The impact behavior between the charge and lifter has significant effect to address the mill processing, and is affected by various factors including mill speed, mill filling, lifter height and media shape. To investigate the multi-body impact load behavior, a series of experiments and Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulations were performed on a laboratory-scale mill, in order to improve the grinding efficiency and prolong the life of the lifter. DEM simulation hitherto has been extensively applied as a leading tool to describe diverse issues in granular processes. The research results shown as follows: The semi-empirical power draw of Bond model in this paper does not apply very satisfactorily for the ball mills, while the power draw determined by DEM simulation show a good approximation for the measured power draw. Besides, the impact force on the lifter was affected by mill speed, grinding media filling, lifter height and iron ore particle. The maximum percent of the impact force between 600 and 1400 N is at 70–80% of critical speed. The impact force can be only above 1400 N at the grinding media filling of 20%, and the maximum percent of impact force between 200 and 1400 N is obtained at the grinding media filling of 20%. The percent of impact force ranging from 0 to 200 N decreases with the increase of lifter height. However, this perfect will increase above 200 N. The impact force will decrease when the iron ore particles are added. Additionally, for the 80% of critical speed, the measured power draw has a maximum value. Increasing the grinding media filling increases the power draw and increasing the lifter height does not lead to any variation in power draw.
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