Silica and its role in the production of iron and steel...

Silica and its role in the production of iron and steel Silicon, the element, is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Silica is the scientific name for a group of minerals made of silicon and oxygen. It is one of the most abundant oxide materials in the earth’s crust and is found in most mineral deposits found on the earth. It is the starting material for the production of ceramics and silicate glasses. Silica (from the Latin word ‘silex’), is an oxide of silicon. It is a compound made up of silicon and oxygen atoms and has the chemical formula SiO2. It occurs commonly in nature as sandstone, silica sand or quartzite. It is the most frequently found in nature as quartz (SiO4). It is the major constituent of sand. Silica is one of the most complex and most abundant families of materials, existing as a compound in several minerals. Silica occurs in a variety of crystalline modifications and also as an under-cooled melt called quartz glass. 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. Silica can be a naturally occurring substance, like quartz, or it can result from human activities. It occurs in many forms. It can exist in an amorphous form (vitreous silica) or in a variety of crystalline forms. Amorphous silica is found in nature (e.g., diatomaceous earth and plants), as well as in synthetic materials. In amorphous silica, the silicon and oxygen atoms are not arranged in any particular pattern. Amorphous forms of silica have a random pattern while in crystalline silica, atoms of silicon and oxygen are arranged in a repeating, three dimensional pattern which is known as crystal lattice. Crystalline silica...

Induction Furnace Refractory Lining with Silica Ramming Mass...

Induction Furnace Refractory Lining with Silica Ramming Mass Induction furnaces are used for melting cast iron, mild steel and various alloy steels in foundries and making of steel in mini steel plants using sponge iron. Lining is the important part of induction furnace. Furnace performance is directly related to the performance of its lining. Well laid and stabilized lining results in smooth working of furnace, optimum output, and good control of the metallurgical reactions. The lining practice best suited to a particular furnace depends upon the capacity and design of the furnace, operation practice adopted during making of a heat, and furnace output. For successful and consistent performance of the lining, the important aspects are (i) use of proper grade and quality of the lining material, (ii) careful and systematic lining practice, and (iii) consistency in working conditions.  Fig 1 shows the installed refractory lining of a coreless induction furnace, Fig 1 Installed refractory lining of a coreless induction furnace The characteristics of the lining material needed for consistent lining life include (i) thermal characteristics which means that it has to withstand the stresses developed by thermal cycles during the furnace operation, (ii) chemically inert to metal being melted, (iii) structural strength under operating conditions, (iv) high erosion resistance, (v) ease of installation, (vi) reparability of the lining, (vii) ease of dismantling, and (viii) economics. As such, it is very difficult to judge the suitability of a particular lining under various conditions like operating temperature, metal being melted, the type of formed slag, and furnace capacity. Chemical inertness to the liquid metal can be achieved by using acid and neutral lining for the acidic slag and neutral or basic lining for the basic slags. Normally, the selection of refractory for the furnace lining is...

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...