2017 Volume 34 Pages 106-124
In the early 1990s the discrete element method (DEM) was used for the first time to simulate media motion in tumbling mills. Although it has been over a quarter of a century since this tool was first used to predict media motion it has not yet reached maturity to be used in predicting product size distribution and throughput of tumbling mills. However, there has not been shortage of attempts to do so. The literature is relatively vast in the topic and researchers who embark in this area of research will find it difficult to understand the current status of development and also the similarities and fundamental differences that exist amongst the various approaches that have been proposed and pursued over the years. The paper reviews the literature on the application of models based on distributed collision energy information to predict size reduction in tumbling mills, in particular ball mills, analyzing critically various approaches proposed, their limitations and achievements, identifying areas that still require development until the technology becomes ready for being used for optimizing and designing ball mills. Finally, the advances recently accomplished on the approach proposed by the author and his co-workers are then reviewed in greater detail.