications: As I mentioned at the top of the page, and in the attached video, this setup could also be used as a rock tumbler. The plastic container would be ideal for that. Another possible application for this unit is for grinding samples of gold ore, and maybe other metallic ores. One of my many hobbies is gold prospecting. It's often necessary to grind an ore sample to release all the fine particles of gold it contains so they can be separated. This unit may get used for that in the future too.
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[Back to Mike's Homepage] [Email me] Other places to visit: [Mike's telescope workshop] [Mike's home-built jet engine page] [Mike's Home-Built Wind Turbine page] [Mike's Home-Built Solar Panel page] Copyright 2014-2018 Michael Davis, All rights reserved.
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Ball milling is often used not only for grinding powders but also for oxides or nanocomposite synthesis and/or structure/phase composition optimization [14,41]. Mechanical activation by ball milling is known to increase the material reactivity and uniformity of spatial distribution of elements . Thus, postsynthesis processing of the materials by ball milling can help with the problem of minor admixture forming during cooling under air after high-temperature sintering due to phase instability.
Ball milling technique, using mechanical alloying and mechanical milling approaches were proposed to the word wide in the 8th decade of the last century for preparing a wide spectrum of powder materials and their alloys. In fact, ball milling process is not new and dates back to more than 150 years. It has been used in size comminutions of ore, mineral dressing, preparing talc powders and many other applications. It might be interesting for us to have a look at the history and development of ball milling and the corresponding products. The photo shows the STEM-BF image of a Cu-based alloy nanoparticle prepared by mechanical alloying (After El-Eskandarany, unpublished work, 2014).
Ball milling, a shear-force dominant process where the particle size goes on reducing by impact and attrition mainly consists of metallic balls (generally Zirconia (ZrO2) or steel balls), acting as grinding media and rotating shell to create centrifugal force. In this process, graphite (precursor) was breakdown by randomly striking with grinding media in the rotating shell to create shear and compression force which helps to overcome the weak Vander Waal's interaction between the graphite layers and results in their splintering. Fig. 4A schematic illustrates ball milling process for graphene preparation. Initially, because of large size of graphite, compressive force dominates and as the graphite gets fragmented, shear force cleaves graphite to produce graphene. However, excessive compression force may damage the crystalline properties of graphene and hence needs to be minimized by controlling the milling parameters e.g. milling duration, milling revolution per minute (rpm), ball-to-graphite/powder ratio (B/P), initial graphite weight, ball diameter. High quality graphene can be achieved under low milling speed; though it will increase the processing time which is highly undesirable for large scale production.
Fig. 4. (A) Schematic illustration of graphene preparation via ball milling. SEM images of bulk graphite (B), GSs/E-H (C) GSs/K (D); (E) and (F) are the respective TEM images; (G) Raman spectra of bulk graphite versus GSs exfoliated via wet milling in E-H and K.
Milling of graphite layers can be instigated in two states: (i) dry ball milling (DBM) and (ii) wet ball milling (WBM). WBM process requires surfactant/solvent such as N,N Dimethylformamide (DMF) , N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) , deionized (DI) water , potassium acetate , 2-ethylhexanol (E-H)  and kerosene (K)  etc. and is comparatively simpler as compared with DBM. Fig. 4BD show the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of bulk graphite, graphene sheets (GSs) prepared in E-H (GSs/E-H) and K (GSs/K), respectively; the corresponding transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and the Raman spectra are shown in Fig. 4EG, respectively .
Compared to this, DBM requires several milling agents e.g. sodium chloride (NaCl) , Melamine (Na2SO4) [31,32] etc., along with the metal balls to reduce the stress induced in graphite microstructures, and hence require additional purification for exfoliant's removal. Na2SO4 can be easily washed away by hot water  while ammonia-borane (NH3BH3), another exfoliant used to weaken the Vander Waal's bonding between graphite layers can be using ethanol . Table 1 list few ball milling processes carried out using various milling agent (in case of DBM) and solvents (WBM) under different milling conditions.
