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Патент USA US3048283

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A118" 7, 1952
Filed July 15, 1959
4 Sheets-Sheet 1
Aug- 7, 1952
Filed July 13. 1959
4 Sheets-Sheet 2
Aug' 7, 1952
Filed July 15, 1959
4 Sheets-Sheet 3
Aug- 7, 1952
Filed July 13, 1959
4 Sheets-Sheet 4
United grates
‘ i
Patented Aug. 7, 1962
are carried by the movement ofthe medium of lower
density at the interface to a station to be removed and
the sinks are carried from the bottom of the medium of
James E. Chick, Gatley, and Robert Symington, Bram
hall, England, assignors to Simon-Carves Limited,
Stockport, England, ,a British company
Filed July 13, 1959, Ser. No. 826,602
Claims priority, application Great Britain July 25, 1958
13 Claims. (Cl. 209-1725)
higher density. The area of the interface is reduced by
reducing the dimensions of the area, thereby reducing the
opportunity ‘for destruction of the interface. Mixing of
the lighter and denser media is also minimized by ?oating
the middlings out of the interface by the transverse move- ’
ment of the denser medium thus avoiding mechanical
Our present invention relates to a method and an ap 10 means and the agitation occasioned thereby. The mid
paratus for separating ores, particularly coal, in a single
dlings are ?oated into a separate compartment from which
fractionation, into a fraction of least density, for example
they are carried away by a mechanical means. The level
coal, a fraction of intermediate density, for example mixed
of the interface is controlled by an adjustable over?ow
coal and rock, and a fraction of greatest density, for ex
ample slate or rock.
In a speci?c embodiment of the invention the sinks
The invention is particularly useful in separating coal
and middlings are conveyed from the separating vessel
as mined from slate or other rock associated with the
containing the separating media by a wheel having two
coal. The lightest fraction of such a mixture is substan
concentric series of pockets, one positioned to rotate to
tially coal with little or no rock or gangue. The inter
bring successive pockets into the bottom of the separating
mediate fraction is made up of particles of coal, and rock 20 vessel and out to a position to release the sinks at one
from which the coal may be recovered by further frag
station. The other series of pockets rotates into the
rnentation and separation. The heaviest fraction is com
separate compartment to engage the middlings and to
posed of rock particles with little or no coal. The density
carry them to a different station. The plane and the
of all of these fractions is somewhat greater than that of
axis of the wheel are inclined to the horizontal at a suit_
water. However, an aqueous liquid of a density suffi 25 able angle such as 45° to the Vertical and the wheel moves
cient to ?oat the lightest fraction and of a density to ?oat
in an inclined cylindrical container or box the lower
the intermediate fraction may be formed by suspending in
part of which forms the lower part of the separating vessel
water a suitable heavy solid such as magnetic iron oxide
and the upper part of which contains separate openings
in such ?ne particles that separation of the particles is
or chutes for the discharge of the sinks and middlings.
negligible in use. Thus by using a medium having a den
The invention is illustrated, by way of example, in the
sity greater than that of the lightest fraction ‘but less than
accompanying drawings in which;
that of the intermediate fraction the lightest fraction will
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of apparatus [according to
float to the surface while the intermediate and heaviest
the invention,
fractions will sink, and by using a medium of a density
FIG. 2 is a vertical section of the apparatus‘in a plane
greater than that of the intermediate fraction and less than V through the axis of the wheel,
that of the heaviest fraction the intermediate fraction will
FIG. 3 is a section on the line 3--3 of FIG. 2, parts
?oat and the heaviest fraction will sink. Thus a mixture
being broken away to show details of underlying elements,
of coal and rock as it comes from the mine may be frac
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the separating vessel containing
tionated into a light fraction, known as “?oats,” an in
40 the liquid media, and
termediate fraction, known as “middlings,” and a heavy
FIG. 5 is a vertical section of the separating vessel
fraction, known as “sinks.”
