2014 Volume 54 Issue 7 Pages 1530-1538
In-situ observations of metal-slag separation behaviors between CaO–Al2O3 based slag, iron and graphite powder mixed pellets by a confocal laser-scanning microscope (CLSM) have been carried out to find the effective way to use high Al2O3 iron ore in CCA reduction processes. Since a particular type of high Al2O3 iron ore such as laterite contains small amount of NiO and Cr2O3, the effect of NiO and Cr2O3 on the metal-slag separation behaviors were also studied. The observed metal-slag separation behaviors were analyzed based on the equilibrium phase fractions calculated by FactSage and carbon diffusion simulation in an iron sphere particle with a spot carbon source condition. Based on these in-situ observations and carbon diffusion results, starting temperature of metal-slag separation was found to correspond to the eutectic temperature of CaO–Al2O3 based slag. The iron carburization was initiated by slag melting and most of iron particles were melted within about 20 s after slag melting. The rapid carburization after slag melting was introduced by the good wettability between solid iron and molten slag. NiO and Cr2O3 additions did not change the fundamental behaviors of metal-slag separation at least up to about 3 mass%. Based on these results, it was confirmed that high Al2O3 content iron ore can be used in CCA reduction process by using CaO–Al2O3 based slag.