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The Concept of Metallurgy and Metal Engineering

15-FEB-2016 15:03

    Metallurgy is a process of extracting metal through various processes from their respective ores that directly or indirectly influence the physical and chemical activities involve in the production of metals. It is that part of science that studies the physical and chemical behaviour of metallic elements, their inter-metallic compounds, and their mixtures.


    Types of Metallurgy

    • Ferrous metallurgy (black metallurgy): In this metallurgy, the extraction is moving around alloys based on iron.
    • Non-ferrous metallurgy (coloured metallurgy: In this metallurgy, the extraction is based on other metals.

    Metallurgy related terms

    Metallurgy is also called the technology of metals: The way in which science is applied to the production of metals, and the engineering of metal components for usage in products for consumers and manufacturers. There are number of processes involved during the course of extraction and some of the important term which is used in the entire process is discussed below:

    Mineral: It is a substance which is found abundance in nature and in which a main chemical component (element or compound) is necessarily present.

    Ore: It is a mineral in which good amount of metal is found and the required metal is extracted at the low cost by a simplest way.

    Gangue or Matrix: It is impure substance from which metals and their compounds are obtained.

    Smelting: It is a chemical change process. It is a process of heating an ore above its melting point with coke and flux in order to fuse the whole mixture and reduce the ore to metal.

    Flux: It is that substance which is added in the ore during the process of smelting for removing impurities (Gangue). For example- Limestone is used as flux in the blast furnace in which Calcium Oxide is produce which ultimately provides Calcium Silicate.

    Slag: It is that substance which is obtained during the process of extraction by chemical combination of Flux and Gangue which is light, fusible and waste material.

    Calcination: It is a process in which the volatile impurities of the ores are removed by strong heating. During the course of Calcination, only chemical reaction occurs in such way that decomposable oxides of the oxysalts is produced and also it doesn’t matter whether air is presents or not.

    Roasting: It is a process of heating the Ore in its below melting points in such way in which it is heated at a constant temperature through the controlled air supply.

    Concentration of Ore: It is the process of removal of the gangue from the Ore. There are various methods of concentration but these methods are chosen on basis of the properties of the ore. There are mainly four types of method for Ore Concentration or Ore Benefaction: Hydraulic Washing, Magnetic Separation, Froth Flotation Method, and Leaching.

    Refining: It is extraction process of the pure metals from impure metals under the suitable conditions.

    Elements, Ores and their Formulae


    Composition of Ores

    Sodium (Na)

    • Sodium chloride (NaCl)
    • Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3.10H2O)
    • Sodium nitrate (NaNO3)
    • Sodium sulphate (NaSO4.10 H2O)
    • Borax (sodium tetra borate) (Na2B4O7.10H2O)

    Potassium (K)

    • Potassium chloride (KCl)
    • Potassium carbonate (K2CO3)
    • Potassium nitrate (KNO3)

    Magnesium (Mg)

    • Magnesite (MgCO3)
    • Dolomite (MgCO3.CaCO3)
    • Canallite (KCl, MgCl2.6H2O)
    • Epsom Salt (MgSO4 7H2O)

    Calcium (Ca)

    • Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3)

    Aluminium (Al)

    • Bauxite (AlO3.2H2O)
    • Cryollite (Na3AlF6)
    • Corundom (Al2O3)
    • Dyspore (Al2O3. H2O)

    Copper (Cu)

    • Cuprite (Cu2O)
    • Azurite [2CuCO3.Cu(OH)2]
    • Malcite [CuCO3.Cu(OH)2]
    • Calcosite (CuS2)

    Tin (Sn)

    • Cisiteryte (SnO2)

    Lead (Pb)

    • Galena (PbS)
    • Cirusite (PbCO3)

    Silver (Ag)

    • Native Silver(Ag)
    • Arzentite(Ag2S)

    Zinc (Zn)

    • Zinc blend (ZnS)
    • Calamin (ZnCO3)
    • Zincite (ZnO)

    Mercury (Hg)

    • Cinebar (HgS)

    Manganese (Mn)

    • Pyrolucite (MnO2)
    • Mangnetite (Fe3O3)

    Iron (Fe)

    • Haemetite (Fe2O3)
    • Magnetite (Fe3O4)
    • Ciderite (FeCO3)
    • Iron pyrites (FeS2)
    • Chalco pyrites (CuFeS2)

    Barium (Ba)

    • Heavy spar or Bariots (BaSO4)
    • Bithrite (BaCO3)

    Cadmium (Cd)

    • Grinocite (CdS)

    Chromium (Cr)

    • Chromite (Feo Cr2 O3)

    Arsenic (As)

    • Arsenic pyrite (FeAsS)

    Cobalt (Co)

    • Cobaltite (CoAsS)

    Nickel (Ni)

    • Nickel Glans (NiAsS)

    Antimony (Sb)

    • Steebnite (SbS2)

    Stransium (Sr)

    • Stranianite (SrCO3)

    Gold (Au)

    • Claberite (AuTe2)
    • Silvenites [(AgAu)2 Te2]

    Image Courtesy: www.sandb.com

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