To avoid unnecessary handling of the material, it is de
sirable to make the fractionation in a single step and in
a single apparatus. It has been proposed to use for this
purpose an aqueous medium that increases in density
gradually or in several increments from the surface down
wardly, withdrawing the floats from the upper surface, the
taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
The separating vessel 1 comprises a hollow, open
topped, vessel bounded by the generally-sloping walls,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Of these walls, the walls 2 and 3 are, respectively, the
rear and peripheral walls of a box in which the wheel 8
is adapted to rotate; the wall 3‘ being cylindrical and com
pletely surrounding the periphery of the wheel and the
the bottom. This system does not, however, produce satis— 50 wall 2 completely coven'ng its underside. The outside
factory results. Better results might have been possible
periphery ‘of the wall '4 is semi-circular in shape and ex
middlings from an intermediate zone and the sinks from
by providing a thin interface between an upper, lighter,
medium of uniform densityand an under medium of great
er density so that upon supplying a mixture to the media
the ?oats would rise to the surface of the lighter medium,
the middlings to the interface, from whence they could
be withdrawn separately, while the sinks would sink to
‘tends around the lower half of the periphery of the wheel
8 and terminates on each side at the horizontal diameter
thereof. It is connected to the upper edge of the wall 3.
Its inner edge is semi-circular in shape and lies above a
‘cylindrical wall 9 which forms the division between an
inner and an outer series of annular concentric compart
rnents which form the radially-outer portion of the wheel
the bottom.
Heretofore attempts to maintain a clearly de?ned hori
Sand will be described hereunder.
' V
zontal interface between an upper medium of lighter den 60
The walls 5 and 7 are substantially identical but are
sity and a lower medium of heavier density and to with
arranged in opposite sense and, referring to wall 7, each
draw the separated fractions from the interface without
a lower triangular vertical portion, 7a ‘and an
mechanical means have not proven successful. Such
intermediate portion 7b which slopes outwards away from
mechanical means prejudice the accurate separation of the
fractions because they interfere with the clear separation 65 the opposite wall 5 and is ‘connected at its lower edge to
the hypotenuse of the triangular wall 7a. A rectangular
of the components, particularly of the finer particles. _
portion 70 is connected to the upper edge of the sloping
Our invention provides means whereby a body of lesser
portion 711 and lies parallel with the plane of the portion
density of aqueous medium may be maintained on a body
7a. The portion equivalent to the portion 70 is‘omitted
of aqueous medium of greater density with a common
horizontal interface and in which the fraction of least 70 from the wall 5. The lower edges of the wall portions
5a and 7a are connected to the surface of the wall 4 in
density is carried in the upper surface of the medium of
spaced relation on each side of the lower vertical radius
lighter density to one side of the medium, the middlings
of the wheel 8, and extend outwardly at right-angles to
upper edge of the wall 3 and is thus in substantial align
the wall 4.
ment with the inner peripheral edge of the annular front
wall 4. The wall 9 lies substantially midway between,
and concentric with, the periphery of the plate 19 and
The lower outer edge of each wall portion 5a and 7a
is connected to opposite sides of the lower portion 6a
of the wall 6. The 'wall 6 is in three portions, of which
the vertical portion 6c lies in a plane normal to the
planes of the. wall portions 7c and 5 and is connected
at one end to the Wall portion 7c. The portion 6b of the
wall 6 slopes inwardly towards the wheel. 8 at the same
angle as the wall portion 7b and is followed by the wall
portion 6a which slopes at a lesser angle and has its
lower edge secured to the walls 4, 5 and 7. The rectan
gular space in the wall 4 de?ned by the junction of the
walls 5, 6 and 7 therewith is cut away to form an aper
ture 10 in the wall 4 to permit the flow of ?uent materials
from the lower portion of the vessel 1 into the space
bounded by the walls 2, 3 and 4. The upper edges of the
walls 6 and 7 lie below the upper edges of the wall 4,
and the upper edge of the wall 5 lies below the upper
edges of the walls 6 and 7 for reasons which will later 20
become apparent.
