Raw Materials, By-products and Products
Materials and Minerals
For the characterisation of materials and minerals, the Institute has materials testing laboratories with extensive analytical instrumentation, complemented by preparatory equipment. Process and production experience enables not only the determination of chemical and physical properties, but also advice on suitability or alternatives. Failure analysis and specification compliance / quality assurance checks can also be performed.
With extensive knowledge in glass, ceramics, refractories and carbonaceous materials, the Institute can test and develop ore composites and agglomerates to determine product characteristics such as strength, degradation, reducibility, porosity and morphology.
Expert knowledge can be provided on the determination of:
- Pre-treatment of raw materials to improve physical or chemical properties
- Use of specified materials
- Processing of residual materials
- Optimisation of material blends
Characterisation of organic liquid samples such as bio-oils, petroleum and polyaromatic hydrocarbons is carried out, as well as impurity analysis.
For carbonaceous materials, proximate and ultimate analysis, automated reflectance, coke characterisation and petrography are performed.
The Institute also has extensive materials and engineering knowledge to provide design, commissioning and consultancy services for materials handling equipment, for:
- Chemical / mineral/ waste feed systems
- Recycling separation facilities
- Raw materials sorting / transporting
Thermal Technologies Services
Supporting energy, waste and production, the Institute offers expertise in gasification, pyrolysis and torrefaction, with facilities for investigating the effect of material composition and morphology on physical properties and process parameters.
Facilities and capabilities include:
- A fully instrumented 350kg capacity moving wall batch pyrolysis unit, which enables monitoring of:
- Development of charge temperature during heating
- Internal gas pressure
- Wall pressure generation and charge shrinkage
- Off-gas analysis
- High temperature materials laboratories equipped for characterisation of materials properties from ambient temperature to 1700°C with:
- High temperature viscometer
- Simultaneous thermal analysis of phase transformation, reaction and enthalpy data
- Hot stage microscopy with controlled atmosphere for softening, surface tension and melting point studies
- Expertise in design of slag chemistries to optimise conditions relative to:
- Slag viscosity and basicity
- Interaction with refractory lining
- Chemistry of feedstock
- Generation of particulates
- Investigations into new and alternative raw materials, as well as supporting development techniques
- A range of high temperature furnaces and materials handling equipment, for both routine quality control checks and development of new tests and techniques
- Testing agglomeration and sintering