2007 Volume 47 Issue 1 Pages 53-61
The pig iron nugget process (referred to as the Iron Technology Mark 3, or ITmk3, process by Kobe Steel) was developed as an alternative to the traditional blast furnace process. Throughout this process self reducing–fluxing dried greenballs are reduced and smelted in to nuggets of metal. The objective of this research was to produce pig iron nuggets at laboratory scale, then characterize and compare them with the blast furnace pig iron. Pig iron nuggets were characterized utilizing apparent density measurements, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy, and bulk chemical analysis. It was determined that pig iron nuggets had high apparent density (6.7–7 g/cm3); had a high iron content (95–97%); and exhibited microstructures similar to white cast iron, which is essentially the same as pig iron from a blast furnace.