A further vertical wall 11 extends vertically upwards
from the inner end of the lower edge of the wall por
tion 70, and, from a position where it lies adjacent the
upper surface of the wheel, is continued upwards into
horizontal alignment with the upper edges of the wall 4.
the wall 3.
The radially inner limb 23 of the annular trough mem
ber 22 lies substantially parallel to, and adjacent, the rear
wall 2, with its inner peripheral edge lying closely adja
cent the periphery of the boss 13.
This inner edge is
supported and stiffened by an annular angle member 24
secured to the underside of the limb 23. The interme
diate limb, or web, 25 of the trough member 22 is dis
posed at an angle to the plane of the rear wall 2 and
joins together the limbs 9 and 23.
Secured to the rear wall 2 on a circumference which
coincides with the circumference of the annular limb 9.
of the trough member 22 is a cylindrical shroud 26 which
extends upwardly, normal to the plane of the rear Wall 2,‘
to a position where its upper edge lies just clear of the
underside of the trough member 22 at the point of junc
tion between the limb 9 and the web 25 thereof.
shroud 26 is cylindrical except for a recessed portion 27
which is directed radially inwardly towards the recess 14
in the boss 13 and is of substantially the same circum
ferential width, and is disposed on the same radii, as the
recess 14. The recessed portion 27 extends radially in—
wards to a position where its wall lies substantially below
the junction of the wall 23 with the web 25 and the
upper edge of the shroud 26 is tapered downwards towards
length equal to the diameter of the cylindrical wall 9. 30 the rear plate 2, as at 28, so that at this point the walls 29
of the recessed portion 27 lie closely adjacent the under
At the lower-edge of the wall 11 a sloping portion 11a is
side of the web 25 which, as has previously been de
secured at its opposite ends to the sloping portion 712 and
scribed, lies at an angle to the plane of the rear wall 2.
equivalent portion of the wall 5, extends downwards for
An aperture 30 is formed in the rear plate 2, within the
substantially half the depth of the wall portion 7b toward
area de?ned by the walls 29 of the shroud, and this aper~
parallelism with the walls 2 and 4 and thus with the plane
ture is extended slightly radially outwardly of the periph
of the wheel 8. The wall 11 and extension 11a divide
ery of the cylindrical portion of the shroud 26.
the separating vessel -1 into a compartment 1a which
The annular trough 22 is divided into a plurality of
receives the material to be separated into fractions and a
It is connected to the wall 4 at each end by a triangular
gusset 12. The opposite ends of the wall 11 extend out
wards at each side of the walls 5 and 7 and are of a
compartment 1b communicating with the compartment
radial compartments by perpendicular perforated walls
radialdepth than the opposite edge thereof. The eccen
tric portion 16 gradually merges into the concentric
periphery of the boss.
The Wheel 8 is rotated by a suitable prime mover (not
shown) through a driving spindle 18 rotatable in bearings
(not shown) in the boss 13, and is supported on the
FIGS. 1 and 2, passed perpendicularly therethrough and
1a through a passage 1112 between the lower edge of the 40 31, the radially-inner edges of which lie closely adjacent
the boss 13 and the outer edges of which extend for a
wall 11a and'the opening 10.
short distance up the cylindrical wall 9. At the upper
The rear wall 2, circular in form, is secured to the
edge of each perpendicular wall 31 is secured a sloping
underside of a non-rotatable boss 13 which has a sub
perforated wall 32 which is co-extensive with the wall
stantially circular periphery. For a short distance on
31 in a.radially-inward direction and is secured to the
each side of the vertically-upper radius of the boss
cylindrical wall 9 at its other end. The walls 32 are
a rectangular recess 14, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, is cut in its
angularly directed in the direction of rotation of the wheel
periphery to coincide with a hole 15 cut in the rear wall 2.
8 and thus act as weirs to the walls 31 to increase the
The wheel 8, in operation, is rotated in a counter-clock
amount of material that can be lifted in the compartments
wise direction as seen in the drawing, and the periphery
of the boss 13 is formed eccentrically for a short distance 50 as the wheel 8 is rotated.
