What are pellets?
Pellets are the ground iron ore fines converted to spherical shape balls having good physical properties for both bulk, mechanical transportation over long distances and also have excellent metallurgical properties similar or even better than lump ore. The pellets become a vital raw material for all types of Iron Making Units. They are made with technology that uses the powder that is generated during the ore extraction process, once considered waste.
What are they used for?
Affordable, high-quality raw materials for iron making are steadily decreasing on a global scale. This means that fine and ultra-fine iron ores will command an ever-larger share of iron ore sales in the future. For this reason, a growing number of iron and steel producers are looking into the possibility of increasing the portion of pellets in their production operations. The use of pellets, however, leads to a number of issues. Fluctuating prices on the world market can seriously affect cost-efficient ironmaking.
The pellets are used as raw material for Iron making in the plants as an alternate material for Sinter and/or Lump Ore.
The pellets are preferred over sinter and lump ore as their shape, size, strength and excellent designed metallurgical properties in Blast furnaces as burden. The use of pellets resulted in increasing the productivity of the iron making units without any capital investment. The designer pellets with known chemistry facilitate reduction in coke rate and the slag chemistry over the conventional burden.
Iron ore pellet is a kind of agglomerated fines which has better strength (expressed technically as ‘tumbling index’) as compared to that of parent ore and can be used as a substitute in blast furnaces in countries where lump ore is not available. Pelletizing is a process of converting very fine iron ore (<100micron) into uniform sized pellets (balls with diameter 6mm~16mm), which are suitable for use in blast furnace and direct reduction furnace.