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Hydrocyclone working principle


The principle and basic design of the hydrocyclone is almost 100 years old. Its function are numerous- clarifying liquids, concentrating solids, classifying solids, washing solids or separating two solids according to their density. They are inexpensive to install, operate and maintain.

Hydrocyclone has a cylindrical shape, usually mounted vertically, with a larger diameter upper cylinder tapering down to a narrow cylindrical section, which is heavy phase outlet. Slurry enters the unit through a tangentional or involute inlet at its top. This type of feed causes the slurry to form a vortex, with the influent liquid forced to the periphery of the shell. The flow is directed down the shell, without disrupting the reverse-flowing separated particles in the core.

As the flow follows its helical path along the wall its self-induced centrifugal force causes the denser particles to separate to the wall, and the less dense particles to move inwards towards the center. In the conical section, the flow is accelerated to give the higher centrifugal force necessary to complete the separation of dense particles, which turns through 180 at the throat of the tapered section and returns up the centre, picking up oter separated particles as it goes, to reach the vortex finder at hte top and so be discharged. The more dense particles, continues on down and out of the lower discharge port (apex).

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