Ball milling of graphite with appropriate stabilizers is another mode of exfoliation in liquid phase.21 Graphite is ground under high sheer rates with millimeter-sized metal balls causing exfoliation to graphene (Fig. 2.5), under wet or dry conditions. For instance, this method can be employed to produce nearly 50g of graphene in the absence of any oxidant.22 Graphite (50g) was ground in the ball mill with oxalic acid (20g) in this method for 20 hours, but, the separation of unexfoliated fraction was not discussed.22 Similarly, solvent-free graphite exfoliations were carried out under dry milling conditions using KOH,23 ammonia borane,24 and so on. The list of graphite exfoliations performed using ball milling is given in Table 2.2. However, the metallic impurities from the machinery used for ball milling are a major disadvantage of this method for certain applications.25
Reactive ball-milling (RBM) technique has been considered as a powerful tool for fabrication of metallic nitrides and hydrides via room temperature ball milling. The flowchart shows the mechanism of gas-solid reaction through RBM that was proposed by El-Eskandarany. In his model, the starting metallic powders are subjected to dramatic shear and impact forces that are generated by the ball-milling media. The powders are, therefore, disintegrated into smaller particles, and very clean or fresh oxygen-free active surfaces of the powders are created. The reactive milling atmosphere (nitrogen or hydrogen gases) was gettered and absorbed completely by the first atomically clean surfaces of the metallic ball-milled powders to react in a same manner as a gas-solid reaction owing to the mechanically induced reactive milling.
Ball milling is a grinding method that grinds nanotubes into extremely fine powders. During the ball milling process, the collision between the tiny rigid balls in a concealed container will generate localized high pressure. Usually, ceramic, flint pebbles and stainless steel are used.25 In order to further improve the quality of dispersion and introduce functional groups onto the nanotube surface, selected chemicals can be included in the container during the process. The factors that affect the quality of dispersion include the milling time, rotational speed, size of balls and balls/ nanotube amount ratio. Under certain processing conditions, the particles can be ground to as small as 100nm. This process has been employed to transform carbon nanotubes into smaller nanoparticles, to generate highly curved or closed shell carbon nanostructures from graphite, to enhance the saturation of lithium composition in SWCNTs, to modify the morphologies of cup-stacked carbon nanotubes and to generate different carbon nanoparticles from graphitic carbon for hydrogen storage application.25 Even though ball milling is easy to operate and suitable for powder polymers or monomers, process-induced damage on the nanotubes can occur.
Ball milling is a way to exfoliate graphite using lateral force, as opposed to the Scotch Tape or sonication that mainly use normal force. Ball mills, like the three roll machine, are a common occurrence in industry, for the production of fine particles. During the ball milling process, there are two factors that contribute to the exfoliation. The main factor contributing is the shear force applied by the balls. Using only shear force, one can produce large graphene flakes. The secondary factor is the collisions that occur during milling. Harsh collisions can break these large flakes and can potentially disrupt the crystal structure resulting in a more amorphous mass. So in order to create good-quality, high-area graphene, the collisions have to be minimized.
The ball-milling process is common in grinding machines as well as in reactors where various functional materials can be created by mechanochemical synthesis. A simple milling process reduces both CO2 generation and energy consumption during materials production. Herein a novel mechanochemical approach 1-3) to produce sophisticated carbon nanomaterials is reported. It is demonstrated that unique carbon nanostructures including carbon nanotubes and carbon onions are synthesized by high-speed ball-milling of steel balls. It is considered that the gas-phase reaction takes place around the surface of steel balls under local high temperatures induced by the collision-friction energy in ball-milling process, which results in phase separated unique carbon nanomaterials.
Conventional ball milling is a traditional powder-processing technique, which is mainly used for reducing particle sizes and for the mixing of different materials. The technique is widely used in mineral, pharmaceutical, and ceramic industries, as well as scientific laboratories. The HEBM technique discussed in this chapter is a new technique developed initially for producing new metastable materials, which cannot be produced using thermal equilibrium processes, and thus is very different from conventional ball milling technique. HEBM was first reported by Benjamin  in the 1960s. So far, a large range of new materials has been synthesized using HEBM. For example, oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloys are synthesized using a powerful high-energy ball mill (attritor) because conventional ball mills could not provide sufficient grinding energy . Intensive research in the synthesis of new metastable materials by HEBM was stimulated by the pioneering work in the amorphization of the Ni-Nb alloys conducted by Kock et al. in 1983 . Since then, a wide spectrum of metastable materials has been produced, including nanocrystalline , nanocomposite , nanoporous phases , supersaturated solid solutions , and amorphous alloys . These new phase transformations induced by HEBM are generally referred as mechanical alloying (MA). At the same time, it was found that at room temperature, HEBM can activate chemical reactions which are normally only possible at high temperatures . This is called reactive milling or mechano-chemistry. Reactive ball milling has produced a large range of nanosized oxides , nitrides , hydrides , and carbide  particles.
