Ferrosilicon is a kind of ferroalloys which is integrated of silicon and iron. The ratio of the two chemical substances are combined different, with the proportion of silicon ranging anywhere between 15% and 90% . This alloy is also known by the name of ferrosilicium. Its identification has known by CAS Number: 8049-17-0 and its chemical formula is “FeSi”.
There are a few methods to produce ferrosilicon. Ferrosilicon can be produced by reacting the coke with silica. Or it can produce by obtaining this alloy in the submerged electric arc furnace for melting steel scrap and quartz together with a reductant. Then the hot liquid alloy will pour in a sandbed and after cooled will broke into small pieces. Depend on the ordered size; these small pieces can be crushed further to obtain the required size. Also there is another important byproduct which has produce by the large quantities of silica and its name is Microsilica which is obtained from this reaction.
Picture 1 – Ferrosilicon
Ferrosilicons is available in the worldwide market of varying silicon content. Ferrosilicons having a proportion of 15%, 45%, 75%, and 90% which silicon can be found and the rest is contains of iron. Other elements like calcium and aluminum usually have a presence of around 2% in the 75% of silicon.
There are several uses of this alloy as below descriptions:
Chemical and Physical Properties
The physical and chemical properties of Ferrosilicon are listed below:
Molecular Weight: The molecular weight for this alloy is 28.0855 g/mol.
Melting Point: The melting point of this substance varies with the content of silicon. FeSi 45 contains 45% silicon and its melting point ranges between 1215°C and 1300°C. FeSi 75 contains 75% silicon and its melting point ranges between 1210°C and 1315°C. FeSi 90 contains 90% silicon and its melting point ranges between 1210°C and 1380°C.
Boiling Point: The boiling point for this substance is 2355°C.
Density: The density of Ferrosilicon is different for different ratios of alloy compositions. FeSi 45 has a density of 5.1 g/cm3. The density of FeSi 75 is 2.8 g/cm3 and FeSi 90 has a density of 2.4 g/cm3.
Appearance: The shape of ferrosilicon powder particles can be spherical or irregular, like lumps, crushed or milled.
Corrosivity: It is resistant to corrosiveness and abrasiveness.
Color: The color of Ferrosilicon varies between silvery grey and dark grey.
Odor: Odorless; can be dangerous when inhaled.
Solubility: Ferrosilicon may react with water to produce hydrogen.
Combustibility: The dust particles of Ferrosilicon are combustible.
Specific Gravity: Specific Gravity of ferro-silicon varies with the proportions in which the two chemical substances are mixed. For FeSi 75, the specific gravity is 3.01.
Ferrosilicon is a toxic, irritant and combustible substance. The alloy can be hazardous to human health. Toxic and flammable gases are produced when this alloy reacts with moisture, bases and acids. Hence adequate protection is needed from accidentally inhaling or ingesting the material.
While dealing with this alloy, care should be taken to protect the eyes and the skin. Ferro silicon is a stable substance. However, under certain conditions this material can also catch fire. It is thus important to adhere to adequate protective measures while dealing with this substance. The probable dangers posed by Ferro silicon and the protective measures one needs to follow are discussed below in details.
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