Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 35, pp 35738–35747 | Cite as

Experimental research on the rheological properties of tailings and its effect factors

  • Xiaoguang Wang
  • Zuoan Wei
  • Quangui Li
  • Yulong Chen
Research Article


The rheological properties of tailings from gold, copper, and iron ore have been studied in this paper, using a self-developed large-scale type coaxial cylinder rheometer. The effect factors of the rheological properties of tailings, namely mineral types, particle size, plasma concentration, and the shear rate, and the influence they have on the viscosity and yield stress have also been studied. The test results showed that the viscosity of the tailings initially decreased with time and then became stable, while the yield stress initially increased with time and then tended to become stable. Three types of tailings all had a similar change trend with only small differences in value. The differences resulted from the varying mineral constituents of the tailings. The viscosity and the yield stress of the tailings increased as the concentration increased. As the shear rate decreased, the viscosity increased, but the yield stress also decreased. The change in magnitude of the yield stress increased as the concentration increased. It was also found that a larger particle size resulted in a higher viscosity and yield stress, the rise of which became more obvious at higher concentrations. The results were fitted using the exponential function of the Bingham model, and it was found that the coefficients of A1 and A2 changed significantly with the concentration, which indicated that A1 and A2 were largely influenced by other factors, and not only by the plasma concentration and particle diameter decisions. However, these functions of the Bingham model and the other coefficients of B1 and B2 were nearly constant. The three types of tailings also had a similar change trend for the fitted coefficients. There were some differences between the values associated with the type of tailings. For the same kind of tailings, the values of B1 and B2 were only slightly affected by other factors, while they were mainly influenced by the plasma concentration. The results of this research have provided the basic material for a stability study of a tailings dam and the analysis of movement law.


Tailings Rheological properties Large-scale rheometer Viscosity Yield stress 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Fund Project (Grant No.11372363), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51604045), the Basic and Frontier Research Project of Chongqing (Grant No. cstc2016jcyjA0562), and the Graduate Student Research Innovation Project (Project No.CYB17045).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoguang Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zuoan Wei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Quangui Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yulong Chen
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Coal Mine Disaster Dynamics and ControlChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.College of Resources and Environmental ScienceChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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