The annular angle member or ring 24 is supported by
on the trailing side of the recess ‘14, as at 16, FIGS. 1
the plates 19 and 20 through supporting members 33,
and 3, so that the edge 17 of the recess 14 is of lesser
spindle 18 by axially spaced plates 19, 20 suitably secured
to the spindle. A plurality of arms 21 extend radially
outwards from the plates 19, 20 and form a spider to
which are secured the two concentric annuli of compart
ments referred to hereabove.
'Iheradially-inner annulus compartments comprises an
annular perforated metal trough member 22, having a
tapered cross section and the base of which lies at an
angle to the plane of the wheel. The radially-outer limb
of the trough member comprises the wall 9, previously
referred to, which, due to the angular aspect of the base
relative to the plane of the wheel, is substantially cylin
drical relative to the wheel. The wall lies normal to the
plane of the rear wall 2 from which its inner edge is
spaced by a distance equal to substantially half of the
vertical depth of the peripheral wall 3. The upper edge
the inner ends of the walls 31 are also supported by the
members 33.
A further annulus 34 of right-angled cross-section is
supported by the members 21 radially outwards of the
annular trough 22. The annulus 34 is formed of per
forated metal and comprises a cylindrical side wall 35,
which lies slightly clear of the cylindrical wall 3, and an
annular bottom wall 36 which is disposed parallel with
the rear wall 2 and lies slightly clear thereof. The inner
periphery of the bottom wall 36 lies closely adjacent the
outer periphery of the shroud 26. The bottom wall 36
also lies in substantially the same plane as the wall 23
of the annular trough 22.
The annulus 34 is divided into a plurality of radial
compartments by a plurality of perpendicular perforated
radial Walls 37 secured to the wall 35 and the bottom
wall 36. The inner edges of the walls 37 lie closely adja
cent the outer peripheryof the shroud 26 and extend
slightly above its upper edge. Upon rotation of the wheel
8, the two annuli 22 and 34 are rotated around the boss
13 with the inner edges of the walls 23 and 31 moving
of’ the cylindrical wall 9 lies in the same plane as the 75 closely therearound and the inner edges of the walls 36
and 37 ‘moving closely around the shroud 26. The web
through until they reach the interface between the low and ‘
25 of the inner annulus 22 passes closely over the upper
edges of the walls 29 of therecess 27 in the shroud 26.v
higher speci?c gravity than that of the middles‘ product,
high density mediums. .The high density medium is of a
As the wheel rotates, each of the compartments in the
which thus ?oats at the interface and, as ‘the high density ‘
annuli 2'2 and 34 in turn comes opposite the recesses 14
medium is ?owing towards the wheel 8; the ?oating mid- ,
dles product is carried towards the wheel and passes over
the cylindrical wall 9' of the annular trough 2227 into one
of the compartments thereof. As the wheel 8 rotates, the
and 27, respectively, so that anything contained in either
of the compartments opposite one of the recesses is free
to pass out of the compartment and to fall through the
aperture 15 or 30 in the rear wall 2. Suitable chutes
Vmiddles product in the compartments is carried around
or the like (not shown) will normally be provided to l0 until the compartment comes opposite to the recess ‘14 in
maintain the separation of the materials falling through
the boss .13, when the middles product falls out of the
the apertures.
compartment through the aperture 15 into a suitable chute,
hopper or conveyor. The eccentric portion 16 of the boss
The compartments in the annulus 22 will pick up the
13 is provided to prevent jamming of the wheel by any
middles product and those in the annulus 34' will pick up
the sinks product, as later to be described.
