Effect of addition of mill scale on sintering of iron ores
Iron-rich (65 to 70 pct total Fe) mill scale generated during processing by steel mills can be recycled by using it as a ferrous raw material in the sintering process. The effect of mill scale addition on the phase formation of sintered specimens from an industrial sinter blend containing 0 to 15 wt pct mill scale was examined, and the mineral phases formed during sintering under various conditions (T = 1523 K to 1598 K [1250 °C to 1325 °C] and gas compositions of pO2 = 0.5, 5 and 21 kPa) were quantitatively measured. For samples sintered in air (pO2 = 21 kPa), there was negligible effect of mill scale addition on the phases formed. The oxidation of the mill scale was complete, and phases such as Silico-Ferrite of Calcium and Aluminum (SFCA), SFCA-I, and hematite dominated. Under lower oxygen partial pressures (pO2 = 0.5 or 5 kPa), and throughout the temperature range examined, the mill scale was converted to magnetite, with the extent of reaction controlled by the hematite-magnetite conversion kinetics. When sintered in the gas mixture with pO2 = 5 kPa, an increase in the mill scale content from 0 to 15 wt pct resulted in a decrease of hematite and total SFCA phases and a corresponding increase in the amount of magnetite which formed. The oxidation of wustite in mill scale to magnetite decreased the local partial pressure of O2 and increased sintering temperature, which promoted the decomposition of hematite.