ABSTRACT:

A pick-up device mounted on the manganese nodules collector was tested at Changsha Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy in 1996, also worked together with the collector (crawler) in the lake test in 2000. The pick-up device consists of two rows of jet nozzles and a conducting nozzle. The field of fluid produced by these nozzles is described here. Major parameters and their influence on the performance of the pick-up device are discussed too. Geometric consideration and related power consumption are also provided in this paper.

INTRODUCTION

During Ninth Five-Years Plan of 1996 to 2000, the research activities in deep sea mining of China were concentrated in unique technology of collecting and lifting, for example, efficient collector to reduce power consumption with high pickup rate and at same time to minimize the disturbance to sea bed based on CRIMM pick-up device and alreadyexisted pick-up devices. The hydraulic hybrid pick-up device (Fig. 1) was developed based on experience of former researchers[1, 2] after many testing runs. It overcomes disadvantages of Japanese pure hydraulic pickup device and composes of pick-up device, double jets and baffle plates, Coanda nozzle and transporting channel, and outlet with grid for the separation of sediments and nodules. It is simple in structure, reliable in working only with one power, high pick up rate, and low sediment content. The pickup rate, which is the ratio of the weight of nodules paved before test and weight of nodules recovered after test, of the pickup device in this controlled test situation reached 95% above, content of sediments was less than 1.27%, production was 9 ton per hour when collecting in the width of 0.6m, speed at 0.6 m/s, abundance of wet artificial nodules was 7 kg/m2, and the shear strength of sediments imitation was less than 5 kPa.

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