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Ironmaking & Steelmaking

Processes, Products and Applications

ISSN: 0301-9233 (Print) 1743-2812 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/yirs20

Recycling of steel plant mill scale via iron ore


pelletisation process

T. Umadevi, M. G. Sampath Kumar, P. C. Mahapatra, T. Mohan Babu & Madhu


Ranjan

To cite this article: T. Umadevi, M. G. Sampath Kumar, P. C. Mahapatra, T. Mohan Babu &
Madhu Ranjan (2009) Recycling of steel plant mill scale via iron ore pelletisation process,
Ironmaking & Steelmaking, 36:6, 409-415, DOI: 10.1179/174328108X393795

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/174328108X393795

Published online: 29 Nov 2013.

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Download by: [University of Duisburg Essen] Date: 18 July 2016, At: 07:55
Recycling of steel plant mill scale via iron ore
pelletisation process
T. Umadevi*, M. G. Sampath Kumar, P. C. Mahapatra, T. Mohan Babu and
Madhu Ranjan
Mill scale is an iron oxide waste generated during steelmaking, casting and rolling. Total
generation of mill scale at JSWSL is around 150 t/day and contains 6070%FeO and 30
35%Fe2O3. To recover the iron, the mill scale must be smelted in a blast furnace or other reduction
furnace; however, it is usually too fine to use without previous agglomeration such as via pellet or
sinter mix. JSWSL operates a 4?2 Mtpa pellet plant to produce pellets for Corex and BF
ironmaking units. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of mill scale on pellet properties.
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Detailed laboratory basket trials were conducted using up to 40% of mill scale in the pellet mix.
The addition of mill scale up to 10% is considered to provide the optimum balance of chemical,
physical and metallurgical properties of the pellet.
Keywords: Iron ore pelletisation, Mill scale, Macrostructure and microstructure, Green pellets properties, Physical and metallurgical properties

Introduction Mill scale and its reaction during pellet firing


The chemical analysis of mill scale is shown in Table 1.
The management of wastes generated by integrated
During induration, the FeO is oxidised to form Fe2O3
steel works has become an important issue due to ever
as follows3
tightening environmental regulations. Future develop-
ments will aim at recovery of the iron units from steel 3FeOz1=2O2 ?Fe3 O4 (1)
plant waste which will result in higher financial
rewards. Mill scale (iron oxide) which is mainly 2Fe3 O4 z1=2O2 ?3Fe2 O3 {Q (2)
magnetite is produced during the casting and rolling
process. It represents y1?9% of steel produced.1 The
Q~260 kJ mol{1
usage of mill scale in sintering process is a prerequisite
for recycling/reuse in ironmaking units. Usage of mill Both the reactions are exothermically releasing con-
scale in sinter plant is very limited due to productivity siderable amounts of heat.
drop and deterioration in sinter quality.2 Currently, the
total generated mill scale of 150 t/day is not being fully
used in the sinter plant at 80100 t/day. In order to
Experimental
utilise all the mill scale generated in the steel plant, Experiments were conducted with 10, 20, 30 and 40%
laboratory scale trails have been conducted to deter- mill scale additions to compare with 0%. The raw
mine the extent of mill scale usage in pellet plant materials used for the preparation of the green pellets
without affecting the quality of the pellets. These are iron ore, mill scale, limestone, bentonite and Corex
pellets should have reasonable physicochemical pro- sludge and their chemical composition is given in
perties to be suitable for iron and steel production. Table 1. Iron ore fines of 10 mm size and mill scale
Laboratory scale basket trials were conducted on of 6 mm were ground together in laboratory ball mill
pellets with different level mill scales from 10 to 40% to get the required fineness. Screen analysis after
and microscopic studies were carried out using grinding is given in Table 2. The mixing ratios of the
polarised microscope. raw materials for each experiment are given in Table 3.
Green pellets were prepared using a laboratory scale
Mill scale production balling disc (Fig. 2) of 45 cm diameter and 10 cm depth.
JSW Steel Ltd is 4 Mtpa integrated steel plant and the The green pellets were prepared under the following
production of mill scale at the steel plant and hot strip operation conditions:
mill is shown in Fig. 1. (i) feed particle size (2325#), 6364%
(ii) tilt angle of disc bottom, 45u
(iii) disc rotating speed, 38 rev min21.
Each set of experiments need around 40 kg green pellets
for firing. The green pellets were kept in rectangular
JSW Steel Ltd, Torangallu, Vidyanagar, Bellary, Karnataka, India stainless steel baskets (Fig. 3) and fired in the pellet
*Corresponding author, email uma.devi@jsw.in plant induration machine with identical firing conditions.

2009 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining


Published by Maney on behalf of the Institute
Received 28 July 2008; accepted 7 October 2008
DOI 10.1179/174328108X393795 Ironmaking and Steelmaking 2009 VOL 36 NO 6 409
Umadevi et al. Recycling of steel plant mill scale

1 Mill scale generation at JSW Steel Ltd

The stainless steel basket was placed in the centre of the


pellet bed on the hearth layer, and it covers entire bed
height of the induration machine. These green pellets are
subjected to drying, preheating, firing and cooling zones
(Fig. 4) in the induration machine to get the required
physical, mechanical and metallurgical properties for
iron making. The operating parameters of the plant are
shown in Table 4. Pellets were evaluated for chemical,
green properties, and physical and metallurgical proper-
ties. Samples for microstructural investigation were
prepared by cold mounting. A polarising microscope
and Q-win Image analyser were used for microstructural 2 Lab scale balling disc
characterisation.
Effect of mill scale addition on properties of
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Results and discussion green pellets


Green pellet properties, namely, the drop number and
All measurements of physicochemical properties were
green crushing strength tests, were carried out in the
performed on pellets having a size of 1012 mm
laboratory. The drop test measures the ability of the
diameter. The chemical analyses of fired pellets are
green balls to survive drops at the transfer from points
shown in Table 5.
from balling disc to induration machine. A certain
Macrostructural and microstructural studies minimum crushing strength is necessary in order that the
pellets can withstand the compression load in the pellet
It was observed that the crack formation and FeO% in bed on a belt conveyor and drying grate. The desired
the fired pellet increases and pellet strength decreases pellet properties are shown in Table 6.
with increase in mill scale addition. Figure 5 shows With increasing mill scale addition, the green crushing
macroscopic phase differences of pellets with 10, 20, 30 strength (GCS) and drop no. gradually decreases
and 40% mill scales respectively. The chemical analysis (Fig. 7) but the dry properties (dry crushing strength)
of pellets with 040% mill scale is shown in Table 5. are comparable with the base pellets (Fig. 8). The GCS
Pellet with 10% mill scale exhibits a uniform haematite and drop number of the green pellets are comparable
structure from core to shell. Pellet with 20, 30 and 40% with desired pellet properties up to 20% mill scale
mill scales exhibits non-uniform structure, i.e. magnetite addition. In the pellet green mix, water forms liquid
phase in the centre and haematite phase in the outer bridges between the feed particles which are responsible
phase with major cracks. for developing pellet strength and pellet dropping
Figure 6 shows the microstructure of pellet with 10, damage resistance.4
20 30 and 40% mill scale. The pellet with 10% mill scale Mill scale, which has a low affinity for water, leads to
contains minor amounts of magnetite in the core, but for a decrease in the amount of water filling the voidage
pellets with 20, 30 and 40% mill scale, the magnetite between feed particles. This decreases the number of
phase predominates in the core, inner mantle and outer liquid bridges, which are responsible for low green
mantle. Magnetite phase is associated with patches of crushing strength and drop number.
slag phase which is higher in the core and inner mantle
compared to the outer mantle and shell. As mill scale Effect of mill scale addition on physical
addition increases, more cracks/fractures in the inner properties of fired pellets
mantle and outer mantle due to core shrinkage can be The addition of 10% mill scale increased the tumbler
observed. index and decreased the abrasion index of fired pellets
compared to those with zero mill scale (Fig. 9). The A.I
Table 1 Chemical composition of raw materials, wt-%
of the fired pellet property is comparable with desired
Iron ore Mill Corex
% fines scale Limestone Bentonite sludge Table 2 Raw mix size analysis, %

Fe 63.72 71.36 1.73 18.90 Mill scale, %


Fe2O3 35.76 33.99
FeO 59.80 Mesh 0 10 20 30 40
SiO2 3.41 1.00 3.51 45.28 8.97
Al2O3 2.42 0.97 0.69 15.50 5.34 z100 4 5 4 4 5
CaO 0.12 1.08 45.90 4.10 5.72 z200 15 16 15 16 15
MgO 0.02 0.60 4.90 4.10 3.26 z230 9 8 9 8 9
LOI 2.44 41.30 9.50 z325 8 8 8 8 7
C 0.25 38.00 2325 64 63 64 64 64

410 Ironmaking and Steelmaking 2009 VOL 36 NO 6


Umadevi et al. Recycling of steel plant mill scale

3 Stainless steel basket for green pellets ring


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4 Schematic diagram of induration process for iron ore pelletisation

pellet property up to 40% mill scale addition but T.I of which causes shrinkage of core and separation from the
the fired pellet property is comparable up to 10% mill pellet shell which results in considerable pellet quality
scale addition. impairment.
CCS and FeO% of the fired pellets increases with Depending on the pellet firing conditions, carbon
increasing mill scale addition from 10 to 40% (Fig. 10). content and internal heat, magnetite in the core may or
These two properties are comparable with desired may not be completely reoxidised to haematite after
properties of the pellets up to 10% mill scale addition. cooling.5 The process of oxidation of magnetite into
At higher additions of mill scale, FeO% was found to haematite is the most important aspect since it has
increase due to additional heat produced from the a decisive influence on the strength of the pellets.
exothermic reaction causing the core to be heated to a Conversion of magnetite to haematite which is a
higher temperature than the pellet surface. This pro- strongly exothermic reaction, favours grain growth and
duces more magnetite (Fe2O3.FeO) along with slag sintering of the particles of iron ore concentrate to form
hard, strong pellets.6
Owing to higher heat in the core with 2040% mill
Table 3 Mix proportion of raw material scale, the pellet core contains more magnetite, so full
strength is not attained and hence pellets with high
Mill scale, %
retained Fe3O4 show lower strength.
% 0 10 20 30 40
Table 4 Machine process parameters
Iron ore fines 94.1 84.6 75.0 65.4 55.9
Mill scale 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 Parameters Value
Bentonite 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
Limestone 3.6 3.2 2.7 2.2 1.8 Feedrate, t h21 465
Corex sludge 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.7 Machine speed, m min21 2.24
B2 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 Firing temperature, uC 1262
Carbon 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 Burn through temperature, uC 457

Ironmaking and Steelmaking 2009 VOL 36 NO 6 411


Umadevi et al. Recycling of steel plant mill scale
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A macrostructure of pellet with 10% mill scale; B macrostructure of pellet with 20% mill scale; C macrostructure of pellet
with 30% mill scale; D macrostructure of pellet with 40% mill scale
5 Macrostructure of pellet with 1040% mill scale

Effect of mill scale addition on metallurgical of the pellets have cracks/fractures. This could be due to
properties the excessive heat generated due to exothermic reaction
RDI (26?3 mm) and RDI (20?5 mm) of the pellets within the pellet (pellets with 30 and 40% mill scale
increase and reducibility decreases with increasing mill additions were still red hot (500550uC) even after the
scale addition from 10 to 40% (Figs, 11 and 12). Both second cooling zone.
RDI (26?3 mm) and RDI (20?5 mm) results are Also during the reduction process, the conversion
comparable with desired properties of the pellets up to of haematite to magnetite is followed by a volume
10% mill scale addition; however, reducibility of the
pellet is comparable up to 30% mill scale addition. Table 6 Green and red pellets: desired properties
The firing of pellets was very good with 10% mill
scale, but for pellets with 2040% mill scale, around 60% Properties Desired value

