Hydrocyclone separators are used worldwide in the mining and mineral processing industries for classification, de-sliming and de-watering applications. The main purpose is to separate a stream of particles into different size fractions. However, there are also applications where a fine slime fraction requires removal or where the solids need to be dewatered as much as possible. Hydrocyclones are also used in other industries like manufacturing, food processing, construction (aggregate) and wastewater management.
Multotec’s hydrocyclone separators offer improved efficiency, increased longevity and reduced energy requirements. These inherent values have been gained through optimising our hydrocyclones over hundreds of plants and jobsites throughout the world, and intensive R&D.
Benefits of Multotec’s range of hydrocyclones include precise cut points in your slurry, improved capacity and reduced wear rates with Multotec’s scrolled evolute design. Some of the product features are:
We manufacture complete ranges of off-the-shelf cyclone separators and customised solutions too. This ensures that our recommended solution matches your specific process requirements. We also manufacture cyclone distributors that support up to 62 cyclone separators.
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The hydrocyclone separator is simplistic in design that uses pressure created by a centrifugal pump or hydrostatic head to generate centrifugal force and flow patterns within the hydrocyclone. It does not have any moving parts, but consists of an inlet section, vortex finder, cylindrical section, a conical section, an underflow spigot section and an overflow pipe.
While the primary design of the hydrocyclone remains the same regardless of the industry, there are differences in the cyclone’s size and configuration depending on the application requirements.
The combination of centrifugal force and drag force creates separation within a liquid medium which serves as the transport medium. Larger diameter particles separate easier compared to smaller diameter particles. The hydrocyclone is sometimes referred to as a hydrocyclone centrifugal separator due to the centrifugal forces that forms within the unit.
Depending on the industry and application requirements, hydrocyclones are sometimes referred to as a hydrocyclone sand separator and, in the construction aggregate industry a desliming hydrocyclone is a common term.
Where the hydrocyclone is used for dewatering purposes, it can also be called a hydrocyclone separator or hydrocyclone stacker.
For hydrocyclone separation to be effective, the cyclone must be installed vertically, with the sedimentation tank placed directly under the cyclone.
There are however applications where the cyclone can be installed at an angle, but this will be to reach specific objectives like a coarser cut point or more consistent underflow densities.
The conical shape speeds up the velocity of the water, which in turn increases the centrifugal forces which results in maximising separation efficiency.
Multotec developed the scrolled evolute design, which offers much higher capacity when compared to the standard tangential and involute inlet designs.
The unique scrolled evolute design maximises the hydrocyclone separation efficiency while lowering operating costs. Vortex finder wear, a problem experienced on earlier designs, is eliminated with the scrolled evolute inlet design.
The Multotec hydrocyclone separator range consists of cyclone diameters ranging from 25mm to 1400mm, allowing them to accommodate a range of volumetric flow rates and cut size requirements. Different vortex finders, cone angles and spigot diameters are standard for all diameters.
Hydrocyclones up to 100 mm (small diameter hydrocyclone) are manufactured mainly from polyurethane. Larger cyclone separators can be supplied as steel polyurethane lined units, steel ceramic or silicon carbide lined units or steel rubberlined units where the rubber liners can be either vulcanised or fitted with loose rubber liners.
Cyclone separators work on the principle of inertia to separate matter. Hydrocyclones are specially designed to provide an environment where centrifugal force can be harnessed to separate matter based on size and density.
The point of separation between coarse and fine particles is called the cut point. Several factors must be considered when selecting a cyclone to achieve this cut point.
The volumetric flow rate that must be processed, solids feed rate, solids feed concentration, the feed size distribution of the solids feed, the required duty of the hydrocyclone and expected cut point are some of the factors that must be considered. In cyclone selection, considering the optimal cyclone diameter, cyclone configuration like the cone angle and vortex finder to maximise separation efficiency, minimise operating cost and minimise energy requirements is important.
Once the hydrocyclone is operational, any significant changes in operating conditions can be accommodated via vortex finder and spigot diameter changes. Seldom will a different cyclone diameter be required.
Multotec will help you to size your separator appropriately or provide a completely customised cyclone solution to optimise your classification efficiency.
In a hydrocyclone, cut size is the separation point between particles deemed to be ‘coarse’ and ‘fine’. If a particle is at the cut point size, it will have a 50% chance of reporting to either the overflow or underflow.
Any particle size greater than the cut size is deemed a coarse particle and will exit via the underflow. Fine particles – those less than the cut point size – are discharged via the overflow.
A vortex finder is a small pipe that extends from the overflow discharge section of a hydrocyclone into the body. Its main purpose is to prevent incoming material from short circuiting the classification process, which in turn leads to reduced separation efficiencies.
By changing the vortex finder diameter, the cyclone cut point can be altered as well as the capacity of the cyclone or operating pressure.
Do you have questions for our cyclone division? Contact us here.
Multotec is a world-renowned manufacturer of equipment and solutions for the international mineral processing industry. We have a global presence achieved with branches, distributors and expertise on your doorstep. Multotec is in 100 countries across 6 continents.
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