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General Information

  • The term refractory refers to the quality of a material to retain its strength at high temperatures.

  • Any material can be described as ‘refractory’, if it can with stand the action of abrasive or  corrosive solids, liquids or gases at high temperatures.

  • The general requirements of a refractory material can be summed up as :
    • Ability to withstand high temperatures.
    • Ability to withstand sudden changes of temperatures.
    • Ability to withstand action of molten metal slag, glass, hot gases, etc.
    • Ability to withstand load at service conditions.
    • Ability to withstand load and abrasive forces.
    • Low coefficient of thermal expansion.
    • Should be able to conserve heat.
    • Should not contaminate the material with which it comes into contact.

Process

  • Refractories are produced from a small range of high melting point materials, notably magnesia, dolomite, bauxite, andalusite, fireclay and silica, and smaller quantities of carbon, graphite, chromite, zircon and zirconia are used to improve their properties.

  • Refractories are produced in two basic forms, formed objects, and unformed granulated or
    plastic compositions.

  • Refractory manufacturing involves four processes: raw material processing, forming, firing,
    and final processing.

Market

  • Changes in the glassmaking process, particularly the growing popularity of oxy-fuel firing, have supported demand for refractories.

  • The global refractories market is being mainly driven by the rapid industrialization of regions such as Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
  • Refractory materials play an important role in the manufacture of steel, cement, glass and ceramics, and in petrochemical processes.

Uses

  • Refractories are used mainly in the Iron and Steel industry and also used in other refineries and smelting processes.

  • The applications of high alumina refractories includes the hearth and shaft of blast furnaces, ceramic kilns, cement kilns, glass tanks and crucibles for melting a wide range of metals.

  • Firebrick is used extensively in the iron and steel industry, nonferrous metallurgy, glass industry, pottery kilns, cement industry, and by many others.

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