On-line measurement of viscosity and determination of flow types for mineral suspensions

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A viscometry system involving a vibrating sphere viscometer and a rotational viscometer has been developed for on-line measurement of viscosity, and for rheological characterization of mineral slurries into either Newtonian or non-Newtonian flows. Special precautions were taken to allow measurements of viscosity of rapidly settling mineral suspensions. Both the viscometers were able to measure viscosity as low as one centipoise, which is the approximate room temperature viscosity of water. Because the vibrating sphere viscometer operated at a much higher shear rate than the rotating viscometer, the two instruments together could determine the shear-rate dependency of the viscosity. Ground silica of 80% passing 65 μm size was suspended in water, and was used to prepare slurries at different percent solids. Viscosity of each slurry sample was measured simultaneously by both the viscometers, and the results were compared to determine the rheological characters of the slurries. With this technique, it was found that all the silica slurry samples (up to 70 wt% solids) at the given size distribution were in the Newtonian flow regime.

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International Journal of Mineral Processing