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Abstract

Among the elements that compose steel slags and blast furnace slags, metallic precipitates occur alongside the dominant glass and crystalline phases. Their main component is metallic iron, the content of which varies from about 90% to 99% in steel slags, while in blast furnace slags the presence of precipitates was identified with the proportion of metallic iron amounting to 100%. During observations using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray spectral microanalysis it has been found that the form of occurrence of metallic precipitates is varied. There were fine drops of metal among them, surrounded by glass, larger, single precipitates in a regular, spherical shape, and metallic aggregates filling the open spaces between the crystalline phases. Tests carried out for: slags resulting from the open-hearth process, slags that are a by-product of smelting in electric arc furnaces, blast furnace slags and waste resulting from the production of ductile cast iron showed that depending on the type of slag, the proportion and form of metallic precipitates is variable and the amount of Fe in the precipitates is also varied. Research shows that in terms of quality, steel and blast furnace slag can be a potential source of iron recovery. However, further quantitative analyses are required regarding the percentage of precipitates in the composition of slags in order to determine the viability of iron recovery. This paper is the first part of a series of publications aimed at understanding the functional properties of steel and blast furnace slags in the aspect of their destructive impact on the components of devices involved in the process of their processing, which is a significant operational problem.
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