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Effect of particle gradation characteristics on yield stress of cemented paste backfill

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Abstract

Along with slurry concentration and particle density, particle size distribution (PSD) of tailings also exerts a significant influence on the yield stress of cemented paste, a non-Newtonian fluid. In this work, a paste stability coefficient (PSC) was proposed to characterize paste gradation and better reveal its connection to yield stress. This coefficient was proved beneficial to the construction of a unified rheological model, applicable to different materials in different mines, so as to promote the application of rheology in the pipeline transportation of paste. From the results, yield stress showed an exponential growth with increasing PSC, which reflected the proportion of solid particle concentration to the packing density of granular media in a unit volume of slurry, and could represent the properties of both slurry and granular media. It was found that slurry of low PSC contained extensive pores, generally around 20 μm, encouraging free flow of water, constituting a relatively low yield stress. In contrast, slurry of high PSC had a compact and quite stable honeycomb structure, with pore sizes generally < 5 μm, causing the paste to overcome a higher yield stress to flow.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2019M663576), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51774020), the Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education of China for Efficient Mining and Safety of Metal Mines (No. ustbmslab201801), the Program for Innovative Research Team (in Science and Technology) in University of Yunnan Province and the Research Start-up Fund for Introduced Talent of Kunming University of Science and Technology (No. KKSY201821024).

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Correspondence to Xiao-qiang Zhang.

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Cheng, H., Wu, S., Zhang, X. et al. Effect of particle gradation characteristics on yield stress of cemented paste backfill. Int J Miner Metall Mater 27, 10–17 (2020) doi:10.1007/s12613-019-1865-y

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Keywords

  • paste backfill
  • grading theory
  • yield stress
  • paste stability coefficient
  • microscale