The major differences between conventional ball milling and the HEBM are listed in the Table 1. The impact energy of HEBM is typically 1000 times higher than the conventional ball milling energy. The dominant events in the conventional ball milling are particle fracturing and size reductions, which correspond to, actually, only the first stage of the HEBM. A longer milling time is therefore generally required for HEBM. In addition to milling energy, the controls of milling atmosphere and temperature are crucial in order to create the desired structural changes or chemical reactions. This table shows that HEBM can cover most work normally performed by conventional ball milling, however, conventional ball milling equipment cannot be used to conduct any HEBM work.
Different types of high-energy ball mills have been developed, including the Spex vibrating mill, planetary ball mill, high-energy rotating mill, and attritors . In the nanotube synthesis, two types of HEBM mills have been used: a vibrating ball mill and a rotating ball mill. The vibrating-frame grinder (Pulverisette O, Fritsch) is shown in Fig. 1a. This mill uses only one large ball (diameter of 50 mm) and the media of the ball and vial can be stainless steel or ceramic tungsten carbide (WC). The milling chamber, as illustrated in Fig. 1b, is sealed with an O-ring so that the atmosphere can be changed via a valve. The pressure is monitored with an attached gauge during milling.
where Mb is the mass of the milling ball, Vmax the maximum velocity of the vial,/the impact frequency, and Mp the mass of powder. The milling intensity is a very important parameter to MA and reactive ball milling. For example, a full amorphization of a crystalline NiZr alloy can only be achieved with a milling intensity above an intensity threshold of 510 ms2 . The amorphization process during ball milling can be seen from the images of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in Fig. 2a, which were taken from samples milled for different lengths of time. The TEM images show that the size and number of NiZr crystals decrease with increasing milling time, and a full amorphization is achieved after milling for 165 h. The corresponding diffraction patterns in Fig. 2b confirm this gradual amorphization process. However, when milling below the intensity threshold, a mixture of nanocrystalline and amorphous phases is produced. This intensity threshold depends on milling temperature and alloy composition .
Figure 2. (a) Dark-field TEM image of Ni10Zr7 alloy milled for 0.5, 23, 73, and 165 h in the vibrating ball mill with a milling intensity of 940 ms2. (b) Corresponding electron diffraction patterns .
Fig. 3 shows a rotating steel mill and a schematic representation of milling action inside the milling chamber. The mill has a rotating horizontal cell loaded with several hardened steel balls. As the cell rotates, the balls drop onto the powder that is being ground. An external magnet is placed close to the cell to increase milling energy . Different milling actions and intensities can be realized by adjusting the cell rotation rate and magnet position.
The atmosphere inside the chamber can be controlled, and adequate gas has to be selected for different milling experiments. For example, during the ball milling of pure Zr powder in the atmosphere of ammonia (NH3), a series of chemical reactions occur between Zr and NH3 [54,55]. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns in Fig. 4 show the following reaction sequence as a function of milling time:
The mechanism of a HEBM process is quite complicated. During the HEBM, material particles are repeatedly flattened, fractured, and welded. Every time two steel balls collide or one ball hits the chamber wall, they trap some particles between their surfaces. Such high-energy impacts severely deform the particles and create atomically fresh, new surfaces, as well as a high density of dislocations and other structural defects . A high defect density induced by HEBM can accelerate the diffusion process . Alternatively, the deformation and fracturing of particles causes continuous size reduction and can lead to reduction in diffusion distances. This can at least reduce the reaction temperatures significantly, even if the reactions do not occur at room temperature [57,58]. Since newly created surfaces are most often very reactive and readily oxidize in air, the HEBM has to be conducted in an inert atmosphere. It is now recognized that the HEBM, along with other non-equilibrium techniques such as rapid quenching, irradiation/ion-implantation, plasma processing, and gas deposition, can produce a series of metastable and nanostructured materials, which are usually difficult to prepare using melting or conventional powder metallurgy methods [59,60]. In the next section, detailed structural and morphological changes of graphite during HEBM will be presented.
Ball milling and ultrasonication were used to reduce the particle size and distribution. During ball milling the weight (grams) ratio of balls-to-clay particles was 100:2.5 and the milling operation was run for 24 hours. The effect of different types of balls on particle size reduction and narrowing particle size distribution was studied. The milled particles were dispersed in xylene to disaggregate the clumps. Again, ultrasonication was done on milled samples in xylene. An investigation on the amplitude (80% and 90%), pulsation rate (5 s on and 5 s off, 8 s on and 4 s off) and time (15 min, 1 h and 4 h) of the ultrasonication process was done with respect to particle size distribution and the optimum conditions in our laboratory were determined. A particle size analyzer was used to characterize the nanoparticles based on the principles of laser diffraction and morphological studies.
