Ball Mill for Paint Industry

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Design Method of Ball Mill by Discrete Element Method

Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. Process & Production Technology Center

Makio K IMURA Masayuki N ARUMI Tomonari K OBAYASHI

The grinding rate of gibbsite in tumbling and rocking ball mills using fins was well correlated with the specific impact energy of the balls calculated from Discrete Element Method simulation. This relationship was successfully used for the scale-up of a rocking ball mill, and the optimum design and operating conditions for the rocking ball mill could be estimated by the specific impact energy of the balls calculated by a computer simulation.

This paper is translated from R&D Report, “SUMITOMO KAGAKU”, vol. 2007-II.


In recent years the demands for functional inorganic materials have been expanding in a variety of fields, such as display materials, energy, automobiles and semiconductors. Since the performance of these inorganic materials greatly affects the performance of the products in the fields mentioned above, various compositions and manufacturing conditions are explored to establish optimum performance. In the manufacturing of functional inorganic materials, “grinding” can be cited as an important unit operation. Grinding operations do not simply grind materials. They are used for the purpose of mixing, transporting, promoting physical properties and heat transfer, preprocessing for recovery of valuable materials, expression of functions and the like. A ball mill is one kind of grinding machine, and it is a device in which media balls and solid materials (the materials to be ground) are placed in a container. The materials are ground by moving the container. Because the structure of ball mills is simple and it is easy to operate, and so they are widely used. However, designing these devices and selecting conditions depend in many ways on empirical knowledge, and they have not been sufficiently systematized. Therefore, to scale-up these devices is not always easy,...