The ball mill is a key piece of equipment for grinding crushed materials, and it is widely used in production lines for powders such as cement, silicates, refractory material, fertilizer, glass ceramics, etc. as well as for ore dressing of both ferrous non-ferrous metals. The ball mill can grind various ores and other materials either wet or dry.
There are two kinds of ball mill, grate type and overfall type due to different ways of discharging material. There are many types of grinding media suitable for use in a ball mill, each material having its own specific properties and advantages. Key properties of grinding media are size, density, hardness, and composition.
Ball mills are used extensively in the mechanical alloying process in which they are not only used for grinding but for cold welding as well, with the purpose of producing alloys from powders. Ball mills are also used in pyrotechnics and the manufacture of black powder, but cannot be used in the preparation of some pyrotechnic mixtures such as flash powder because of their sensitivity to impact.
High-quality ball mills are potentially expensive and can grind mixture particles to as small as 5 nm, enormously increasing surface area and reaction rates. The grinding works on the principle of critical speed. The critical speed can be understood as that speed after which the steel balls which are responsible for the grinding of particles start rotating along the direction of the cylindrical device; thus causing no further grinding.