Critical Refractory Installation Issues

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    Critical Refractory Installation Issues

    Refractory linings are constantly exposed to the most extreme conditions that are characterised by heat, physical stress and chemical attack.

    Consequently, in order to maintain optimal levels of plant performance; repairs of different magnitudes will be necessitated at various intervals throughout the lifespan of a facility. Given the high costs refractory materials and unplanned stoppages; high quality refractory materials have to be properly installed during refractory relining campaigns. This article briefly discusses some critical refractory installation issues that need to always be carefully addressed:

    • Refractory relining campaigns should be sufficiently resourced with skilled refractory technicians and well experienced supervisors to ensure the highest quality outcomes
    • Comprehensive pre-shutdown inspections and scope identification have to be carried out with the involvement of all relevant personnel prior to the commencement of the works.
    • Advanced project and construction management techniques should be employed to ensure timeous completion of the works within budgets
    • Effective refractory material management procedures have to be applied throughout the process; right from material selection, procurement, transportation, quality analysis through to stock management
    • The correct refractory material installation techniques have to be used at all times, some of installation techniques are listed at the end of the article
    • An appropriate commissioning criteria has to be developed to ensure that the life of the refractory lining is maximised; this involves correctly scheduling heat-up phases and dry-out periods
    • Once in operation, various condition monitoring techniques can be continuously used to establish a holistic overview of the state of the refractories production facilities as well as the respective efficiencies

    Popular refractory installation techniques

    • Refractory masonry products
      • Specialized refractory bricklaying
      • Rigging of refractory blocks
    • Monolithic refractories
      • Vibrocasting
      • Shotcreting
      • High density and pneumatic gunning
      • Ramming installations
      • Grouting installations
      • Dense pneumatically applied castable
    • Ceramic fibre
      • Installation of various types of ceramic fibre
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