Iron ore materials (IOM) are produced by processing iron ore and intended for further use in the iron and steel industry. They are a source of Fe for ferroalloy and pig iron production in blast furnaces, direct reduced iron (DRI) production and hot briquetted iron (HBI) production. The main types of iron ore materials include concentrate, pellets and sinter.
Pig iron is iron alloy containing carbon (> 2.14% С) and other elements. Its excellent casting properties mean that it is widely used in casting for various applications, as well as in steelmaking.
Steel is a multicomponent metal containing primarily ferrum (Fe), carbon (from 0.025% to 2.14%), additives and alloys. Semi-finished steel products include square billets, blooms, beam blanks, slabs and rounds that are used to hot-roll sections, flat products and pipes.
Coke and chemicals include products from coke and chemical plants. The main product of coking (coal carbonisation at high temperatures in the absence of air) is coke, which is used as a fuel and chemical to reduce iron in blast furnaces. In addition to coke, coal processing results in aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene and phenol), coke-oven gas and coal tar, which are transported to specialist enterprises for further treatment and processing to produce crude benzene, benzene for synthesis, ammonium sulphate, coal tar electrode pitch, naphthalene, etc.
Production and application of iron ore materials, semi-finished products and coke and chemicals
Iron ore materials are produced at enrichment works by mining, preparing and enriching iron ore. Ore processing includes crushing (grinding), increasing Fe content by removing gangue and detrimental impurities, drying, pelletising and roasting pellets to produce iron ore materials of the required size and strength.
Pig iron is produced in blast furnaces by reducing iron oxides contained in iron ore materials using elements derived from fuel combustion (carbon oxide, hydrogen and solid carbon). As a result of the blast furnace process, carbon-rich hot metal and slag consisting of non-reduced oxides, fuel ash, flux, etc, are produced. Hot metal goes to steelmaking shops to produce steel; foundry shops to produce castings; and pig-casting machines to produce pig iron.
One of three types of furnace is used to produce steel: namely, basic oxygen, open hearth or electric arc furnaces. Each method includes material preparation, steelmaking at melting units, secondary metallurgy and casting. Hot metal or pig iron, scrap steel or iron, and ferroalloys are used as feedstock. End products of steelmaking include steel semis that are cast at continuous casting machines (casters) or teemed into ingots with further re-rolling at hot blooming or slabbing mills. Depending on the shape, size and application, semi-finished products are classified into:
- Slabs – semis with rectangular cross-sections and big aspect ratios for producing flats and coils.
- Blooms – semis with square (sides greater than 200 mm) or near-square cross-sections for rolling heavy sections.
- Square billets – semis of square cross-sections with sides up to 200 mm for hot-rolling medium and light sections.
- Beam blanks – semis for rolling wide flange beams.
- Rounds - semis for producing seamless pipes and axles.
Aromatics derived from coal carbonisation are delivered to chemical plants for producing xylene and naphthalene (crude and refined one), phenol, orthcresol, tricresol, dicresol, coal solvent, fuel for boilers and furnaces, and other coke and chemicals. Most of the products from phenol and naphthalene hydrocarbon processing are used in the chemical and healthcare industries.
Coal tar recovered during coke production is delivered to a tar distillation shop, where it is converted into liquid or granulated coal tar pitch by means of pyrolysis. The product is used to manufacture graphite materials and anode slurry for primary aluminium production.
Buy raw materials, semi-finished products, and coke and chemicals
Metinvest is a leading global supplier of iron ore concentrate, pellets, pig iron and semi-finished steel products. They are manufactured by the Group’s iron ore enrichment plants and steelworks in Ukraine and can be purchased through the global sales network of 38 sales offices in Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
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