Refractories due to their chemical complexity and phase change undergo fusion (melt progressively) over a range of temperature. This softening behaviour or refractoriness of any refractory material is determined by PCE test which is done in a PCE furnace by comparing ceramic specimen of known softening behaviour (either in ORTON or SEGAR Cones) with the Cone of the refractory material. Value of PCE Cones in ORTON is followed in British standard while SEGAR is in German standard of testing. To view / download PCE Cone numbers with their temperature please click - Pyrometric Cone Equivalent, PCE in ORTON and SEGAR used to Determine Refractoriness

Pyrometric Cone Equivalent (PCE) Test in ORTON or SEGAR to Determine Refractoriness of a Refractory Material

of the Cones takes place after the formation of a viscous liquid as a result of fusion of the Cone material. PCE is measured by making a Cone of the refractory and firing it until it bends and comparing it with standard Cone(s). Pyrometric Cone Equivalent or PCE test is a must for the quality control purpose for Refractories and Refractory raw materials. 

The thermal softening behaviour of a refractory material technically known as ‘Refractoriness’, is determined by Pyrometric Cone Equivalent (PCE) test. In other words, by Pyrometric Cone Equivalent (PCE) of a refractory material we come to know about its ability to withstand exposure to elevated temperature without undergoing appreciable deformation.   

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PCE Cones are small triangular ceramic prisms of definite dimensions that when set at a slight angle bend over in an arc so that the tip reaches the level of the base at a particular temperature if heated at a certain rate (Refer Figures showing PCE Cones set on plaques before and after firing). The bending