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Abstract

The process of enrichment in a jig has usually been described and analysed using particle density as a separation feature. However, a degree of particle loosening in the jig bed is affected by, inter alia, the terminal particle free settling velocity which in turn is affected by the size, density and shape of a particle. Therefore, the terminal particle settling velocity clearly characterises the feed transferred to a jig for the enrichment process. Taking the comprehensive particle geometric (particle size and shape) and physical properties (particle density) into account comes down to the calculation of the terminal particle settling velocity. The terminal particle settling velocity is therefore a complex separation feature which comprises three basic particle features (particle density, size and shape). This paper compares the effects of enrichment of coal fines in a jig, for two cases: when the commonly applied particle density is separation feature and for the particle settling velocity. Particle settling velocities were calculated in the selected three particle size fractions: –3.15+2.00, –10.00+8.00 and –20.00+16.00 mm based on the industrial testing of a jig for coal fines and detailed laboratory tests consisting in determining particle density, projective diameter and volume and dynamic particle shape coefficient. The calculated and drawn partition curves for two variants, i.e. when particle density and particle settling velocity were taken into account as the separation argument in selected particle size fractions, allowed to calculate and compare separation precision indicator. With the use of a statistical test, the assumption on the independence of random variables of the distribution of components included in the distribution of the particle settling velocity as a separation feature during enrichment in a jig was verified.
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