Alumina and its Role in Iron and Steelmaking...

Alumina and its Role in Iron and Steelmaking Alumina is a chemical compound of aluminum (Al) and oxygen (O2) with the chemical formula aluminum oxide (Al2O3). It is the most commonly occurring of several aluminum oxides. It is significant in its use to produce aluminum metal. It is being used as an abrasive material because of its hardness. It is also being used as a refractory material owing to its high melting point. Aluminum oxide is an amphoteric substance. It can react with both acids and bases, acting as an acid with a base and a base with an acid, neutralizing the other and producing a salt.  It is insoluble in water. Aluminum oxide has a white solid appearance and is odorless. The molar mass of aluminum oxide is 101.96 grams per mole. Specific gravity of alumina is 3.986. It is insoluble in water. Melting point of aluminum oxide is 2072 deg C while the boiling point is 2977 deg C. Alumina affects the processes of producing iron and steel during the production of iron and steel. Besides alumina is a very important refractory material for the lining of furnaces and vessels in iron and steel plants. Role of alumina in ironmaking Alumina during ironmaking enters the process through impurities in the input materials mainly iron ore. Alumina affects the sintering of iron ore. The most harmful effect of alumina is to worsen the RDI (reduction degradation index) value of sinter. RDI value increases as the alumina content rises. It is seen that within a 10 % to 10.5 % CaO content range, an increase of 0.1 % in the alumina content raises the RDI by 2 points. The strength and quality of sinter deteriorate as the alumina content rises. Alumina promotes the formation of SFCA (silico ferrite of calcium and aluminum), which is beneficial for sinter strength, but the strength of the ore components is lower, since a...