University of Queensland: Better ball wear testing with BMAT

BMAT delivers substantive improvements in operating costs, productivity, energy efficiencies and recoveries over traditional marked ball wear testing.

Accelerating product development

Molycop has partnered with the University of Queensland (UQ) to explore the potential of a Ball Mill Abrasion Test (BMAT) as an alternative to the traditional Marked Ball Wear Test (MBWT). The new test is highly versatile, offers a controlled environment for benchmarking and, importantly, simulates the conditions of a mill. 

Molycop's collaboration with UQ will help develop the next generation of internal testing and aims to solve problems such as ball fragmentation, lifespan of product, corrosion resistance and abrasion resistance. BMAT has approximately two decades of research behind it, providing a credible and fast product test that Molycop plans to offer to its customers worldwide.

What is BMAT?

BMAT is a laboratory test that has been developed to compare relative wear performance of selected materials in ball mill applications. The test can be run in different modes, enabling close simulation of the service conditions of grinding media. 

It can be used as a reliable predictor of abrasion performance of standard and experimental products. 

BMAT benefits in a nutshell

  • Fast and reliable test results
  • Excellent source of rich, credible data 
  • Reproduces mill dynamics and mineral characteristics from the field
  • Allows retrieval and measurement of every specimen ball used.

BMAT's global locations

Molycop has plans to bring BMAT to its customers by building and deploying it in four centres around the world: 

  • Santiago, Chile
  • La Joya, Peru
  • Kansas City, United States
  • Newcastle, Australia.

The first lab – in Santiago, Chile – is due to be delivered by the end of 2024.

Molycop's commitment to research

Molycop is committed to research projects that support accelerated product development. Every project aims to meet the following essential customer value propositions:

"This is two decades of gravitas that we have acquired through this intellectual technology agreement. We want to have the fastest product development times in the world – we can do that with the University of Queensland."

– Dr Paul Shelley, Molycop VP of Innovation

"The BMAT can utilise the exact ore from the mine – this is a critical advantage."

– Dr Jeff Gates, Principal Materials Engineer, University of Queensland

Our other research partnerships

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