Characterization of ore texture crack formation and liberation by quantitative analyses of spatial deformation

July 30, 2020

Parisa Semsari Parapari (1), Mehdi Parian (1), Fredrik Forsberg (2), Jan Rosenkranz (1)
Minerals Engineering, 157, July 2020: 956-969. DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2020.106577


Crack quantification, Spatial deformation, X-ray computed micro-tomography, Ore texture, Breakage mode


In comminution, particle breakage starts with crack induction and propagation. The path of cracks defines the breakage mode, e.g. preferential in phase breakage or phase boundary breakage. For investigating crack formation behavior, the description by displacement fields can be applied. The displacement fields of the mineral phases can then be used to understand breakage mode and liberation. Ore texture and operational conditions such as loading mechanisms will affect the system. One of the ore texture aspects is the ore texture heterogeneity, which is a complex quantity comprising mineral heterogeneity, geometrical heterogeneity, weak grain boundaries, and micro-cracks. This study aims at investigating the effects of ore texture and loading displacement rate on minerals breakage mode. By knowing minerals breakage mode it is possible to identify the factors which affect minerals liberation and optimizing these factors in order to liberate minerals even in coarser size fractions. The approach is to describe the spatial displacement fields in different ore textures. In order to obtain these, in-situ compression loading tests with different displacement rates were conducted, followed by X-ray computed micro-tomography (XCT) and Digital Volume Correlation (DVC). In addition, the resulting cracks from ore breakage were analyzed and quantified in order to analyze the breakage mode. Moreover, XCT imaging was used for tracking the propagated cracks in the third dimension. For identifying mineral phases, automated scanning electron microscopy (SEM) complemented by energy dispersive spectroscopy was applied. The outcomes showed that both ore texture and loading mechanism should be considered for describing crack formation and consequently mineral liberation.

How Our Software Was Used

Dragonfly was used to generate 3D images.

Author Affiliation

(1) Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden.
(2) Fluid and Experimental Mechanics, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden.