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Principles of Metallurgical Operations

Principles of Metallurgical Operations

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Published by Muhammad Saim

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Published by: Muhammad Saim on Apr 10, 2012
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Principles of Metallurgical Operations(Sodium, Aluminium, Iron, Copper, Silver,Zinc and Lead)
1. Occurrence of Metals.
A few metals particularly noble metals (
e.g 
.Ag, Au, Pt, etc.) having least electropositivecharacter occur in nature in free (
native 
)state. Sometimes lumps of almost puremetals (
nuggets 
) are also found. However,most of the metals occur in nature as theircompounds. These metallic compoundsoccur in the earth’s crust along with anumber of rocky and other impurities and areknown as
minerals
. The impurities presentare known as
gangue
or
matrix.
Thus the
compound 
of a
metal found in nature is called a 
mineral.
A mineral may be a single compound or a complex mixture.Those minerals from which metal can be economically extracted are called 
ores.
Thus all ores are minerals but all minerals are not ores.
For example, copper occurs innature in the form of several minerals likecuprite (Cu
2
O), copper glance (Cu
2
S),copper pyrites (CuFeS
2
) and malachite[CuCO
3
. Cu (OH)
2
], copper pyrites isconsidered as the most economical mineralfor the extraction of the metal. Hence copperpyrites is the chief ore of copper.
1.1 Ores may be divided intofour groups.
(i)
Native ores 
.
These ores contain themetal in free or metallic state, e.g.,silver, gold and platinum. These areusually found in the company of rock oralluvial impurities like clay, sand, etc.Sometimes lumps of almost puremetals (
nuggets 
) are also found.
(ii)
Oxidised ores.
These ores consist ofoxides or oxysalts (e.g., carbonates,phosphates and silicates) of the metals.Important oxide ores are haematite (Fe
2
O
3
),bauxite (Al
2
O
3
.2H
2
O), tinstone or cassiterite(SnO
2
), zincite (ZnO), pyrolusite (Mn
2
O
3
),etc.Important carbonate ores are limestone(CaCO
3
), dolomite (CaCO
3
. MgCO
3
),magnesite
(
MgCO 
3
)
, calamine
(
ZnCO 
3
)
malachite [CuCO
3
. Cu(OH)
2
], etc.Important sulphate ores are gypsum(CaSO
4
.2H
2
O), barytes (BaSO
4
), andanglesite (PbSO
4
).
(iii)
Sulphurised ores.
These ores consistof sulphides of the metals like iron, lead,mercury, copper, zinc, etc. Importantsulphide ores are iron pyrites (FeS
2
),galena (PbS), copper pyrities(CuFeS
2
), zinc blende (ZnS) andcinnabar (HgS).
(iv)Halide ores.
Metallic halides are veryfew in nature. However, among thehalide ores, chlorides are the mostcommon. Important halide ores aresodium chloride. (NaCl), horn silver(AgCl), carnallite
(1)
 
(KCl.MgCl
2
.6H
2
O), fluorspar (CaF
2
)and cryolite (AlF
3
.3NaF).
2.1 Ores of Few Important Metals.
Commercially important ores of few of themetals are summarised below.
1.Magnesium
(i) Magnesite, MgCO
3
(ii) Dolomite,MgCO
3
. CaCO
3
(iii) EpsomiteMgSO
4
. 7H
2
O(Epsom salt),(iv) Carnallite, MgCl
2
.KCl. 6H
2
O(v) Asbestose, CaMg
3
(SiO
3
)
4
(vi) TalcMg
2
(Si
2
O
5
)
2
Mg(OH)2
2.Copper
(i) Copper pyritesCuFeS
2
or Cu
2
S.Fe
2
S
3
(ii) CupriteCu
2
O(Ruby copper)(iii) Copper glance, Cu
2
S(iv) Malachite,Cu(OH)
2
. CuCO
3
(v) Azurite, Cu(OH)
2
. 2CuCO
3
3. Silver
(i) ArgentiteAg
2
S(Silver glance),(ii) Horn silver, AgCl(iii) Ruby silver3 Ag
2
S Sb
2
S
3 
(Pyrargyrite),
4.Zinc
(i) Zinc blende, ZnS(ii) Calamine,ZnCO
3
(iii) ZinciteZnO(Red zinc oxide),(iv) WillemiteZn
2
SiO
4
5.Aluminium
(i) Bauxite,Al
2
O
3
(ii) Cryolite,Na
3
AIF
3
(iii) Felspar,KAI Si
3
O
8
(iv) Kaolinite,Al
2
O
3
.2 SiO
2
. 2H
2
O(v) Mica,K
2
O.3Al
2
O
3
.6SiO
2
.2H
2
O(vi) Corundum,Al
2
O
3
(vii) Diaspore, Al
2
O
3
.H
2
O
6. Tin
(i) CassiteriteSnO
2
(Tin stone)
7.Lead
(i) Galena, PbS(ii) Anglesite, PbSO
4
(iii) Cerussite, PbCO
3
(iv) Lanarkite, PbO. PbSO
4
8. Iron
(i) Haematite Fe
2
O
3
(Red haematite)(ii) Limonite 2Fe
2
O
3
. 3H
2
O(Brown haematite)(iii) Magnetite, Fe
3
O
4
(iv) Siderite FeCO
3
(Spathic iron ore),(v) Iron pyrites FeS
2
(vi) Copper pyrites, CuFeS
2
3. Metallurgy
Metallurgy is the branch of chemistrywhich deals with the method of extractionof metals from their ores and preparationof alloys.
The extraction of metals cannot becarried out by any universal. methodbecause extraction of each metal requiresdifferent procedure of extraction whichdepends upon the nature and properties ofthe metal. In general,
noble metals
such asAu, Ag etc. are usually extracted by
amalgamation or cyanide process.
Activemetals, such as Na, K, Ca, Mg, Al etc. areusually obtained by electrolysis of theirchlorides, oxides or hydroxides.
Heavy
AISECT TUTORIALS : CHEMISTRY : SET-10
(2)
 
