Authors: MARKO CVETKOVIĆ i HRVOJE ČIČEK
Faculty: Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Rudarsko-geološko-naftni fakultet
The innovation presented here minimizes the operator’s involvement only in sample preparation, while the entire other process is fully automated. The water consumption is reduced to 5 l of heated water per sample, which is enough to maintain the flow in the system because the same water is recirculated using the pump (energy consumption 0.78 kWh). Stoppages in the system due to flow obstruction are completely canceled by applying rinsing from the top and bottom of the sample, which further reduces the operator’s involvement in the operation of the device. One of the essential items is the use of washed microparticles of clay in the washing fluid, which perform microabrasion on the remaining sample material. This accelerates the process of wet particle separation and the purity of the resulting sample for successful optical analyses. The recirculation and flushing system were made on a 3D printer, as was the housing for the control system, which was completely designed and made for this purpose, while the nozzles were taken from the low-pressure irrigation system.