In all ore dressing and milling Operations, including flotation, cyanidation, gravity concentration, and amalgamation, the Working Principle is to crush and grind, often with rob mill & ball mills, the ore in order to liberate the minerals. In the chemical and process industries, grinding is an important step in preparing raw materials for subsequent treatment.In present day practice, ore is reduced to a size many times finer than can be obtained with crushers. Over a period of many years various fine grinding machines have been developed and used, but the ball mill has become standard due to its simplicity and low operating cost.
A ball millefficiently operated performs a wide variety of services. In small milling plants, where simplicity is most essential, it is not economical to use more than single stage crushing, because the Steel-Head Ball or Rod Mill will take up to 2 feed and grind it to the desired fineness. In larger plants where several stages of coarse and fine crushing are used, it is customary to crush from 1/2 to as fine as 8 mesh.
Many grinding circuits necessitate regrinding of concentrates or middling products to extremely fine sizes to liberate the closely associated minerals from each other. In these cases, the feed to the ball mill may be from 10 to 100 mesh or even finer.
Where the finished product does not have to be uniform, a ball mill may be operated in open circuit, but where the finished product must be uniform it is essential that the grinding mill be used in closed circuit with a screen, if a coarse product is desired, and with a classifier if a fine product is required. In most cases it is desirable to operate the grinding mill in closed circuit with a screen or classifier as higher efficiency and capacity are obtained. Often a mill using steel rods as the grinding medium is recommended, where the product must have the minimum amount of fines (rods give a more nearly uniform product).
Often a problem requires some study to determine the economic fineness to which a product can or should be ground. In this case the 911Equipment Company offers its complete testing service so that accurate grinding mill size may be determined.
Until recently many operators have believed that one particular type of grinding mill had greater efficiency and resulting capacity than some other type. However, it is now commonly agreed and accepted that the work done by any ballmill depends directly upon the power input; the maximum power input into any ball or rod mill depends upon weight of grinding charge, mill speed, and liner design.
The apparent difference in capacities between grinding mills (listed as being the same size) is due to the fact that there is no uniform method of designating the size of a mill, for example: a 5 x 5 Ball Mill has a working diameter of 5 inside the liners and has 20 per cent more capacity than all other ball mills designated as 5 x 5 where the shell is 5 inside diameter and the working diameter is only 48 with the liners in place.
Ball-Rod Mills, based on 4 liners and capacity varying as 2.6 power of mill diameter, on the 5 size give 20 per cent increased capacity; on the 4 size, 25 per cent; and on the 3 size, 28 per cent. This fact should be carefully kept in mind when determining the capacity of a Steel- Head Ball-Rod Mill, as this unit can carry a greater ball or rod charge and has potentially higher capacity in a given size when the full ball or rod charge is carried.
A mill shorter in length may be used if the grinding problem indicates a definite power input. This allows the alternative of greater capacity at a later date or a considerable saving in first cost with a shorter mill, if reserve capacity is not desired. The capacities of Ball-Rod Mills are considerably higher than many other types because the diameters are measured inside the liners.
The correct grinding mill depends so much upon the particular ore being treated and the product desired, that a mill must have maximum flexibility in length, type of grinding medium, type of discharge, and speed.With the Ball-Rod Mill it is possible to build this unit in exact accordance with your requirements, as illustrated.
To best serve your needs, the Trunnion can be furnished with small (standard), medium, or large diameter opening for each type of discharge. The sketch shows diagrammatic arrangements of the four different types of discharge for each size of trunnion opening, and peripheral discharge is described later.
Ball-Rod Mills of the grate discharge type are made by adding the improved type of grates to a standard Ball-Rod Mill. These grates are bolted to the discharge head in much the same manner as the standard headliners.
The grates are of alloy steel and are cast integral with the lifter bars which are essential to the efficient operation of this type of ball or rod mill. These lifter bars have a similar action to a pump:i. e., in lifting the product so as to discharge quickly through the mill trunnion.
These Discharge Grates also incorporate as an integral part, a liner between the lifters and steel head of the ball mill to prevent wear of the mill head. By combining these parts into a single casting, repairs and maintenance are greatly simplified. The center of the grate discharge end of this mill is open to permit adding of balls or for adding water to the mill through the discharge end.
Instead of being constructed of bars cast into a frame, Grates are cast entire and have cored holes which widen toward the outside of the mill similar to the taper in grizzly bars. The grate type discharge is illustrated.
The peripheral discharge type of Ball-Rod Mill is a modification of the grate type, and is recommended where a free gravity discharge is desired. It is particularly applicable when production of too many fine particles is detrimental and a quick pass through the mill is desired, and for dry grinding.
