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Compiled by: Engr. Albert D.C. Evangelista

Size Reduction, also known as communition, is applied to all ways in which particles of solids are cut or
broken into smaller pieces. The purpose of size reduction is two-fold: (1) To produce solids with desired size
ranges or specific surfaces and (2) To break apart minerals or crystals of chemical compounds which are
intimately associated in the solid state.

Mechanisms of Size Reduction

Commonly Used Breaking Mechanisms;
1. Compression or Crushing – generally used for reduction of hard solids to coarse sizes.
2. Impact – gives coarse, medium or fine sizes
3. Attrition or Rubbing – yields fine products
4. Cutting – used to give definite sizes

General Classification of Size Reduction Equipment

1. Crusher
2. Grinder
Design: large capacity at minimum power

Crushing Operation:
1. Free Crushing – In free crushing, the crushed product with whatever fines have been formed is quickly
removed after a relatively short sojourn in the crushing zone. The product may flow out from gravity, be
blown out with compressed air, be washed out with water, or be thrown out by centrifugal force. This
method of operation prevents the formation of an excessive amout of fines by limiting the number of

2. Choke Feeding – In choke feeding, the crusher is equipped with a feed hopper and kept filled (or choked) so
that it does not freely discharge the crushed product.

Two Methods of Industrial Crushing

1. Open Circuit – No material is returned for recrushing

Feed Reject


2. Closed Circuit Operation – The oversize material is returned to the crusher. Closed circuit operation is
economical of crushing power, which at least is high, permits smaller units per given tonnage, and produces
a material with greater uniformity of sizes.



Mohs Scale of Hardness
Although the size of the feed is as important factor in the selection of a machine, other factors must be
considered, such as hardness or structure of the material. The hardness of a mineral, as measured by the Mohs
scale, is a criterion of its resistance to crushing Arranged in increasing order or hardness, the Mohs scale is as

Soft Materials:
1. Talc, dried filter-press cakes, soapstone, waxes, aggregated salt crystals
2. Gypsum, rock salt, crystalline salts in general, soft coal.
3. Calcite, marble, soft limestone, barites, chalk, brimstone
Intermediate Hardness:
4. Fluorite, soft phosphate, magnesite, limestone
5. Apatite, hard phosphate, hard limestone, chromite, bauxite
6. Feldspar, ilmenite, orthoclase, hornblendes
Hard Materials:
7. Quartz, granite
8. Topaz
9. Corundum, Sapphire, Emery
10. Diamond

Energy Laws
There are empirical laws to estimate the amount of energy needed for size reduction: (1) Von Rittinger’s Law,
(2) Kick’s Law, (3) Bond’s Law

General Equation:
− C dx
𝑑E =

Where: E = work done to reduce a unit mass of feed

X = particle size or diameter
C & n = constants depending upon type and size of material and type of machine
1. Rittinger’s Law
Rittinger’s Law states that the work in crushing is proportional to the new surface created. This lead to the
value of n = 2 since area is proportional to the length squared.

dE = −C X2

1 1
𝐸 = −𝐶 [𝑋 − 𝑋 ]
1 2
E = P/m where P = Total power required; m = Total mass of feed
KR = C = Rittinger’s Law Constant
D𝐹 = X1 = Diameter of the feed
Dp = X2 = Mean Diameter of the product


P 1 1
= KR [ − ]
m Dp DF

2. Kick’s Law
Kick’s Law states that the energy required to reduce a material in size was directly proportional to the size
reduction ratio. This implies n = 1. The size reduction ratio is the ratio of the average diameter of the feed to
the average diameter of the product.

dE = −C X

E = −C ln X2
E = P/m where P = Total power required; m = Total mass of feed
𝐾𝐾 = C = Kick’s Law Constant
D𝐹 = X1 = Diameter (mean) of the feed
Dp = X2 = Mean Diameter of the product


= K K ln
m D𝑃

3. Bond’s Law
Bond’s Law states that the work required using a large-size feed is proportional to the square root of the
surface/volume ratio of the product. This corresponds to n = 1.5.

dE = −C X1.5

1 1
𝐸 = −2𝐶 [ 0.5 − ]
0.5𝑋1 0.5𝑋2 0.5
E = P/m where P = Total power required; m = Total mass of feed
𝐾𝐵 = 2C = Bonds’s Law Constant
D𝐹 = X1 = Diameter (mean) of the feed
Dp = X2 = Mean Diameter of the product

P 1 1
= KB [ − ]
m √Dp √DF

To use the above equation, Bond proposed a work index Wi as the work in kW-h/ ton required to reduce a
unit weight from a very large size to 80% passing a 100 - µm screen. The work E is the grass work required
to reduce a unit weight of feed with 80% passing a diameter DF µm to a product with 80% passing Dp µm.
Bond’s final equation in terms of more familiar units is
P 1 1
= 1.46Wi [ − ]
m √Dp √DF

where: P = hP; m = tons/min; DF = ft.; Dp = ft.

P 1 1
= 0.3162Wi [ − ]
m √Dp √DF

where: P = kW; m = tons/hr; DF = mm; Dp = mm; Wi = kW-hr/ton. Typical values of Wi for various
types of materials are given in ChE HB

Shape Factors
Shape factor is the ratio of particle property to the property of a sphere having a diameter equal to the measured
particle dimension.

1. Volume-based shape factor, ψv

particle volume
ψv =
volume of the sphere of the same diameter

CDp 3 6𝐶
ψv =π 3 ; ψv =
6 p 𝜋
Dp = particle diameter
C = Constant Depending on the shape of the particle by which 𝐷𝑝 3 is multiplied to obtain the
volume; for spheres, 1 for cubes, etc.

2. Sphericity,ψ or surface-volume shape factor

surface area of a sphere of vol. equal to that of particle

ψ= surface area of the particle

𝐴𝑂 𝜋𝐷𝑂 2
ψ= =

𝐴𝑂 , 𝐴𝑃 = surface area of the equivalent sphere and of particle respectively
𝐷𝑂 = diameter of the equivalent sphere

3. Ratio of Specific Surface, ɳ

surface of the particle

surface of the sphere of the same diameter

specific surface of particle

ɳ= 6