Different types of lump iron ore-bearing particles were investigated in terms of their raw material properties depending on their behaviour during reduction. To predict the reduction behaviour different types of lump iron ore and pellet brands were characterised by their mineral abundance, texture and pore size. The image processing software VisuMet was developed to semi-automate the evaluation of photomicrographs from polished sections of lumpy iron particles. The results were compared to the standard reducibility test after ISO 4695. The evaluation of lump iron ores is based on the simulation of the transformation of the different iron minerals due to their sequence of reducibility. The progress of the reduction front is simulated and the result is a degradation curve. Pellets were also investigated due to their different pore size distribution. The results indicate that the pore size influences the reducibility in addition to mineral abundance. The evaluation with VisuMet of the lump iron ore and pellet samples correlates with the reducibility provided by the ISO 4695 test. The determination of the mineral abundance by VisuMet is comparable to common point counting with a correlation coefficient of 99.67 per cent.
Kain-Bückner, B and Mali, H, 2017. VisuMet – analyses of lumpy iron carriers with image processing, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 557–560 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).