The drawings show the arrangement of the peripheral discharge. The discharge consists of openings in the shell into which bushings with holes of the desired size are inserted. On the outside of the mill, flanges are used to attach a stationary discharge hopper to prevent pulp splash or too much dust.
The mill may be operated either as a peripheral discharge or a combination or peripheral and trunnion discharge unit, depending on the desired operating conditions. If at any time the peripheral discharge is undesirable, plugs inserted into the bushings will convert the mill to a trunnion discharge type mill.
Unless otherwise specified, a hard iron liner is furnished. This liner is made of the best grade white iron and is most serviceable for the smaller size mills where large balls are not used. Hard iron liners have a much lower first cost.
Electric steel, although more expensive than hard iron, has advantage of minimum breakage and allows final wear to thinner section. Steel liners are recommended when the mills are for export or where the source of liner replacement is at a considerable distance.
Molychrome steel has longer wearing qualities and greater strength than hard iron. Breakage is not so apt to occur during shipment, and any size ball can be charged into a mill equipped with molychrome liners.
Manganese liners for Ball-Rod Mills are the world famous AMSCO Brand, and are the best obtainable. The first cost is the highest, but in most cases the cost per ton of ore ground is the lowest. These liners contain 12 to 14% manganese.
The feed and discharge trunnions are provided with cast iron or white iron throat liners. As these parts are not subjected to impact and must only withstand abrasion, alloys are not commonly used but can be supplied.
Gears for Ball-Rod Mills drives are furnished as standard on the discharge end of the mill where they are out of the way of the classifier return, scoop feeder, or original feed. Due to convertible type construction the mills can be furnished with gears on the feed end. Gear drives are available in two alternative combinations, which are:
All pinions are properly bored, key-seated, and pressed onto the steel countershaft, which is oversize and properly keyseated for the pinion and drive pulleys or sheaves. The countershaft operates on high grade, heavy duty, nickel babbitt bearings.
Any type of drive can be furnished for Ball-Rod Mills in accordance with your requirements. Belt drives are available with pulleys either plain or equipped with friction clutch. Various V- Rope combinations can also be supplied.
The most economical drive to use up to 50 H. P., is a high starting torque motor connected to the pinion shaft by means of a flat or V-Rope drive. For larger size motors the wound rotor (slip ring) is recommended due to its low current requirement in starting up the ball mill.
Should you be operating your own power plant or have D. C. current, please specify so that there will be no confusion as to motor characteristics. If switches are to be supplied, exact voltage to be used should be given.
Even though many ores require fine grinding for maximum recovery, most ores liberate a large percentage of the minerals during the first pass through the grinding unit. Thus, if the free minerals can be immediately removed from the ball mill classifier circuit, there is little chance for overgrinding.
This is actually what has happened wherever Mineral Jigs or Unit Flotation Cells have been installed in the ball mill classifier circuit. With the installation of one or both of these machines between the ball mill and classifier, as high as 70 per cent of the free gold and sulphide minerals can be immediately removed, thus reducing grinding costs and improving over-all recovery. The advantage of this method lies in the fact that heavy and usually valuable minerals, which otherwise would be ground finer because of their faster settling in the classifier and consequent return to the grinding mill, are removed from the circuit as soon as freed. This applies particularly to gold and lead ores.
Ball-Rod Mills have heavy rolled steel plate shells which are arc welded inside and outside to the steel heads or to rolled steel flanges, depending upon the type of mill. The double welding not only gives increased structural strength, but eliminates any possibility of leakage.
Where a single or double flanged shell is used, the faces are accurately machined and drilled to template to insure perfect fit and alignment with the holes in the head. These flanges are machined with male and female joints which take the shearing stresses off the bolts.
The Ball-Rod Mill Heads are oversize in section, heavily ribbed and are cast from electric furnace steel which has a strength of approximately four times that of cast iron. The head and trunnion bearings are designed to support a mill with length double its diameter. This extra strength, besides eliminating the possibility of head breakage or other structural failure (either while in transit or while in service), imparts to Ball-Rod Mills a flexibility heretofore lacking in grinding mills. Also, for instance, if you have a 5 x 5 mill, you can add another 5 shell length and thus get double the original capacity; or any length required up to a maximum of 12 total length.
On Type A mills the steel heads are double welded to the rolled steel shell. On type B and other flanged type mills the heads are machined with male and female joints to match the shell flanges, thus taking the shearing stresses from the heavy machine bolts which connect the shell flanges to the heads.
