|Summary / Abstract
||Lead concentrates from the Viburnum Trend in the Southeast Missouri Lead district are sintered prior to smelting to bind the particles together homogenize the feed, and reduce the sulfur content. Good sinter forms competent masses about 4 to 6 inches across, that hal!e about 15% porosity and good mechanical strength to withstand transport and the weight of the overlying load in the smelter. Bad sinter has poor mechanical strength and forms fine fragments that retard the circulation of reducing gases in the furnace and lengthen the time required for reduction. The productivity of the lead smelter depends on good sinter feed. Because some lead sinter plants produce bad sinter about 20% of the time, this applied mineralogy study has been undertaken to determine the mineralogical and microtextural differences between good and bad sinter.
A reflected light microscopic study of 130 polished sections has shown that good and bad sinters differ distinctly in their mineralogy, tex1ure. and character of, porosity. Good sinter consists of hardystonite, franklinite. lead-zinc-bearing magnesium-calcium silicate, lead silicate matrix, and large crystals of calcium-magnesium-iron silicate, together with minor amounts of lead oxides, lead-zinc silicate, metallic lead, specular hematite, magnetite, lead-iron-bearing zincite and zinc-Iead-magnesium-bearing wustite in a tightly intergrown mesh of crystals and with an evenly distributed porosity of 15% to 20%. Electron microprobe analyses show that the principal phases contain lead (or zinc): hardystonite (4-20% Pb) franklinite (2-14% Pb) and lead silicate matrix (65-74% Pb).
Bad sinter differs from good sinter in the greater abundance of lead silicate matrix, galena metallic lead, and lead oxides and the lesser abundance of hardystonite, franklinite and calcium-magnesium-iron silicate. Bad Sinter is characterized by a lack of an intimate intergrowth of the constituent phases. Its porosity is much lower commonly 0 to 5% and those pores are concentrated in local areas rather than distributed evenly throughout the sinter.