Green pellet properties


Table 5 Chemical analysis of red pellets Drop no. 6
GCS, kg/p 12
Mill scale, % DCS, kg/p 2.50
Chemical and physical properties
% 0 10 20 30 40 FeO, % 0.500.60
CCS .220
Fe 63.10 63.52 63.92 64.33 64.71 T.I (z6.3 mm), % >95.0
FeO 0.40 0.55 0.84 1.02 1.18 A.I (20.5 mm), % (5.0
SiO2 3.98 3.69 3.40 3.12 2.85 Metallurgical properties
Al2O3 2.65 2.45 2.30 2.12 1.96 RDI (26.3 mm), % (11.5
CaO 2.05 1.89 1.64 1.61 1.40 RDI (20.5 mm), % (4.00
MgO 0.29 0.32 0.36 0.39 0.42 Reducibility (dR/dT)40, %O2/min >0.40
CaO/SiO2 (B2) 0.52 0.51 0.48 0.52 0.49 Degree of reduction, % .60

412 Ironmaking and Steelmaking 2009 VOL 36 NO 6


Umadevi et al. Recycling of steel plant mill scale
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A microstructure of pellet with 10% mill scale; B microstructure of pellet with 20% mill scale; C microstructure of pellet
with 30% mill scale; D microstructure of pellet with 40% mill scale
6 Microstructure of pellet with 1040% mill scale

increase.7 This initiates cracks due to mechanical stresses haematite during cooling cycle. Higher magnetite
in the core and outer mantle of the pellet. Lower (Fe3O4) content in pellet decreases its reducibility.
strength pellets cannot sustain high mechanical loads It was observed that crack formation and FeO% in the
during reduction,8 thus the reduction degradation index fired pellet increased and pellet properties decreased
increases. with increasing in mill scale addition. This can be
In Corex/blast furnace during transformation of overcome by considerably reducing the firing tempera-
haematite to magnetite, the structural metamorphosis tures and carbon content in the green pellets so that the
from a hexagonal to cubic structure gives rise to volume exothermic heat of mill scale can be effectively used.
expansion, increased porosity, cracks and fissures, thus The green pellet properties like GCS and drop number
haematite is much more reducible than magnetite.9 It is are comparable with desired pellet properties up to 20%
highly desirable that all the lower oxides (magnetite) of mill scale addition; however, fired pellet properties like
the pellet formed during heating should be oxidized to FeO, T.I, CCS, RDI (26?3 mm) and RDI (20?5 mm)

Ironmaking and Steelmaking 2009 VOL 36 NO 6 413


Umadevi et al. Recycling of steel plant mill scale

7 Effect of mill scale (%) on GCS and drop number 10 Effect of mill scale on FeO and CCS
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8 Effect of mill scale (%) on DCS


11 Effect of mill scale on RDI

9 Effect of mill scale on T.I and A.I

are comparable with desired properties up to 10% mill


scale addition. Fired properties of the pellets mainly
FeO, CCS and both RDI are important variables that 12 Effect of mill scale on reducibility
affect the smoothness of operation, bed permeability,
fuel rate and the productivity of the Corex and blast
furnace units, thus to get good chemical, physical and green pellets, but dry crushing strength of the pellets is
metallurgical properties of the fired pellets for Corex/ comparable with that of base pellets up to 40% mill
blast furnace, addition of 10% maximum mill scale in scale.
pellet mix is desirable. 2. With additions of mill scale beyond 10%, FeO%
increases in the fired pellets due to additional heat
produced from the exothermic reaction.
Conclusions 3. The addition of 10% mill scale increased the
1. The addition of up to 20% mill scale had no effect tumbler index and decreased the abrasion index of fired
on the green crushing strength and drop number of the pellets compared to those with zero mill scale.

414 Ironmaking and Steelmaking 2009 VOL 36 NO 6


Umadevi et al. Recycling of steel plant mill scale

4. With increasing mill scale addition from 0 to 40%, References


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