In materials processing a grinder is a Ultrafine Mill machine for producing fine particle size reduction through attrition and compressive forces at the grain size level. See also crusher for mechanisms producing larger particles. In general, grinding processes require a relatively large amount of energy; for this reason, an experimental method to measure the energy used locally during milling with different machines was recently proposed.
A typical type of fine grinder is the Artificial Sand Making Plant Design ball mill. A slightly inclined or horizontal rotating cylinder is partially filled with balls, usually stone or metal, which grinds material to the necessary fineness by friction and impact with the tumbling balls. Ball mills normally operate with an approximate ball charge of 30%. Ball mills are characterized by their smaller (comparatively) diameter and longer length, and often have a length 1.5 to 2.5 times the diameter. The feed is at one end of the cylinder and the discharge is at the other. Ball mills are commonly used in the manufacture of Portland cement and finer grinding stages of mineral processing. Industrial ball mills can be as large as 8.5 m (28 ft) in diameter with a 22 MW motor, drawing approximately 0.0011% of the total world’s power (see List of countries by electricity consumption). However, small versions of ball mills can be found in laboratories where they are used for grinding sample material for quality assurance.
Operation of a ball mill. The power predictions for ball mills typically use the following form of the Bond equation: Rod mill. A rotating drum causes friction and attrition between steel rods and ore particles. But note that the term ‘rod mill’ is also used as a synonym for a slitting mill, which makes rods of iron or other metal. Rod mills are less common than ball mills for grinding minerals. The rods used in the mill, usually a high-carbon steel, can vary in both the length and the diameter. However, the smaller the rods, the larger is the total surface area and hence, the greater the grinding efficiency.