Understanding Sinter and Sinter Plant Operations Mar15

Understanding Sinter and Sinter Plant Operations...

Understanding Sinter and Sinter Plant Operations               Sintering is a process of agglomeration of fine mineral particles into a porous and lumpy mass by incipient fusion caused by heat produced by combustion of solid fuel within the mass itself. The sintering process is a pre-treatment step in the production of iron, where fine particles of iron ores and also secondary iron oxide wastes (collected dusts, mill scale etc.) along with fluxes (lime, limestone and dolomite) are agglomerated by combustion.  Agglomeration of the fines is necessary to enable the passage of hot gases during the blast furnace operation. Sintering has been referred to as the art of burning a fuel mixed with ore under controlled conditions. It involves the heating of fine iron ore with flux and coke fines or coal to produce a semi-molten mass that solidifies into porous pieces of sinter with the size and strength characteristics necessary for feeding into the blast furnace. Although simple in principle, sintering plant requires that a number of important factors in its design and operation be observed to attain optimum performance. A simplified schematic flow diagram of sintering process is at Fig 1.  Fig 1 Simplified flow diagram of a sintering process  There are basically the following three types of sinters. Non flux or acid sinters – In these sinters no flux is added to the iron ore in preparing the sinter mix. Non flux sinters are very rarely being produced these days. Self fluxing or basic sinters – These are the sinters where sufficient flux is added in the sinter mix for producing slags of desired basicity (CaO/SiO2) in blast furnace taking into account the acidic oxides in the blast furnace burden. Super flux sinters – These are the sinters where sufficient flux is added in...