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What is a Cone Crusher?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2016
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A cone crusher is an essential part of the process of breaking rocks into smaller pieces. This conical-shaped machine's unique design filters and crushes rocks in a fraction of the time that it would take a person to do the job by hand. These machines are used in a variety of industries, such as mining and construction, and they tend to be used only on medium-hard rocks.

Upon first glance, a cone crusher does not look like a cone. It actually is a large, rounded metal container with several industrial-strength springs circling its body. Cone crushers get their name from their inner-workings, in which a large amount of rocks are held in the top, but the opening gets slimmer toward the bottom, where the actual crushing happens. The crushing takes place between the central shaft and a crushing plate, known as the mantle.

The cone crusher is powered by either electrical or diesel engines that turn a belt drive turbine. These are very powerful motors, because a great deal of force is needed to crush rocks. A cone crusher's belt drive turns a central axle called the shaft, which travels in an oblong, eccentric pattern and is attached to the mantle. The oblong spinning allows for periodic openings in the space between the mantle and the crusher walls. The rocks in this position are pressed against the walls by the mantle, broken into smaller chunks and then filtered out by the cone system.

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A cone crusher can handle a large quantity of material with its immense power but is actually quite limited in its scope. Most cone crushers are a middle step in the crushing process, receiving rocks that have been broken down by machines that specifically handle larger rocks. Most crushers handle only material that is 3 inches ( 7.6 cm) or less in diameter. Also, the system is limited to rocks of medium hardness and ores because of the strength of the materials performing the crushing.

Primarily, the use of a cone crusher is in the mining industry, but it also is used in other situations. One of the main ways a mining company uses this tool is to facilitate the moving of carved rock from mining shafts more easily. Similarly, construction and demolition crews use a crusher for the same purpose when excavating a particularly rocky area. Many times, a side industry is created from the crushed rock by selling it as gravel for driveways.

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