metals,
e.g., Cu, Zn. Fe, Pb, Sn etc. areextracted by making use of
roasting andsmelting methods.
4. REFRACTORY MATERIALS.
The substances which are capable ofwithstanding very high temperatures withoutmelting or becoming soft are called
refractory materials.
They are thus used inthe form of bricks for the internal lining of
furnaces, fluxes and hotter parts ofchimney
and also for the lining of laddlesand converters.
The refractory materials are generally metals, metal oxides or mixture of metal oxides and sometimes carbides also. Asuitable refractory material : (a) Does not melt or soften to an appreciable extent on exposure to intense heat. (b) Resists sudden variations of temperature. (c) Does not crumble at high temperature and pressure.(d) Can withstand the corrosive action of slags which are rich in iron and other metallic oxides.
Refractory materials are generally ofthree types- Acidic, basic and neutralrefractories.
Acidic refractories are those which react withbases. Examples are silica in the form ofganister (a silicious rock containing 92%SiO
2
) and 2.7% Al
2
O
3
, silicious sandstonesetc.
Basic refractories
are those whichreact with acids. Examples are magnesite(MgCO
3
), dolomite (MgCO
3
.CaCO
3
),limestone (CaCO
3
) etc.
Neutralrefractories
are those which neither reactwith acids nor with bases. Examples aregraphite, chromite etc.
Some semi neutralrefractories are
also known. For example,fire clay consisting of 50-60% SiO
2
and20-35% Al
2
O
3
(alumina) is an example ofsemi neutral refractory material.
Graphite
is one of the best material for themanufacture of electrodes and
crucibles
because it neither melts nor softens even atthe highest temperature of the furnace.Metals such as platinum, thorium, tungstenand their oxides are suitable for refractorymaterial. Silicon carbide or carborundum(SiC) is used as refractory for specialpurposes. Silica resists temperatures upto1750
o
C, bauxite bricks upto 1800
o
C,alumina (Al
2
O
3
) upto 2000
o
C and magnesiaand chromite bricks upto 2200
o
C.
5. Various Type of Furnaces.
(i)Reverberatory furnace.
In this type offurnace, the charge is placed on thehearth and heated by the flamesdeflected from its concave roof. Airsupply can be controlled by vents anddirect blast.In reverberatory furnace since the fueldoes not come in direct contact with thecharge,
it can be used for reductionas well as oxidation process.
Forreduction the material is mixed with areducing agent like coke and heatedwhile for oxidation it is heated in acurrent of air. The calcination androasting are usually done in areverberatory furnace. It has been usedin case of copper, tin, lead and wroughtiron.(ii)
Blast furnace.
It has double cup andcone arrangement at the top to preventthe exit of hot gases during the additionof charge. The maximum tempratureattained is 1500
o
C near the tuyers. Ithas three zones : zone of combustion(bottom), zone of fusion (middle) andzone of reduction (upper).The temperature range decreases fromthe bottom i.e. at the tuyers to the top.In other words the zone of combustion
AISECT TUTORIALS : CHEMISTRY : SET-10
(3)

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