Agglomeration Advisor: Agglomeration tales
In this column, I'm going to tell a few tales from my many years of activity in the field of agglomeration.
A garlicky misadventure. I started out working with iron ore, one of the most commonly agglomerated materials at the time. Agglomeration played a major role in the steel (and associated mining) industry, beginning with sinter plants, where fine ores, steel mill fines, coke fines, and flux were converted into hard clinker (also called sinter) to be used for blast furnace charge material. Some of these raw clinker materials were very fine while others were granular, but the sintering process for both required an agglomerated feed mix. The preferred equipment for this ranged from pugmills (paddle mixers) to drum and pan mixers, depending on the material composition and local steel plant preference.