Sintering plant

The sintering plant is where iron ore fines are prepared for further processing. Just like coal, iron ore fines (dust) cannot be used as they are and therefore can’t be fed directly into the blast furnaces. The ore fines are mixed with coal or coke, limestone, and water and agglomerated into larger nodules under very high temperatures. The resultant sinter cake is then crushed down into pieces of the desired size in a crusher machine.

Drive technology for the steel industryT
  • Preparing raw materials
  • Sinter oven
  • Breaking and cooling

Preparing raw materials

A sintering plant is still an important part of an integrated smelting works. Ore fines are usually brought to the smelting works by rail or ship. Once unloaded, the ore is held in intermediate storage before being transferred for use in the sintering process. Several belt conveyors transport the raw material to the sinter mixer. Standardized bevel-helical gear units are ideally suited for use in belt conveyors like these.

Sinter oven

The sinter oven is the heart of the sintering plant. The mixed materials are conveyed into the sinter oven by belt conveyors and distribution systems. That sinter oven is driven slowly, but with very high torques. Planetary gear units are ideal for use in the drives for these systems. The combustible components of the mixed materials are ignited and a steady stream of air is applied to continue baking them. At temperatures of up to 1200 °C, the ore fines begin to melt on the surface so that the individual fine particles in the mixed material join together to form the sinter cake.

Breaking and cooling

The sinter cake is broken down into pieces of a uniform size in a breaker, usually using a crushing roller. The finished sinter is then transported on distribution conveyors into the sinter cooler, where as much of the process heat as possible is reclaimed. Planetary gear units are particularly suitable for use in both crushers and ring-shaped sinter coolers.

Teamwork – machine builders and SEW‑EURODRIVE

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Further information

about drive technology in the steel industry is available here: Brochure   (PDF, 43.8 MB)