Particle size analyzer cuts energy use

The China Aluminium Industry Stock Company (Guizhou, China) is using an Insitec on-line particle size analyzer from Malvern Instruments (Malvern, U.K.) to produce better quality carbon at lower variable cost. The milled carbon processed by China Aluminum is used to manufacture electrodes for aluminium smelting, and particle size directly influences electrode performance.
By Control Engineering Staff October 1, 2008

The China Aluminium Industry Stock Company (Guizhou, China) is using an Insitec on-line particle size analyzer from Malvern Instruments (Malvern, U.K.) to produce better quality carbon at lower variable cost.

The milled carbon processed by China Aluminum is used to manufacture electrodes for aluminium smelting, and particle size directly influences electrode performance.

The carbon is milled in a ball mill, a downstream classifier separating off the final product. Traditionally, particle size was measured by off-line sieve analysis which is both time-consuming and manually intensive. The on-line Insitec analyzes much more frequently and more rapidly, providing real-time data for control. These data are used to automatically vary classifier speed, maintaining product particle size in the specified range.

Improved control using Insitec has led to a reduction in over-milling, reducing energy consumption and increasing throughput. Furthermore, because particle size is so closely controlled there have been improvements in product quality.

The Insitec is a laser diffraction-based particle size analyzer designed to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with minimal manual intervention. It has no moving parts and accurately measures even concentrated streams. Suitable for particles in the size range 0.1– 2000 microns it has a measurement frequency of 0.25 Hz (four measurements per second).

Insitec’s changeable lenses allow the tuning of the instrument resolution to the needs of the process. The instrument is watertight and dustproof, and certified to industrial protection rating IP66. It is CE badged and meets industrial grade electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements for safe, reliable operation.

The principle of measurement used in Insitec is ensemble laser diffraction, which allows measurement of thousands to millions of particles every

Insitec features include:

  • Hygienic fittings for sample path cleaning between production runs;

  • Range of continuous sampling accessories available for wet and dry analysis;

  • Intrinsic safety and pharmaceutical (GAMP4) options; and

  • At-line and on-line mobile unit options.

www.malvern.com