Ferro Silicon (FeSi) is produced through the reduction of low-cost raw materials which include quartz, coke, and iron scrap metal or iron oxide (mill scale). The reduction process is extremely energy intensive which raises the manufacturing cost of FeSi significantly and produces a FeSi with 70-75 % Silicon content.
Atomized Ferro Silicon is manufactured using FeSi as the primary building block. Low grade iron scrap metal is added to molten FeSi or alternately solid FeSi Lumps are melted and combined with low grade iron scrap in induction or electric arc furnaces to produce a FeSi with a lower Silicon content of around 14 – 16 %. The molten product is then atomised using either water or gas. Atomization is a process that involves the breaking up of a liquid into very small particles or droplets, producing a fine powder.
Atomised FeSi is used in a mineral processing technique called Dense Media Separation (DMS) which uses dense medium to separate minerals based on their specific gravity. The dense medium is typically a suspension of fine magnetite or ferrosilicon particles in water. When the mixture of minerals is fed into the dense medium, the particles with higher specific gravity will sink to the bottom, while those with lower specific gravity will float to the top. Magnetite is used in coal mineral processing where as ferrosilicon is used in other mineral processing operations involving diamonds, chrome and iron ore among others.
The use of ferrosilicon in DMS has numerous advantages. First, it has a high specific gravity of approximately 6.8 g/cm³, which makes it an effective dense medium for separating minerals with specific gravity ranging from 1.5 to 4.0 g/cm³. This means that ferrosilicon can effectively separate a broad range of minerals from each other.
Secondly, ferrosilicon has excellent magnetic properties, making it useful in magnetic separation processes. Magnetic separation is a technique that uses magnets to separate magnetic minerals from non-magnetic minerals. In DMS, once the minerals are separated based on their specific gravity, the spent liquid contains the used atomised FeSi particles. Due to its magnetic properties, the majority of used atomised FeSi is magnetically removed from the spent liquid, mixed with a small amount of virgin atomised FeSi and then added to fresh water to be reused in the DMS process.
Mineral-Loy supplies Atomised FeSi of various sizes including blends (Milled and Atomised), coarse, fine, Cyclone 60 and Cyclone 40. Please contact us for assistance with your Atomised FeSi requirements.