Fluid Cavitation as a Rock Crushing and Rock Fragmentation Tool.
The use of high-pressure fluid cavitation is investigated as a means of breaking an ore into its constituent grains. This cavitational rock disaggregation (crd) is found to be possible and effective in breaking down galena ore, both in sandstone and dolomite host material. The technique did not work as well in comminuting and cleaning oil shale because the cavitation drove the oil into emulsion with the water. The presence of dominant bedding in the rock also caused preferential breakage to these lines rather than to the individual grain boundaries. This problem was also encountered in tests on igneous ore where weakness planes of the overall ore proved weaker than the boundaries of the individual grains. The prevailing expression of cavitation erosion dependence on pressure was not found to be adsolutely valid. In contrast, crd was found to be much more sensitive to jet flow diameter, and when this was recognized, it was found possible to erode with compressive strength of up to 350 mpa with operating jet pressures of 40 mpa.
CP; Final Contract Report;
University of Missouri-Rolla