Dolomite – A Useful Mineral...

Dolomite – A Useful Mineral Dolomite is also known as dolostone and dolomite rock.  It is a sedimentary rock which primarily consists of the mineral dolomite. It is found in sedimentary basins worldwide. Dolomite rock is similar to limestone rock. Both dolomite and limestone rocks share the same colour ranges of white-to-gray and white-to-light brown (although other colours such as red, green, and black are also possible). Both the rocks have approximately the same hardness, and they are both soluble in dilute hydrochloric (HCl) acid. The original mineral name ‘dolomie’ was given by NT Saussare, in 1792, in honor of the French geologist Deodat Guy de Dolomieu (1750–1801). Dolomite, the rock, contains a large proportion of dolomite the mineral. Ideal dolomite has a crystal lattice consisting of alternating layers of Ca and Mg, separated by layers of CO3 and is typically represented by a stoichiometric chemical composition of CaMg(CO3)2, where calcium and magnesium are present in equal proportions. Dolomite originates in the same sedimentary environments as limestone i.e. in warm, shallow, marine environments where calcium carbonate (CaCO3) mud accumulates in the form of shell debris, fecal material, coral fragments, and carbonate precipitates. Dolomite is thought to form when the calcite in carbonate mud or limestone is modified by magnesium-rich groundwater. The available magnesium facilitates the conversion of calcite into dolomite. This chemical change is known as dolomitization. Dolomitization can completely alter a limestone into a dolomite, or it can partially alter the rock to form a dolomitic limestone. Dolomite is a complex mineral. It is relatively a soft mineral which can be easily crushed to a soft powder. The mineral is an anhydrous carbonate mineral consisting of a double carbonate of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). It is chemically represented by CaMg(CO3)2 or CaCO3.MgCO3. It theoretically contains...

Refractories and Classification of Refractories...

Refractories and Classification of Refractories Refractories are inorganic, nonmetallic, porous and heterogeneous materials composed of thermally stable mineral aggregates, a binder phase and additives. The principal raw materials used in the production of refractories are normally the oxides of silicon, aluminum, magnesium, calcium and zirconium. There are some non-oxide refractories like carbides, nitrides, borides, silicates and graphite. Refractories are chosen according to the conditions they face during their use. Some applications require special refractory materials. Zirconia is used when the material is required to withstand extremely high temperatures. Silicon carbide and carbon are two other refractory materials used in some very severe temperature conditions, but they cannot be used in contact with oxygen, since they oxidize and burn in atmospheres containing oxygen. Refractories are the materials which are resistant to heat and exposure to different degrees of mechanical stress and strain, thermal stress and strain, corrosion/erosion from solids, liquids and gases, gas diffusion, and mechanical abrasion at various temperatures. In simplified language, they are considered to be materials of construction which are able to withstand high temperatures. Refractories are usually inorganic non-metallic materials with refractoriness greater than 1500 deg C. They belong to coarse-grained ceramics having microstructure which is composed of large grains. The basis of body is coarse-grained grog joined by fine materials. Refractory products are a specific sort of ceramics that differs from any ‘normal’ ceramics mainly with their coarse-grained structure being formed by larger grog particles joined by finer intermediate materials (bonding). ASTM C71 defines refractories as ‘non-metallic materials having those chemical and physical properties that make them applicable for structures or as components of systems that are exposed to environments above 538 deg C’. Refractories are to be chemically and physically stable at high temperatures. Depending on the operating environment, they...

Slag and its Role in Blast Furnace Ironmaking Aug07

Slag and its Role in Blast Furnace Ironmaking...

