Air classification is a method of separating particles based on their density, shape and aerodynamic properties. Saint Jean has optimized its air classifiers through computational fluid dynamics. One of Saint Jean Carbon's gravitational-crossflow air classifier is animated here, with air moving through the system horizontally from right to left as material crushed to 12 mesh is introduced from the top. A diffuser further breaks down particles which are then sorted into bins at the bottom of the air classifier. The denser particles settle faster due to their weight, while the lighter particles are carried farther along with the air current before settling. The airflow through the classifier is adjustable, meaning the system can be tuned to classify different material properties as needed.
Saint Jean Carbon is developing new and proprietary air classification systems for separating out large-flake graphite, leveraging the difference in the aerodynamic properties of the flake graphite and the denser, more spherical surrounding material. The result is an effective, energy-efficient, and mobile means of extracting natural graphite after the initial primary crushing processes.