The main purpose of this study was to optimise the grain size distribution of the raw material mixture for the production of iron sinter. It well known that the constitution of the sinter mix is based on the knowledge of chemical composition and grain size distribution. Although Mittal Vanderbijlpark has fixed specifications on the physical and chemical properties of the sinter for optimal blast furnace performance, the particle size distribution of the sinter mix has not yet been optimized. This was achieved by using the granulation characteristics of the sinter mix and the green bed permeability tests. The influence of the moisture content of the feed, granulation time, and mean granule diameter on permeability was investigated on Thabazimbi and Sishen iron ore, as well as on their mixture with fluxes and without fluxes. The iron ore results indicated that the mixture containing 20% Thabazimbi iron ore and 80% Sishen iron ore with fluxes where the coke, lime and return fines were sized by removing the – 0.5 mm size fraction of the return fines and coke, and the 1 mm size fraction of lime has the highest permeability of all the studied mixtures. The sintering properties of the mixtures of optimised grain size distributions were also investigated and the results were very similar for all the mixtures and better than the base case mixture, which was not optimised with respect to grain size distribution.
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2008.