Refractory is the fundamental pre-requisite for any high temperature operation. Their main purpose is either to confine or to transfer heat. In fact, no metal and non-metal industry such as – Iron, Steel, Aluminium, Copper, Alloys, Foundries and Castings, Cement, Glass, Petrochemicals etc. wherever high temperature operation is an essential part can do away without the use of refractories. The steel industry is one of the biggest consumers of refractory products accounting for nearly 75 per cent of the total production. The partnership between CER and ARCIS is also expected to create a synergy between then refractory and steel industries and help achieve the country's ambitious target of producing 300 million tonne of steel per annum by 2030.
Commenting on the development, Sameer Nagpal, Head of Advocacy, Indian Refractory Makers Association (IRMA) said: “Refractory industry recognises that steel industry requires a positive ecosystem to step up its production capabilities in view of the National Steel Policy 2017. This initiative will bring in technological advancement to the refractory industry for making it globally competitive. It will also make us better equipped to cater to the requirements of the steel industry from a nascent stage”.
Article continues after Ads -
"Refractory industry is facing challenges of their (raw materials) availability which are not available for refractory players in India. Hence, for raw materials we are dependent on imports. The technologies developed at the IIT-BHU (Indian Institute of Technology-Banaras Hindu University) will help Indian refractory makers to catch up with the global players and reduce dependence on imports," Hakimuddin Ali, Chairman, IRMA, said.
Dr Devendra Kumar, Head, Department of Ceramics, IIT, BHU said “Steel industry will benefit from a collaborative approach with key ally industries such as refractory industry as well as academia. I am sure it will open up many new opportunities for mutual learning and improving the final product which stands out in a highly competitive global market”.
IRMA (Indian Refractory Makers Association) is the apex body of refractory makers engaged in promoting use of domestically manufactured refractory. It represents more than 90 refractory companies operating in India and over the years has become a credible voice of refractory industry in India.
The Advanced Research Centre for Iron and Steel (ARCIS) and IRMA Centre of Excellence in Refractories (CER) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU) have signed a MOU to work together to develop advanced technologies to cater to the needs of domestic steel industry. Earlier in Nov, 2017 Indian Refractory Makers Association (IRMA) set up a Centre of Excellence in Refractories at the Ceramics Department of the IIT-BHU at Varanasi. Centre of Excellence in Refractories has been the first-of-its-kind place, where all the players in the refractory industry can take the advantage of refractory expertise and improve the quality of their products.