When the Roman Empire existed, ancient engineers and scientists patented a variety of tools and equipment which had never been utilized before. Among these inventions, was the humble Mill. Romans invented the mill for the purpose of grinding grain without the need of manpower or labor. Through the invention of the mill, the Ancient Roman economy experienced a massive boom in food production capabilities as productivity was drastically improved in its efficiency.
Presently, we continue to use mills within a wide range of industries, and not just for grain anymore! The team at Surplus Record has developed this useful Mill Buying Guide, which focuses on some of the most popular mills available: The Ball Mill, Pebble Mill and SAG Mill. Included you will find an array of topics including: the basics of how mills work, some tips and tricks to keep in mind, and what to look for when searching for the best used mills for sale.
Most Popular Types of Mills
The Ball Mill, the Pebble Mill and the SAG Mill are 3 of the most popular types of mills on the industrial market. They are primarily used for the Mining industry, but they can also be used in the Chemical & Processing industry which has it’s own category page for those listings here: Ball, Pebble, SAG Mills for Chemical Use.
All three (the Ball, Pebble and SAG) are operational within the same type of housing, however each type of mill has a different practicality and purpose. Understanding which mill is better for different tasks will help you decide which is the most suitable mill to buy for your project.
The Ball Mill
Much like all types of mills, the Ball Mill’s purpose is to grind and blend material into smaller pieces. To do this, the material is fed into the cylinder at an angle and then rotated inside. During rotation, the material travels up the internal wall of the cylinder and then falls back down to the bottom of the structure. The ball mill is different to other mill types as it utilizes solid balls, these are placed inside the cylinder, along with the material to be ground, and assist with the process of grinding. All of this is repeated and the material is eventually broken down to the ideal consistency.
Ball mills have a long history of practicality and are one of the more advantageous mill types. They are also one of the cheapest of all mills to initially install and maintain; spare parts are readily available internationally and the grinding balls themselves tend to be available at low cost. The quantity of material introduced and the required fineness wanting to be achieved is very flexible. It is as simple as adjusting the grinding ball size to match the required levels of fineness and capacity you wish to achieve. Lastly, and for some most importantly, Ball Mills prove to be the top mill type for interchanging between production usage and batch-work. Feel free to have a look through our available range of used Ball Mills for sale.
The Pebble Mill
Pebble Mills, also known as Ceramic Lined Mills, operate in exactly the same manner as Ball Mills but instead of using balls, they use rock, metal or alumina pebbles. Pebbles are an excellent grinding material to use on steel products (particularly stainless steel). This is because it is impossible for the pebbles to contaminate the steel with external elements which can induce problems such as rusting. The mill’s cylinder is also lined with a 1-2 inch layer of alumina brick, or ceramic lining, which also aids with the reduction of contamination but also proves to be effective in heat resistance. This allows for the Pebble Mill to effectively work upon a range of heat sensitive products. Pebble mills work well with both wet and dry grinding of products and are more often self-contained, meaning that the operator is at minimal risk of contact. Feel free to scroll through our available range of used Pebble Mills for sale.
The SAG Mill
SAG (semi-autogenous grinding) mills have the working duty of being a primary or first stage grinder. SAG Mills function similarly to the other mills, utilizing grinding balls, but the main difference is found in its semi-autogenous functionality. This means that they are self-operative and reliant machines that generally require minimal operator supervision compared to other mill systems. As mentioned, the SAG mill is a first stage mill grinder and often operates as the “stage one” in a 2-3 step process of milling materials. Without the SAG mills initial grinding of materials, other mills would simply become incapable of completing their required task. Have a browse through our available range of used SAG mills for sale.
Uses and Applications
The primary function of Ball, Pebble and SAG mills is to grind, crush or mix materials into a finer grade of quality as required. Often the use of mill grinding acts as the stepping stone to larger processes which heavily depend upon the refinement of materials or physics related reactions induced by grinding and crushing.
Grinding mills are used throughout a multitude of industries including:
- Mining for the processing of minerals such as gold, nickel and platinum.
- Inducing chemical reactions such as mechanochemical synthesis as a part of larger scientist processes.
- Food processing and refining of edible matter such as wheat, corn and sugar.
- Construction and Engineering processes which require materials such as concrete or steel to be broken down.