The manhole cover is protected from wear by heavy liners. An extended lip is provided for loosening the door with a crow-bar, and lifting handles are also provided. The manhole door is furnished with suitable gaskets to prevent leakage.
The mill trunnions are carried on heavy babbitt bearings which provide ample surface to insure low bearing pressure. If at any time the normal length is doubled to obtain increased capacity, these large trunnion bearings will easily support the additional load. Trunnion bearings are of the rigid type, as the perfect alignment of the trunnion surface on Ball-Rod Mills eliminates any need for the more expensive self-aligning type of bearing.
The cap on the upper half of the trunnion bearing is provided with a shroud which extends over the drip flange of the trunnion and effectively prevents the entrance of dirt or grit. The bearing has a large space for wool waste and lubricant and this is easily accessible through a large opening which is covered to prevent dirt from getting into the bearing.Ball and socket bearings can be furnished.
Scoop Feeders for Ball-Rod Mills are made in various radius sizes. Standard scoops are made of cast iron and for the 3 size a 13 or 19 feeder is supplied, for the 4 size a 30 or 36, for the 5 a 36 or 42, and for the 6 a 42 or 48 feeder. Welded steel scoop feeders can, however, be supplied in any radius.
The correct size of feeder depends upon the size of the classifier, and the smallest feeder should be used which will permit gravity flow for closed circuit grinding between classifier and the ball or rod mill. All feeders are built with a removable wearing lip which can be easily replaced and are designed to give minimum scoop wear.
A combination drum and scoop feeder can be supplied if necessary. This feeder is made of heavy steel plate and strongly welded. These drum-scoop feeders are available in the same sizes as the cast iron feeders but can be built in any radius. Scoop liners can be furnished.
The trunnions on Ball-Rod Mills are flanged and carefully machined so that scoops are held in place by large machine bolts and not cap screws or stud bolts. The feed trunnion flange is machined with a shoulder for insuring a proper fit for the feed scoop, and the weight of the scoop is carried on this shoulder so that all strain is removed from the bolts which hold the scoop.
High carbon steel rods are recommended, hot rolled, hot sawed or sheared, to a length of 2 less than actual length of mill taken inside the liners. The initial rod charge is generally a mixture ranging from 1.5 to 3 in diameter. During operation, rod make-up is generally the maximum size. The weights per lineal foot of rods of various diameters are approximately: 1.5 to 6 lbs.; 2-10.7 lbs.; 2.5-16.7 lbs.; and 3-24 lbs.
Forged from the best high carbon manganese steel, they are of the finest quality which can be produced and give long, satisfactory service. Data on ball charges for Ball-Rod Mills are listed in Table 5. Further information regarding grinding balls is included in Table 6.
Rod Mills has a very define and narrow discharge product size range. Feeding a Rod Mill finer rocks will greatly impact its tonnage while not significantly affect its discharge product sizes. The 3.5 diameter rod of a mill, can only grind so fine.
Crushers are well understood by most. Rod and Ball Mills not so much however as their size reduction actions are hidden in the tube (mill). As for Rod Mills, the image above best expresses what is going on inside. As rocks is feed into the mill, they are crushed (pinched) by the weight of its 3.5 x 16 rods at one end while the smaller particles migrate towards the discharge end and get slightly abraded (as in a Ball Mill) on the way there.
We haveSmall Ball Mills for sale coming in at very good prices. These ball mills are relatively small, bearing mounted on a steel frame. All ball mills are sold with motor, gears, steel liners and optional grinding media charge/load.
Ball Mills or Rod Mills in a complete range of sizes up to 10 diameter x20 long, offer features of operation and convertibility to meet your exactneeds. They may be used for pulverizing and either wet or dry grindingsystems. Mills are available in both light-duty and heavy-duty constructionto meet your specific requirements.
All Mills feature electric cast steel heads and heavy rolled steelplate shells. Self-aligning main trunnion bearings on large mills are sealedand internally flood-lubricated. Replaceable mill trunnions. Pinion shaftbearings are self-aligning, roller bearing type, enclosed in dust-tightcarrier. Adjustable, single-unit soleplate under trunnion and drive pinionsfor perfect, permanent gear alignment.
Ball Mills can be supplied with either ceramic or rubber linings for wet or dry grinding, for continuous or batch type operation, in sizes from 15 x 21 to 8 x 12. High density ceramic linings of uniform hardness male possible thinner linings and greater and more effective grinding volume. Mills are shipped with liners installed.
