The Falcon concentrator is capable of separating minerals in fine size classes based on their differential density. Separation of mineral particles depends upon the fluid flow characteristics and relative movement of particles in a fluid. In the present study, a fluid flow characteristic inside the Falcon concentrator was established through experimentation and modeling. The Falcon concentrator has two fluid entry points: (a) Fluid entering through gravity assisted feeding system and (b) Fluid entering through the fluidized hole on the concentrator wall. In order to identify the role of fluid entering the concentrator, a tracer was injected into the system. As per the tracer based experimentation, it was established that fluid entering through the gravity based feeding system is responsible for thin flowing film formation in the stratification zone where particles are stratified based on their relative density. The momentum balance and continuity equations were simplified for a high centrifugal force field, and the fluid velocity profile was estimated inside the thin flowing film. Estimated fluid flow profiles will help to simulate the particle trajectories inside the Falcon concentrator. The influence of rotational speed, fluid flow rate, and cone angle on the fluid velocity profile were investigated. Fluid thickness over the concentrator wall is also estimated, and it is typically of the order of ~150–200 μm.
Falcon concentrator Fluid velocity profile Rotational speed Fluidized water Cone angle and fluid thickness
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The authors acknowledge the help and cooperation of the staff of the Mineral Processing Division at CSIR-NML Jamshedpur, India towards the research work.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of Interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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