Though there are specific refractories for different applications, operation practices lead to certain criteria on which, depends the refractory life. As such these need to be properly considered and mentioned before selection or placing order of refractories. Users must disclose the actual operating practices and conditions to the refractory vendor so that some important or any specific properties, required to such conditions can be taken care during the selection of refractories and also during the manufacturing stage of such refractory bricks, castables, and mortars. Among various physical, chemical, thermo-chemical and thermo-mechanical properties of Refractories, there are a few properties which can change significantly performance of refractories. These are called ‘Key Properties’. What happens, that sometimes customers either ignore a few such key properties or don’t understand the importance to pass on these data to the supplier which can negatively impact the refractory life. To ensure better quality and life of refractory lining these key properties should also be tested.
Nothing counts like the ‘performance’. Getting or giving a better performance is one thing which everyone tries to do. Reasons obvious! Here in Industry Guru, we will discuss how to get a better performance from a refractory lining installation that is to say, how to achieve an improved refractory life.
For every end-user, refractory life is very important since it has direct impact to the output and business of that industry. Here we give three golden rules by following which one can definitely improve or achieve better refractory performance:
Proper operation is not only important for getting right quality output but also, help in getting the optimum refractory life, less downtime, maximum availability of the furnace and thus, the benefit of lower cost of refractories per tone of finished product. Customers must be aware of the reasons which can damage the refractories arising because of improper operations. During the training of the furnace operators, apart from the method of the furnace operation etc. they must be given some knowledge regarding the proper usage and importance of refractories also.
Depending on the method of application or installation there has to be a set of guidelines in respect to laying of refractory bricks, their dimensions, selection of mortars, expansion joints and many other minute but very important things. So from case to case basis the supplier of refractories should specify this properly and also ensure that the methods are actually being followed. Transportation, handling, timely arrival of refractory bricks, mortars, skill of masonry work, proper equipment for application e.g. mixer machine for castable, vibrator for installation, forma etc. are very important. Maintaining proper expansion gaps, correct dimension (size) of bricks and monolithics, fixing anchors etc. all are very important to achieve better life of refractories. Once the laying job and other installation of refractories are over, the initial heating of the lining before starting the actual operation is of prime importance. Customers should demand the initial heating schedule from the refractory supplier.
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