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What Are Refractories And How Are They Set Up?

 
08-Dec-2012

 

   Unless you are a gypsy or a nomad and do not believe in settled way of life chances are that you must be living in a brick-and-mortar home. Have you ever wondered where these bricks come from and how are they made? While bricks for normal buildings are baked in kilns, those meant for industries and cooking purposes are prepared in refractories. One of the most popular products of a refractory is the ceramic fiber blanket and owing to its ability to resist thermal shock it is commonly used as lining for kilns and furnaces and extensively employed in their repair as well.

 

 

   Because the concept of refractories entails dealing with high temperatures it is imperative for the materials used for manufacturing these to possess certain attributes. The foremost property is stability at high temperatures both chemical as also physical and this implies that they should be thermally resistant as also chemically inert. Some of the examples of such substances are fire bricks and clays courtesy of their aluminum, silicon and lime content. However at times special inclusions like Zirconia and carbon are also made not to mention ceramic fiber blanket if the situation so demands.

 

 

    Refractories could be of different types depending on the purpose that they are supposed to serve and the most common method of classification is the one which takes the chemical composition of the raw materials into account. Such a refractory could be acidic, basic or neutral and accordingly its atmosphere is stable for acids, alkalis and both acids and alkalis respectively. A refractory could be shaped in a standardized or special manner but there are monolithic types as well and these come with ceramic fiber blanket since they are often applied in induction furnaces.

 

 

   It is indeed possible to build refractories and the first as also the mandatory requisite for the task is the availability of a refractory kit. Irrespective of whether it is used in a large kiln to bake bricks or at home to cook pizza, the components of the kit as also their functions will be same. Factors which are bound to vary will be the size and shape since these are deemed by the locale for use and the intention behind their installation. In addition to a heat source, a door, a chimney and a well ventilated floor, another must-have is a ceramic fiber blanket or board as a safety measure.

 

 

   Temperature within the refractories is supposed to hover around the 800 degrees Fahrenheit mark but at times when the situation calls for higher temperatures then it can shoot up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit too. In such a situation it is imperative for the heat to remain within and not emanate into the neighboring areas and this is where a ceramic fiber blanket comes into the picture. Under circumstances wherein the temperature is expected to shoot up wisdom decries use of refractory mortar in place of regular mortar as the first step towards ensuring safety.

 

 

   Safety is an important concern not just in setting up refractories but also in their regular handling. In spite of the ceramic fiber blanket or board being used, the high temperature within the refractory can seep outwards and cause accidents and this is why using protective gear in form of mittens and goggles is a must. Tongs should be used to add or remove anything from within and inflammable items should be kept well out of reach. While the refractory can be set up in the garden and decorated as per the theme, propane tanks should always be stowed away in the garage for the fear of fumes.

Anyone wanting to learn about bricks and high temperature is sure to encounter refractories in terms of types, size, shape, purpose and other details. One of the must-have components in modern units is the ceramic fiber blanket because it prevents high temperatures from spilling on to the surrounding environment.

 
Category : Professional
 
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