What to Look for When Buying a Mill?
Now that you understand some of the crucial differences between the milling machinery available to you, you may be asking yourself: what do I need to look out for when buying a mill? Consider the following pointers to improve your overall purchasing experience:
Perhaps obvious, but the size of your task at hand will determine what you require with your mill’s range capacity. This is important as it is also connected to the ball or pebble size that you can use. What exactly do you plan to be processing? Larger mills can be used with small to large grinding pebbles/balls which is a factor to keep in mind because larger grinding balls/pebbles will be the most effective for working upon large materials.
Grinding Pebbles VS Balls
As previously discussed, there is a difference in both price and results between the two. Each is more suited to a particular task, therefore if your workload requires you to grind steel without contamination, go for pebbles. If you are on a budget, perhaps grinding balls are the way to go.
We put this topic here as something important to reflect upon because there are hundreds of thousands of ancient mills available on the market, as well as more modern ones. It may be a risk to purchase an older mill VS a new one, however the price difference is often huge, and if you require a mill for irregular work, cheaper could be better. Old machines do tempt those on a budget but they should always be looked over by professionals. These machines are often designed to last a long time so with good maintenance and regular servicing, they can potentially last centuries. On Surplus Record you can sort by Newest Machines to Oldest machines by selecting “Year (Newest)” in the sort drop down. This will display machines that were built most recently first.
Determine Your Specs
It is important to understand and determine the square footage/size, horsepower range and material base specifications of the specific piece of equipment you need. All of Surplus Record’s listings of Ball, Pebble and SAG Mills are listed in order from the smallest sizes to largest.
Useful Accessories and Products
Most mills do not require a lot of additional extras to function well. Despite this, we shall list a few potential accessories which may be of interest when searching for used industrial processing mills for sale.
- Grinder Ball/Pebble Variety: there are a wide range of ball/pebble sizes available on the market to suit a variety of different jobs. By having a varied inventory of balls/pebbles you will save on delays when you need to replace or remove them in the future.
- Suitable Lubricants: mills are moving objects and require regular lubrication of their moving components to prevent seizures and multifunction. Invest in a reasonably good quality lubricant as recommended by the previous owner or a mill maintenance professional.
- Accessibility: you will likely need a platform system to be constructed around your new mill. This will not only allow for better accessibility to the mill itself but will also improve safety and productivity rates too.
- Spare Parts: fairly self-explanatory, but surprisingly many operators do not have spare parts available. Naturally there’s a limit as to how far an operator can maintain and replace equipment, but if a nut becomes worn, this is something that can be easily replaced.
Surplus Record: Tips and Tricks
To assist you in your search for used mills for sale on our platform, we have attached some of our best tips and tricks to use when navigating.
- Make use of our Location Settings: At the top of the page, when on the list for your desired piece of equipment/machinery, enter your desired location and you’ll be taken directly to what we have available in your area.
- Looking for an Auction?: On the listing page, select the blue checkbox on your right which says “Auction” and you’ll be taken to our available products for sale that are on auction.
- On a Budget?: Select the toggle “Sort by Relevance” and then click “Price low to high” to view our cheapest to most expensive products for sale.
- Don’t forget the Search Bar: Already know what you are looking for? Utilize our search tab at the top of your page to find specific listings out of hundreds available.
Quick Access: Mill Dealers
- D’Angelo International | Washington
- A.M King Industries | California
- Federal Equipment Co | Ohio
At Surplus Record, we understand that the process of searching for the best used mills for sale can actually be quite daunting. Our personal advice is to take your time, do your research and use this buying guide and the process will be straightforward. Almost easy!
Quick Access: Ball, Pebble and SAG Mill Manufacturers
Our top manufactures available on Surplus Record for used Ball, Pebble and SAG Mills include:
Ball Mills, Pebble Mills and SAG Mills for used industrial mills for mining for sale
Ball Mills, Pebble Mills and SAG Mills that are used as chemical processing grinders
Need more help or information about Ball, Pebble and SAG Mills? Still can’t find what you’re looking for or need more advice from a professional dealer? Head on over to the “Wanteds” section of our website and select “Buy” at the top and “Processing Equipment” for the industry. Fill out the form and a dealer that specializes in milling machinery will get back to you ASAP. It’s free to do, and our dealers are happy to help out!