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September 4th, 2013

Refractory Ceramics Division

Get Involved in the Refractory Ceramics Division


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The Refractory Ceramics Division of The American Ceramic Society examines the science, production and application of ceramics for use at elevated temperatures and in other hostile environments. Members are involved in materials development, formulation, production, and engineering of refractories for the iron, steel, aluminum, and other nonferrous metal industries as well as the minerals processing, glass, cement, and petrochemical industries.


Refractory products are nonmetallic materials that withstand severe high temperature service conditions. They must resist chemical attack; withstand molten metal and slag erosion; endure thermal shock, physical impact, catalytic heat; and other rigorous conditions. Generally, refractory products are needed in processes where temperatures exceed 700°F. Some applications call for service temperatures of 3500°F or higher.


Refractory products are, in many cases, the only materials that can contain or control high temperature processes, making them critical to the United States industrial base. Refractories line the furnaces and smelters that refine steel, copper, aluminum, and other metals. They are used in cement kilns and glass furnaces, as well as in petroleum cracking and processing. Power generators, boilers, and other combustion equipment all use refractories.


Refractories have been used by humankind since earliest recorded history. When humans first began to smelt metals and shape primitive knives, hunting weapons, and ornamental rings and jewelry, crude refractory materials were developed to facilitate the pyroprocessing of the ores. As refractory practice developed, materials evolved which were ever more durable, lasting longer and longer before replacement was necessary.


Ben Markel

Resco Products
3514 W. Wendover Ave.
Greensboro, NC 27407

Phone: (336) 299-1441


Jens Decker

Director of Technical Services

Stellar Materials

916 Raymond Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48103


Phone: (561)504-4305



Josh Pelletier

Technical Development Engineer

Kerneos, Inc. 


Phone: (757)284-3254



Rules & Minutes  

Refractory Ceramics Division Rules



The ACerS St. Louis Section and the Refractory Ceramics Division had a great joint meeting in St. Louis, March 26-27, 2014.  Read a recap and see from photos from the meeting here. The topic for the 2015 meeting, which will be held March 25-26, 2015, is “Refractories as Engineered Ceramics.” 


MS&T’14: Materials Science & Technology Conference and Exhibition, combined with ACerS 116th Annual Meeting
October 12-16, 2014, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Mark your calendars!

St. Louis Section/RCD 51st Annual Symposium:  March 24-26, 2015

The St. Louis Section and the Refractory Ceramics Division of The American Ceramic Society will sponsor the 51st Annual Symposium on the theme “Refractories as Engineered Ceramics” on March 25-26, 2015 and the kickoff event to be held the evening of March 24, 2015. The meeting will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Hilton St. Louis Airport Hotel. Co-program chairs are Mike Alexander of Riverside Refractories and Matt Lambert of Allied Mineral Products.


The Tabletop Expo format is the same as previous years, with each vendor having a 6-foot table to display products and literature. The charge is $300, which will be used to cover the cost of the Expo Hall and provide an open two hour bar during the “Meet and Greet” for the attendees prior to dinner on Wednesday evening. If you are interested in participating in the Tabletop Expo, contact Patty Smith at (573) 341-6265 or psmith@mst.edu.


Please note that a meeting of the ASTM International C-8 Committee on Refractories will be held on March 24th, before this joint St. Louis Section/RCD conference. Contact Kate McClung at (610) 832-9717 for more information on this meeting.


For further information please contact Patty Smith at tel: (573) 341-6265, Fax: (573) 341-2071 or email: psmith@mst.edu.




All ACerS Meetings



The member companies of The Refractories Institute have an excellent academic scholarship program for the 2014-2015 academic year to support qualified students enrolled in degree programs who have exhibited an interest in refractory manufacturing through their course work or other activities, and who might be considering a career in the refractory industry. To be considered, interested individuals must submit a letter of application by March 14, 2014. Learn more today.


Alfred W. Allen Award

This biennial award was established to honor Alfred W. Allen’s legacy as an educator, technical contributor and supporter of the Refractory Ceramics Division. The award committee shall select as the biennial award recipient, from the technical literature of the last two years, the author(s) of the technical paper on refractory ceramics which reflects the highest level of technical quality.
Allen Award Recipients


The Theodore J. Planje — St. Louis Refractories Award Winners


2014 Winner: Jeffrey D. Smith, Missouri University of Science and Technology


2013 Winner:  J.P. Willi, Sunset Regractory Services, LLC  


2012 Winner:  Rick Volk, UNI-REF, Inc.


2011 Winner:  Rob Crolius – The Refractories Institute


2010 Winner: James L. Hill, Retired – ANH Refractories


2009 Winner: James W. Stendera, Vesuvius USA


In December 1967, the St. Louis Section of The American Ceramic Society announced the establishment of as “The St. Louis Refractories Award.” This has been provided in Article XII of the by-laws of the St. Louis Section “for the purpose of recognizing and honoring distinguished achievement in the refractories field.”


In March 1982, the St. Louis Section voted to amend Article XII of the by-laws. The award was renamed “The Theodore J. Planje — St. Louis Refractories Award” in honor of his many contributions.


Nominations received after December 1 shall be held for the following year. To request a nomination form please contact Patty Smith at P: (573) 341-6265, F: (573) 341-6151.


Refractories Applications and News – a bimonthly publication, RAN, covers the latest advances in raw materials, finished products, installation and research.


The Refractories Institute – Promoting the interests of the refractories community, providing service and support to a vital industry.


refractories WORLDFORUM is the new technical and scientific journal for the entire refractories sector: production, application and further development of high temperature materials.  It addresses refractories professionals worldwide, i.e. in the production of refractories as well as in industries processing and consuming refractories, raw materials and additives, plant and machine suppliers.  refractories WORLDFORUM is published four times per year in English.

Job Opportunities  
ACerS Career Center





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