To cope with varying raw material qualities and increasing prices for energy, a more frequent and accurate monitoring of the processing of iron ore became the focus in sinter plant operations. Traditionally, quality control in iron producing industries has relied on time-consuming wet chemistry or the analysis of the elemental composition. The mineralogy of a sinter that defines the properties and behaviour in the blast furnace is often not frequently monitored. One fast method to analyse the mineralogical composition of iron sinter, raw mixtures and iron ores is X-ray diffraction (XRD). Recently statistical methods such as similarity analysis or partial least square regression (PLSR) in combination with XRD raw data has become more and more popular in handling large amounts of data and correlating process-relevant parameters directly with an XRD measurement. PLSR can be used to correlate process parameters directly from the XRD pattern without investigating the mineral content. Hidden information that is present in the measurement but not determined with traditional methods can be used to improve the characterisation of the analysed materials.
König, U and Norberg, N, 2017. Iron sinter process control using X-ray diffraction – part : monitoring of low temperature degradation, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 75–78 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).