Slag and its Role in Blast Furnace Ironmaking Blast furnace (BF) is the oldest (more than 700 years old) of the various reactors which are being used in the steel plants. It is used for the production of liquid iron (hot metal). The blast furnace is a complex high temperature counter current reactor and is in the shape of a shaft in which iron bearing materials (ore, sinter/pellet) and coke are alternately charged at the top along with flux materials (limestone, dolomite etc.) to create a layered burden in the furnace. Preheated air is blown in from the lower part of the furnace through tuyeres. This hot air reacts with the coke to produce reducing gases. Descending ore burden (iron oxides) is reduced by the ascending reducing gases and is melted to produce hot metal. The gangue materials and coke ash melt to form slag with the fluxing materials. The liquid products (hot metal and slag) are drained out (tapped) from the furnace at certain intervals through the tap hole. The quality of hot metal obtained is dependent on the formation of the slag and its mineralogical transformations. A good quality slag is necessary for a quality hot metal. The slag is a mixture of low melting chemical compounds formed by the chemical reaction of the gangue of the iron bearing burden and coke ash with the flux materials in the charge. All unreduced compounds such as silicates, aluminosilicates, and calcium alumino silicate etc. also join the slag. It is well known that the components of slag namely silica (SiO2) and alumina (Al2O3) increase the viscosity whereas the presence of calcium oxide reduces the viscosity. The melting zone of slag determines the cohesive zone of blast furnace and hence the fluidity and melting characteristics...

Silica Refractories

Silica Refractories Silica refractories were first produced in United Kingdom in 1822 from Ganister (caboniferous sandstone) or from so called Dinas sand. Silica occurs in a variety of crystalline modifications, e.g. quartz, tridymite, and cristobalite and also as an under-cooled melt called quartz glass. The crystalline modifications each have a high and low temperature forms which can transform reversibly. The crystal structure of the individual SiO2 modifications can differ widely, so that distinct density changes occur during transformation. This is of great importance during heating and cooling because of the change in the volume. Quartz requires the smallest volume and the quartz glass the largest. During firing above approximately 900 deg C, quartz transforms into the other modifications and melt completely at 1725 deg C. During slow cooling , reversible volume decreases take place  which are a result of the spontaneous transformation of the crystal structure from the high to the low temperature modification (Fig 1). The reversible and irreversible volume effects can cause considerable stress within the refractory brick structure. Fig 1 Calculated volume and density changes Production of silica refractories The silica refractories are manufactured as multiple asymmetric shapes, which are normally keyed or interlocked with each other by means of tongues and grooves. It is the objective of the manufacturer of silica refractory bricks to select the raw materials and the firing process in such a manner that the degree of quartz transformation is suitable for the intended application of the brick. The raw material for silica brick is naturally occurring quartzite which must meet certain requirements in order to achieve optimum brick properties. If refractoriness or thermal expansion under load (creep) are the main requirements, a quartzite of high chemical purity must be selected. Raw materials for volume stable products...

Introduction to Refractories...

Introduction to Refractories Refractories are defined in ASTM C71 as non metallic materials having those chemical and physical properties that make them applicable for structures or as components of systems that are exposed to environments above 538 deg C. Refractories are inorganic, nonmetallic, porous and heterogeneous materials composed of thermally stable mineral aggregates, a binder phase and additives. These materials have ability to retain its physical shape and chemical identity when subjected to high temperatures. Refractories perform four basic functions namely (i) act as a thermal barrier between a hot medium and the wall of the containing vessel, (ii) represent a chemical protective barrier against corrosion, (iii) ensure a physical protection, preventing the erosion of walls by the circulating hot medium and (iv) act as thermal insulation for heat retention. Refractories are classified in the different following ways. Classification based on chemical composition –  Refractories are classified on the basis of their chemical behaviour into following three classes. Acid refractories – These are those refractories which are attacked by alkalis or basic slags. These are used in acidic atmosphere or where slags are acidic. Example of these refractories are silica and zirconia. Basic refractories – These refractories are attacked by acid slags but stable to alkaline slag, dust and fumes at the elevated temperatures. These refractories are used in alkaline atmospheres. Example of these refractories are magnesia, dolomite and chromite. Neutral refractories – These refractories are chemically stable to both acids and bases and used in the areas where slag and environment are either acidic or basic. Examples are carbon graphite, chromites and alumina. Grphite is the least reactive and is extensively used in the furnaces where the process of oxidation can be controlled. Classification based on physical form – Refractories are classified according...