15 product which has not fallen clear of the compartment
and has a camming action thereon which gradually pushes
Low density liquid medium of the required speci?c
any remaining product back into the compartment before
gravity is introduced into the separating‘ vessel 1 from
the adjacent end of the wall 32 again comes close to the
stock tanks (not shown) through inlets 38, FIGS. 1, 4'
concentric periphery of the boss 13.
and 5, near the top of the vessel and liquid medium of a
higher speci?c gravity ‘is introduced into the bottom of 20 The remaining portion of the product which has sunk
the vessel 1 from other stock tanks through the inlets 39,
in the low density medium and has failed to float in
the high density medium sinks toward the bottom of
FIGS. 1, 2 and 5, all in such a manner that an interface
is formed between the two mediums of different density;
the vessel and is carried by the ?ow from the inlets 3-9,
assisted by the taper of the wall portion 6a, into the com
the interface occurring below the level of the junction
of the wall portions 711 and 7b, i.e. below the level of the 25 partments of the outer annulus 34 and is carried around
lower edge of the wall 11a and at about the level of the
upper edges of the inlets 39 or thereabove.
Means are provided to permit a constant ?ow of high
by the wheel until the respective'compartments come op
posite the aperture 36 and recess 27 in the shroud 26,
when the sinks product falls through the aperture 30
density medium through the lower portion of the separat
into a suitable chute, hopper or the like.
Some of the liquid medium in the respective products ,
ing vessel 1 so that the interface between the low and 30
carried by the wheel drains therefrom as the wheel ro
high density mediums is maintained as a clear-cut barrier
tates, but, as this falls into the vessel to the rear of the
and for this purpose one or more outletconduits 44}- FIGS.
wall 11 it doesnot return to the separation portion of the
1 and2 from the vessel 1 through the rear plate ‘2 are pro
yessel but is carried through the conduit ‘40 to the header
vided, to provide an over?ow passage or passages there
from into a compartmented header tank 41.
35 tank 41.
What we claim is:
V. '
The header tank 41 comprises two compartments 42
. 1. A method for separating solids into fractions of
and ‘43 vwhich are separated by a transverse Wall, to the up
‘greateshintermediate and least densities which comprises
per end of which is ?tted a vertically-adjustable weir 44,
introducing said solids into a liquid medium having a
the upper edge of which may be suitably raised or lowered
to provide for the continuous over?ow of all the dense 40 lower body of a density between the density of the frac- '
tions of greatest and of intermediate densities and. an up
medium not carried away in the sinks and middles prod
per body of a density between the density of the fractions
ucts, together with a small amount of the lowdensity
of intermediate and least densities superposed on said
medium adjacent the interface. The level of the interface
lower body and having a common horizontal interface
is determined by the level of the weir 4,4, the flow of dense
of separation; ?owing liquid at the upper surface of
medium being of such volume and strength that the inter
face zone is kept continuously free from dilution by any 45 said upper body from one side thereof to the opposite
side to ?oat said fraction of least density to said opposite
low density medium carried down by the middles and
side, ?owing liquid medium of said lower body from one
sinks products.
side thereof to the opposite side thereof at said interface
\From the header tank ‘41 the over?owing medium is
to ?oat said fraction of intermediate density to said op
carried by the conduit 45 to a suitable stock tank, ?lter,
posite side, and separately removing said ?oated fractions
classi?er or medium recovery system as may be required
and as known in the art.
In the operation of the apparatus, high density liquid
of least and intermediate densities from said surface
and from said interface and said fraction of greatest
density from the bottom of said lower body.
medium is fed into the bottom of the vessel 1 through the
2. The method of claim 1 in which said lower body
inlets 39 and low density medium is fed into the vessel, 55
extends sidewise of said interface and in which said frac
at right angles to the high density feed, through the inlets
tion of intermediate density is ?oated to said sidewise
38 until the interface is obtained and over?ow in to the
header tank 41 commences.
