Aluminium oxide grinding media

Backround and aims of the project

Cement grinding is the last step in cement production, which is classified as an energy-intensive process. Cement grinding accounts for approximately 45 percent of the total electrical energy demand and has a decisive influence on product quality. The energetic optimisation of grinding in ball mills, which have been used for grinding for over 100 years, is therefore of great importance. Current investigations show that energy savings of up to 15 percent are possible through the use of ceramic grinding media, without endangering the high quality requirements for the different cement types.

At present, the use of ceramic grinding media is only applied in isolated cases in cement grinding. Due to many unidentified influencing factors, a purely mathematical design of the charge for large-scale plants is currently not possible, and large-scale technical tests cause high costs.
In order to create a design basis for the use of ceramic grinding media in the field of cement grinding, important parameters for the design and behaviour of ceramic grinding media in the grinding of clinker and other main and secondary cement constituents are to be investigated in this research project. The focus here is on fine grinding (ball sizes <50 mm).

Only due to the lower manufacturing costs and higher qualities of ceramic grinding media in recent years do they represent an alternative to the common grinding media made of steel. The innovative idea of this research project is the systematic analysis of the comminution and grinding behaviour of ceramic grinding media in order to be able to make scaling rules and predictions about the energy demand and the plant behaviour when using these grinding media by means of a flow sheet simulation environment. These predictions not only enable an energetic optimisation of the plants, but also facilitate the development of new products through a better understanding of the comminution behaviour. The scientifically founded approaches to the use of ceramic grinding media can be used directly by the SMEs of the cement manufacturers and the plant construction industry.


The IGF project 21791 N of VDZ Technology gGmbH, Toulouser Allee 71, 40476 Duesseldorf, Germany, is funded by theFederal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action via the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) within the framework of the programme for the promotion of joint industrial research (IGF) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.

Mechanical process technology

In the field of mechanical process engineering, we offer a wide range of services, from the characterisation of solids in powder form and the performance of complex grinding and classification trials, right through to the optimisation of industrial plants. Above and beyond this, our interdisciplinary teams of experts can advise you on how to deal with technical problems in existing installations and on the planning of new plants.

To the service

Person to contact

Do you have any questions on this subject?

Dr Stefan Seemann
Environment and Plant technology

+49-211-45 78-254

Thank you for your interest in our publication: