Automated contact time apparatus and measurement procedure for bubble-particle interaction analysis

M. Aspiala*, N. Schreithofer, R. Serna-Guerrero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)


The novel Automated Contact Time Apparatus (ACTA) presented in this paper serves as a diagnostic tool that allows the detection of changes in bubble-particle attachment probability and therefore floatability caused by alterations in the chemical environment and particle properties. The apparatus consists of six identical capillaries where bubbles with defined size are produced simultaneously in a measurement chamber. The bubbles at the needle tips are placed in contact with the submerged particle bed for specific time periods, controlled with the help of automatic actuators. The advantage of the instrument is that hundreds of bubble-particle contacts can be measured automatically within a short time period. Microscopy pictures of each measured bubble are taken while recording the movement of the bubble before, during and after contact with the solid particles. The recorded pictures can be used to determine the actual bubble size and its corresponding deviation, and to detect the attachment of particles. The attached particles are collected in a detachable chamber for subsequent characterization. Furthermore, the device is portable and can be taken to the mineral processing plants for quick evaluation of particle-bubble attachment efficiency with particles and process water sampled directly from real processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalMinerals Engineering
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bubble-particle induction
  • Flotation
  • Induction time
  • Statistical analysis


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