The spiral concentrator first appeared as a production unit in 1943 in the form of the Humphrey Spiral, for the separation of chrome-bearing sands in Oregon. By the 1950’s, spirals were the standard primary wet gravity separation unit in the Australian mineral sands industry.
In the spiral concentrator the length of the sluicing surface required to bring about segregation of light from heavy minerals is compressed into a smaller floor space by taking a curved trough and forming into a spiral about a vertical axis. The slurry is fed into the trough at the top of the spiral and allowed to flow down under gravity. The spiralling flow of pulp down the unit introduces a mild centrifugal force to the particles and fluid. This creates a flow of pulp from the centre of the spiral outwards to the edge. The heaviest and coarsest particles remain near the centre on the flattest part of the cross-section, while the lightest and finest material is washed outwards and up the sides of the launder. This separation may be assisted by the introduction of additional water flowing out from the centre of the spiral either continuously or at various locations down the length of the spiral. This wash water may be distributed through tubes or by deflection from a water channel that runs down the centre of the spiral. Some present designs have overcome the need for this wash water. Once the particle stream has separated into the various fractions, the heavy fraction can be separated by means of splitters at appropriate positions down the spiral. A concentrate, middlings mid tailing fraction can be recovered.
How We Do It Meet And Define Gogal