Complete laboratory testing service, mill and air classifier engineering and proven equipment make possible a single source for your complete dry-grinding mill installation. Units available with air swept design and centrifugal classifiers or with elevators and mechanical type air classifiers. All sizes and capacities of units. Laboratory-size air classifier also available.
A special purpose batch mill designed especially for grinding and mixing involving acids and corrosive materials. No corners mean easy cleaning and choice of rubber or ceramic linings make it corrosion resistant. Shape of mill and ball segregation gives preferential grinding action for grinding and mixing of pigments and catalysts. Made in 2, 3 and 4 diameter grinding drums.
Nowadays grinding mills are almost extensively used for comminution of materials ranging from 5 mm to 40 mm (3/161 5/8) down to varying product sizes. They have vast applications within different branches of industry such as for example the ore dressing, cement, lime, porcelain and chemical industries and can be designed for continuous as well as batch grinding.
Ball mills can be used for coarse grinding as described for the rod mill. They will, however, in that application produce more fines and tramp oversize and will in any case necessitate installation of effective classification.If finer grinding is wanted two or three stage grinding is advisable as for instant primary rod mill with 75100 mm (34) rods, secondary ball mill with 2540 mm(11) balls and possibly tertiary ball mill with 20 mm () balls or cylpebs.To obtain a close size distribution in the fine range the specific surface of the grinding media should be as high as possible. Thus as small balls as possible should be used in each stage.
The principal field of rod mill usage is the preparation of products in the 5 mm0.4 mm (4 mesh to 35 mesh) range. It may sometimes be recommended also for finer grinding. Within these limits a rod mill is usually superior to and more efficient than a ball mill. The basic principle for rod grinding is reduction by line contact between rods extending the full length of the mill, resulting in selective grinding carried out on the largest particle sizes. This results in a minimum production of extreme fines or slimes and more effective grinding work as compared with a ball mill. One stage rod mill grinding is therefore suitable for preparation of feed to gravimetric ore dressing methods, certain flotation processes with slime problems and magnetic cobbing. Rod mills are frequently used as primary mills to produce suitable feed to the second grinding stage. Rod mills have usually a length/diameter ratio of at least 1.4.
Tube mills are in principle to be considered as ball mills, the basic difference being that the length/diameter ratio is greater (35). They are commonly used for surface cleaning or scrubbing action and fine grinding in open circuit.
In some cases it is suitable to use screened fractions of the material as grinding media. Such mills are usually called pebble mills, but the working principle is the same as for ball mills. As the power input is approximately directly proportional to the volume weight of the grinding media, the power input for pebble mills is correspondingly smaller than for a ball mill.
A dry process requires usually dry grinding. If the feed is wet and sticky, it is often necessary to lower the moisture content below 1 %. Grinding in front of wet processes can be done wet or dry. In dry grinding the energy consumption is higher, but the wear of linings and charge is less than for wet grinding, especially when treating highly abrasive and corrosive material. When comparing the economy of wet and dry grinding, the different costs for the entire process must be considered.
An increase in the mill speed will give a directly proportional increase in mill power but there seems to be a square proportional increase in the wear. Rod mills generally operate within the range of 6075 % of critical speed in order to avoid excessive wear and tangled rods. Ball and pebble mills are usually operated at 7085 % of critical speed. For dry grinding the speed is usually somewhat lower.
The mill lining can be made of rubber or different types of steel (manganese or Ni-hard) with liner types according to the customers requirements. For special applications we can also supply porcelain, basalt and other linings.
The mill power is approximately directly proportional to the charge volume within the normal range. When calculating a mill 40 % charge volume is generally used. In pebble and ball mills quite often charge volumes close to 50 % are used. In a pebble mill the pebble consumption ranges from 315 % and the charge has to be controlled automatically to maintain uniform power consumption.
In all cases the net energy consumption per ton (kWh/ton) must be known either from previous experience or laboratory tests before mill size can be determined. The required mill net power P kW ( = ton/hX kWh/ton) is obtained from
Trunnions of S.G. iron or steel castings with machined flange and bearing seat incl. device for dismantling the bearings. For smaller mills the heads and trunnions are sometimes made in grey cast iron.
The mills can be used either for dry or wet, rod or ball grinding. By using a separate attachment the discharge end can be changed so that the mills can be used for peripheral instead of overflow discharge.
