Spiral Concentrator, also called spiral chute separator, which was invented by I. B. Humphreys and first used in 1943 for concentrating chromite in Oregon beach sands, consists of five or six spiral turns of a modified semicircular launder which is about the size of a conventional automobile tire. Feed enters the top spiral and the tailing discharges from the bottom one, while concentrate and middlings are cut off by outlet ports regularly spaced at each turn of the spiral, and the products passed through rubber hoses to common launders which run the full length of a bank of spirals. Wash water is supplied from a small wash-water channel paralleling the main channel.
Operating entirely by gravity flow and involving no mechanical parts, the separation of the heavy constituents of the feed is effected by the same centrifugal forces and flow gradients encountered in ordinary river or stream concentration.
A capacity of 38 tons per spiral was obtained in the 1000-ton per 24 hr. Oregon plant operating on about a minus 40-mesh feed and in the 5000-ton plant recently installed near Jacksonville to concentrate ilmenite 174 roughing, and 12 finishing spirals have replaced an installation of tables and flotation cells