Grinding Plate Wear Failure Analysis
A 230 mm (9 in.) diameter disk attrition mill was scheduled to grind 6.35 mm (0.25 in.) diameter quartz particles to a 0.075 mm (0.003 in.) diameter powder. Due to severe wear on the grinding plates, however, the unit was unable to complete the task of grinding the rock. The mill consisted of a heavy gray cast iron frame, a gravity feeder port, a runner, and a heavy-duty motor. The frame and gravity feeder weighed over 200 kg (440 lb) and, in some areas, was over 25 mm (1 in.) thick. To obtain the operating speed of 200 rpm, a gear system was used to transmit the torque from the 2-hp motor. The runner consisted of a 50 mm (2 in.) diameter shaft and two gray cast iron grinding plates. Investigation (visual inspection, historical review, photographs, model testing of new plates, chemical analysis, hardness testing, optical macrographs, and optical micrographs) supported the conclusion that the primary feed material was harder than the grinding plates, causing wear and eventual failure. Recommendations included reducing the clearance between the flutes and possible material changes.