FloLevel Technologies, a process automation developer based in Australia, has introduced a new self-cleaning acoustic level and flow analyzer for flotation cells. This new technology, according to the company, accurately measures pulp/slurry interface and froth height, as well as froth density and froth flow rate, to provide valuable process feedback to the control system. 

FloLevel said its array transducers are not affected by color, density, dielectric or by the type of mineral they are recovering. They are self-cleaning and self-checking. The transducers emit extremely high-powered acoustic sound pulses independently into the flotation cell at low audible levels. The pulse amplitude is great enough to cause a phenomenon called “rarefaction,” which causes cavitation to be produced from the array transducer diaphragms as they pulse. The cavitation bubbles oscillate in front of the diaphragm, which cause implosions that generate high energy levels.

“We have focused on developing products that can work in very tough mining environments. Flotation cells have a history of scale and soluble build-up issues on any device that is installed in the pulp/slurry, froth areas,” said Robert Stirling, owner and inventor of FloLevel Technologies. “The FloLevel array transducers use active ultrasonic cleaning to remove soluble and insoluble scaling and build-up. This means they will work consistently and accurately, providing instantaneous feedback on ore characteristic changes.”

The FloLevel system is claimed to be convenient to install from the top of the flotation cell and easy to calibrate. It comes with an adjustable 316SS bracket, with flange mounting options and a color display controller mounted in a stainless steel enclosure. The system can measure all types of cells, with depths greater than 6,000 mm (236 in.); resolution-accuracy options include 2 mm (0.08 in.), 15 mm (0.6 in.) and 25 mm (1 in.). Various output capability options are available, including 4 x 4–20 Ma, Modbus, ProfiBus, Foundation FieldBus, DeviceNet and Ethernet.

The FloLevel array, according to the vendor, is suitable for a wide range of minerals including copper, molybdenum, gold, silver, lead, nickel, iron ore, coal, potash, oil sands, zinc and gypsum.