2014 Volume 54 Issue 3 Pages 605-612
To explore the possibility of successfully processing iron ore pellets with a high content of hematite, thermogravimetric tests were performed to study the induration process of pellets composed of a mixture of iron ore concentrates (magnetite and 35% wt of hematite). Thermogravimetric tests were performed nonisothermally from 25°C to 1400°C using two heating rates, 5 and 50°C/min. To identify the reactions involved and to follow the microstructural evolution throughout the induration process, selected tests were arrested at predetermined temperatures, and samples were rapidly cooled to room temperature for later characterization using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) along with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). It was found that the formation of phases such as calcium ferrite (CF), magnesium ferrite (MF), silico-ferrites of calcium (SCF) and silico-ferrites of calcium and aluminum (SCFA) are influenced by the heating rate. The microstructure of the fired pellet processed at 50°C/min showed compact small grains of the sintered phase of the secondary hematite (SH), partially surrounded by a slag phase. In contrast, the fired pellet processed at 5°C/min exhibited a microstructure consisting of the SH phase with a faceted morphology surrounded by a relatively large amount of the slag phase. The results suggest that the pellet processed at 50°C/min had a more satisfactory response to the induration process.