In the present instance, the wheel 8 is rotated in a coun
extending portion of said lower body.
terclockwise direction, although the direction of rotation is
3. Apparatus for separating solids into a fraction of
greatest density, a fraction of intermediate density and
not an essential feature of the invention and the wheel
may be adapted for rotation in a clockwise direction
having a partition extending downwardly and terminat
a fraction of least density which comprises a container
ing in a lower edge above the bottom of said container to
divide the upper part of the container into a solids sep
arating compartment and a solids receiving compartment,
from a suitable conveyor (not shown) on the same side 65 means to supply a ?rst liquid medium of a density be—
tween that of the fractions of greatest and intermediate
of the vessel as the inlets 38, and the ?oats product, al
densities to the side of said container opposite said par
though some plummeting may occur as the coal enters
tition and below the edge of said partition to provide a
the low density medium, ?oats to the surface and is car
body of higher density below said partition said con
ried across the vessel over the top of the wall 5 (from
which the portion equivalent to the wall portion 70 is 70 tainer having an over?ow from the side of said solids
receiving compartment opposite said partition, means to
omitted) and passes to screens and conveyors by which
supply a second liquid medium of a density above that
it is carried away in the normal manner known in the art.
of said fraction of least density and below that of said
The sinks and middles products, being of higher spe
intermediate fraction to a side of said solids separating
merely by reversing the slope of the weir plates 32 and
the position of the portion 16 of the boss 13.
Coal is then fed into the outer portion of the vessel 1
ci?c gravity than the low density medium, sink there
compartment transverse to said partition above the lower a
edge ‘of said partition to provide a body of second liquid
medium on said body of ?rst liquid medium supplied be
low said partition, said container having an over?ow
‘from said solids separating compartment opposite the
centric with and spaced from said outer wall, said walls
being concentriewith the axis of rotation of the wheel,
side to which said second liquid medium is supplied to cv
said solids separating compartment for liquid and solids
?oating on the surface thereof said separating compart
and partitions extending radially inwardly at spaced in
tervals from said circumferential walls.
9. The apparatus of claim 8 in which the bottoms of
said inner series of pockets are inclined downwardly
from said inner cylindrical wall of said wheel.
10. The apparatus of claim 8 in which the walls of
ment being adapted to receive solids supplied thereto said pockets are foraminous.
to be fractionated, and means to pick up and remove
11. The apparatus of claim 8 in which the plane of
separately the intermediate fraction from the solids re 10
said wheel is inclined at an angle of 45° to the horizontal.
ceiving compartment and the fraction of greatest density
12. The apparatus of claim 7 in which the pockets of
from the bottom of said container.
each series are open inwardly toward the center of said
4. The apparatus of claim 3 in which said partition
Wheel and in which said box has a circular partition
and the sides of said container are inclined downwardly
closing the open sides of the outer series of pockets and
and inwardly to provide an interface between said upper
a circular partition closing the open sides of the inner
and lower bodies of liquid medium in said solids separat
series of pockets and in which each said circular partition
ing compartment of lesser area than the area of the sur
face of ‘said upper body of liquid medium.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 in which both dimensions
of the area of said interface within said solids separating
compartment are less than corresponding dimensions of
the surface of ‘the upper body of liquid medium.
6. The apparatus of claim 3 in which said means to
has an opening to its respective discharge opening in said
13. The apparatus of claim 3 having a vertically ad
justable weir connected to said over?ow from said solids
receiving compartment to adjust the height of the inter
face between the liquid media in said solids receiving
pick up and remove separately the intermediate fraction
and the fraction of greatest density comprises a wheel 25
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
rotably mounted to said container and having one cir
cular series of pockets positioned to receive solids ?oated
into said solids receiving compartment and a second series
of pockets positioned to receive solids sinking to the
bottom of said solids separating compartment.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 having a circular box
forming part of the lower part of said container and ex
tending upwardly therefrom and in which said wheel is
mounted in and concentric with said box, said box hav
ing separate discharge openings above the axis of said
wheel and above the upper over?ow of said container
to receive solids separately from each series of pockets.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 in which said wheel has
an outer circular wall 1and an inner circular wall con
Ekbom ____'_ __________ __. Feb. 7, 1950
Erk _________________ .... May 8, _1956
‘ 2,798,606
Dru _________________ _- July 9, 1957
Dru _________________ __ June 2, 1959
Menzies ____________ __ Aug. 11', 1959
Tromp ______________ __ Aug. 11, 1959
France _______________ __ Feb. 3, 1958
(6th Addition to 993,355)
Canada _____________ __ Nov. 26, 1957
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