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Ball mills are a special instrument used to break up hard solids into a fine powder. They are similar to rock tumblers in that the instrument is a rotating container filled with heavy balls to grind the substance into powder. Ceramic material, crystalline compounds, and even some metals can be ground up using a ball mill. Using a motor, container, belt, caster wheels, and some basic building supplies, you can make your own ball mill. X Research source
To make a ball mill, start by building a wooden platform and attaching a motor underneath it. Then, cut a slit into the wooden platform for the belt to pass through and attach casters to the platform for the container to sit on. Next, thread the belt through the slit and position the container so the belt is pulled tight. Finish by connecting the motor to the power supply, and filling the cylinder with metal balls and the substance you want to grind. For tips on how to operate your ball mill, read on! Did this summary help you?YesNo
Interested in CNC routing but clueless about tooling? Cant tell an end mill from a drill bit? Heres an overview of end mill anatomy, some basic cutter types, and tips on how to choose the correct tooling for basic wood or plastic jobs.
CNC machining is a subtractive process that uses rotational cutting tools called end mills to remove material. An end mill, while similar in appearance to a drill bit, is far more versatile. However, in practice the terms bit and end mill are often used interchangeably.
Heres the key difference. Drill bits are designed to plunge directly into material, cutting axially and creating cylindrical holes. End mills are typically used for horizontal carving and cut laterally. Additionally, most mills are center-cutting, meaning they are able to cut both axially and laterally. This is due to cutting flutes that extend to and protrude from the end face and enable plunge cutting. To minimize tool breakage and stress on the material being cut, most CNC software will ramp the end mill slowly into lateral cuts.
The project type, material being cut, and desired surface finish determines the tool geometry. Key tooling features include the diameter, shank, flutes, teeth, tip shape, center cutting capability, helix angle, helix direction, length of cut, and overall tool length.
Ballnose mills produce a rounded pass and are ideal for 3D contour work, while fish tail cutters will produce a flat surface. V-bits produce a V shaped pass and are used for engraving, particularly for making signs.
The diagram above shows the difference in clearing path shape between a fish tail, ball nose and V tools. Ball nose mills are often selected when doing 3D contouring because their rounded edge reduces jagged steps when cutting several stepped layers. Ball nose mills can also be used to cut wide paths with rounded edges by reducing the step over amount (overlapping distance between) between passes. By overlapping steps, the central scallop shown in the diagram is eliminated.
Flutes are the helical grooves that wrap around the sides of the end mill. Each flute has a single tooth with a sharp cutting edge (although there can be more than one) that runs along the edge of the flute.
As the tooth cuts into the wood, each flute whisks away a small section or chip. The fewer the flutes, the more material that is ejected with each tool rotation.The overall cutting depth should never exceed the length of the flutes on an end mill. If cutting deeper than the length of the flutes, the tops of the flutes will be blocked and chips wont clear, building up heat and reducing tool life.
If youre machining a material like HDPE plastic, you want to use an O or single flute bit to clear the chips away as quickly as possible or heat will build up melting the plastic, which will reweld to the tool.
The direction, size, speed and amount of chips being ejected can also damage the surface of the work piece. We can control how the tooling effects the material through our end mill type selection (upcut, downcut or compression) and speed at which we cut.
True to their name, upcut mills eject chips towards the top of the workpiece, producing a cleanly cut bottom surface. The downside is possible surface splintering or tearout on the top surface as the chips are ejected upwards.
Downcut tools do the opposite, producing a smooth upper surface. They are ideal for pieces that have been previously engraved or v-carved and cannot be flipped to hide tearout. In addition, as downcut mills pack the chips into the cut path, they can be used instead of tabs to hold down a workpiece and keep it from moving.
Compression end mills feed chips upward from the base and downward from the top side of the end mill. This type of mill produces a smooth surface on both sides when cutting through material. The sides of the cutting path however can be damaged by the chips. To further reduce tearing in a wooden work piece, apply a layer of blue painters tape the surface. This will result in less surface splintering and can be easily removed when the milling operation finishes. If the desired finish is still not achieved, consider switching to wood stock that has a finer grain.
The speed at which we move a cutter across the material is called the feed rate. The rate of rotation is called the speed and is controlled by how fast the router or spindle turns the cutting tool. Both feed rate and spindle speed will vary based on the material being cut. A general rule of thumb is that you want to move the tool through the material as fast as possible, without sacrificing surface finish. The longer the tool rotates in any one place, the more heat that builds up. Heat is your enemy and can burn your material or radically decrease the life or your cutting tool. Feed rate vs spindle speed:
A good strategy when selecting a cutter is to attempt to balance feed rate and spindle speed by performing two passes on the work piece. The first pass, called the roughing pass, can be done by using an end mill that will eject a large number of chips at a high feed rate. The second pass, called the finishing pass, then wont require as aggressive of a cut and can provide a smoother finish at a high speed.