Advanced Manufacturing of Spirals for Mineral Separation with Integrated Smart Sensing

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Gravity Separation Spirals (GSS) are vital to the mining industry for separating mineral-rich slurry into its different density components. The slurry is pumped to the top and, then the spiral slope naturally helps separate the slurry due to the different particle density. Spiral profile can be slightly varied for every customer, depending on the mineral they separate. The research project is focused on developing a 3D printer to print GSS, which can avoid the drawbacks inherent to the traditional GSS manufacturing process. Another objective of this project is to embed sensors into the 3D-printed GSS for remotely monitor the operational conditions, fault diagnosis, and predictive maintenance. 3D printed sensors are being developed instead of embedding conventional sensors where possible since they are low-cost and can be integrated into the large build volume of the structural material without compromising the mechanical integrity of the object.
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