Sampling, Characterization, and Evaluation of Midwest Clays for Iron Ore Pellet Bonding
Description:The Bureau of Mines, in cooperation with three Minnesota agencies (Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey, and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board), investigated the potential of using glacial lake clay from Minnesota, as well as other areas, as a binder for iron ore pellets. The best clay-characterizing procedures for predicting binder effectiveness were the cation exchange capacity (CEC) using the methylene blue method and the plate water absorption test (PWAT). The best clay binder was found in the Red River Valley. However, compared to a typical western bentonite at the 0.5-pct-addition level, addition of about 2 pct Minnesota clay was required to obtain comparable unfired (green) pellet strengths. Soda ash addition only slightly improved the binding properties of Minnesota clay, but considerable improvement was obtained by the addition of a small quantity of water absorbing organic compounds. For example, with a mixture of 0.5 pct Minnesota clay or paint rock and 0.1 pct pregelatinized starch, the unfired and fired physical pellet properties were about the same as with 0.5 pct of typical western bentonite. The reduction rate at the 40-pct reduction level and the percentage of plus 6.3-mm particles from the reduction disintegration index test were also about the same.
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