Size Reduction Characterization of Underground Mine Tailings: A Case Study on Sandstones
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The production of construction and building materials starts with reducing the size of natural, industrial, and waste materials. In addition to strength and durability considerations of natural resources recommended by various institutions, size reduction characterization, specific to rock aggregates, has a vital role in their size-related quality. In this study, various sandstones extracted from underground mines located in northwestern Turkey were investigated for size reduction characterizations. Several mineralogical, textural, and physico-mechanical properties were determined for each rock type. Crushability tests were carried out using a laboratory-scale cone crusher for different feeding size fractions, namely + 11.20 - 16.00 mm (size I), + 9.52 - 16.00 mm (size II), and + 6.30 - 16.00 mm (size III). Based on the crushability tests, crushed particles were analyzed, focusing on production yield, size, and shape properties. Each crushability test was also explored for energy consumption arising from varying rock properties of the sandstones. The laboratory test results demonstrated that the degree of rock crushability (DRC) and specific energy consumption (E-cs, kJ/kg) were associated with the Brazilian tensile strength (BTS, MPa) and apparent porosity (n(e), %) of the sandstones. The results also showed that the degree of sorting in mineral constituents, quantified as the sorting coefficient (S-c), affected the DRC. However, mineralogical features of the sandstones have no significant impact on DRC andE(cs). Variations in feeding gradation, irrespective of whether mineralogical, textural, or physico-mechanical properties, have remarkable effects on product flakiness and yields for specific size fractions. In light of the findings obtained, the present study provides knowledge on how the sandstones behave under cone crushing operations.