Note on a Proposed Arbitrary Quality Classification of Coke for use in Interpreting Experimental Coke Oven Results

Beukes, P. J. A. ; La Grange, C. C.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Unavailable
INTRODUCTION Some years ago the authors proposed a modified procedure1 for carrying out micum index determinations2. The modifications consisted of using a drum of 50 cm internal length, i.e. half the length of the standard micum drum (a modification also adopted by the B.S.J.3), and the use of a + 25 mm coke instead of + 60 mm coke for the test. The proposed modified test and formulae for converting results obtained from it to standard micum test results and vice versa were based on the results obtained during the investigation of about 200 test cokes made in ovens of the South African Steel Industrial Corporation Limited (Iscor), the Fuel Research Institute co-operating with the experiments. Extensive testing of cokes has since been done at the Fuel Research Institute using both the standard and the modified procedures. The numerous test results obtained during this trial period fully support and strengthen the confidence originally expressed by the authors in the modified testing procedure. The scope of the modified micum index determination has in the meantime been extended by applying the testing procedure also to test cokes made in the Institute's experimental coke ovens, and also in this case the modified procedure has proved its usefulness. A difficulty is that when comparing the characteristics of cokes made in the Institute's two experimental coke ovens with each other and with those of cokes made from similar blends in commercial coke ovens, for example those of Iscor, the index values obtained invariably do not check exactly due mainly to inherent differences between the different types of oven4. For instance, resistance to abrasion of a coke made in Iscor's ovens is always appreciably higher than that of a coke made from the same blend (and having a similar moisture content) in the experimental ovens. This makes direct comparisons and the prediction of quality to be expected from commercial products, based on experimental coke oven results, difficult. It may also be added that workers in Great Britain some years ago reported a similar experience5. In the authors' opinion the main reason for the discrepancy is the relatively low height of the experimental ovens resulting in a much lower static pressure on the charge during coking than that obtaining in a commercial oven. The difficulty was pointed out and briefly discussed in a publication4 which appeared at a time when the micum test for coke evaluation had only just been introduced at the Institute, so that only B.S. shatter and abrasion test results were available for discussion in the publication. Needless to say, the introduction of the micum test by no means solved nor even alleviated the problem. On numerous occasions during the past few years the Institute has had to conduct contract investigations in its experimental coke ovens on behalf of companies which invariably desired an indication of the quality of coke likely to be obtained from certain coals or blends when coked commercially, more particularly in Iscor's type of coke ovens. It was, therefore, essential to accumulate statistical data which would enabe the prediction to be readily made. Fortunately the compilation of comparative coke-quality index values for the three types of oven under consideration has become possible as a result of coking investigations conducted in co-operation with Iscor over a number of years. During this period Iscor, on numerous occasions, kindly made available to the Institute portions of coals and blends coked in the Corporation's coke ovens, thus enabling parallel coking tests to be carried out in the Institute's experimental ovens. In this way enough statistical data became available to establish relationships between coking results obtained in Iscor's ovens and results obtained on similar coal charges in the Institute's ovens. The most practical and acceptable method of overcoming the problems of finding a suitable and simple basis enabling direct comparison between the cokes of the different origins mentioned to be made, is the assignment of descriptive arbitrary quality ratings, as indicated below, to the cokes obtained, it being argued that the quality rating assigned to coke made from a given coal or blend in the different coke ovens under standardized conditions should be the same, irrespective of differences in the index values obtained when subjecting the cokes to the usual coke evaluation tests. The system, which should enable the sponsors of coking investigations in the Institute's experimental ovens to make their own interpretations of the results obtained, is explained below. ARBITRARY QUALITY CLASSIFICATION OF COKES The Ml0m index1 (percentage material smaller than 10 mm after the test) of a blast furnace coke is a measure of its tendency towards breeze formation during handling -a low value indicating a low tendency. This is generally of greater importance under ruling South African conditions, than the M'40 index1 (percentage material larger than 40 mm after the test), which can be regarded as a measure of resistance to shatter. In fact, if the M10m value of a coke as made in Iscor's ovens is higher than about 11, the tendency of the coke to form breeze during handling and in the blast furnace is relatively so high that hardly any notice need be taken of its M'40 value, even if this is comparatively high. For this reason, therefore, much more weight should normally be assigned to Ml0m indices in the quality evaluation of cokes made from South African coking coals and blends, as the coals
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