A thickener, also known as a thick pool, is a piece of equipment that is commonly used in the mineral processing industry to separate solid particles from a liquid solution. The thickener is responsible for producing a concentrated slurry or solid-liquid mixture that can then be further processed or disposed of. The working principle of the thickener involves two main components: the sedimentation zone and the rake system.
The sedimentation zone is where the solid particles settle to the bottom of the thickener, while the liquid rises to the top. The solid particles are typically introduced into the thickener through a feed inlet located at the top of the equipment. As the solid particles settle to the bottom, the liquid is drawn off from the top of the thickener and is discharged through an outlet. The amount of liquid that is discharged is regulated by a control valve, which maintains the desired level of liquid in the thickener.
The rake system is responsible for removing the settled solids from the bottom of the thickener. The rake blades are typically made of steel and are attached to a rotating central shaft. The blades are angled so that they move the settled solids towards the center of the thickener, where they can be removed through a discharge outlet. The speed of the rake blades is regulated by a motor and gearbox system, which is controlled by a feedback loop that monitors the level of solids in the thickener.
The thickener is designed to operate continuously and is typically used in the processing of minerals such as coal, iron ore, copper, and gold. The size of the thickener is determined by the feed rate of the solid particles, the settling rate of the particles, and the desired concentration of the slurry. The design of the thickener is critical to its performance and is influenced by factors such as the type and size of the solid particles, the properties of the liquid, and the operating conditions.
In conclusion, the thickener is a critical piece of equipment in the mineral processing industry. Its main function is to separate solid particles from a liquid solution, producing a concentrated slurry or solid-liquid mixture. The working principle of the thickener involves two main components: the sedimentation zone and the rake system. The sedimentation zone allows for the settling of the solid particles, while the rake system removes the settled solids from the bottom of the thickener. The size and design of the thickener are determined by various factors, such as the feed rate of the solid particles and the properties of the liquid.