Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2012, Article ID 147420, 9 pages
Research Article

Characterisation of the Physical and Metallurgical Properties of Natural Iron Ore for Iron Production

1Department of Material Science and Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Brinellvägen 23, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, College of Engineering Design Art and Technology, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda

Received 26 April 2012; Accepted 10 June 2012

Academic Editors: C. Ribeiro and J. Rubio

Copyright © 2012 Abraham J. B. Muwanguzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The blast furnace is still the dominant form of iron production, but over the years, direct reduction methods have increased due to a number of reasons. Overall, iron production methods have optimal requirements with respect to the feed materials especially iron ore. In this study, tests were carried out on Muko iron ore from Uganda to analyse its suitability to meet the feed requirements of today's dominant iron production methods. More specifically, the Tumbler, Abrasion, and Shatter Indices of the ore were determined. In addition, porosity, thermoanalysis, and reducibility tests were performed. Overall, the Muko ore was found to have good mechanical properties exemplified with tumble and shatter index data >89.0 wt% and <2.5 wt%, respectively. Furthermore, its reducibility at 0.87%/min is within the acceptable range as a natural material feed for blast furnace and direct reduction furnaces. Also, the energy requirement for heating the ore to 1100°C was found to be higher in the samples containing a wider size range of irregular grains and the largest contaminations. In summary, it is concluded that the Muko iron ore has good physical and metallurgical properties to serve as a natural material for the blast furnace and direct reduction furnaces.