Ensuring safe production of metal goods: A review of alumina spinel castables for steel ladles

By Lisa McDonald / September 9, 2022

Alumina spinel castables play an important role in the steel industry as lining for the ladle sidewalls and bottom. A new review paper published in International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology provides a detailed overview of these castables, including how various parameters affect their properties and performance.

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New test method for aluminosilicate refractories offers better insight into real-world alkali attack mechanisms

By Lisa McDonald / June 3, 2022

The common way to test alkali resistance of aluminosilicate refractories is based solely on visual observation after exposure to alkali vapor. Allied Mineral Products researchers explored a new procedure that would subject refractories to both visual analysis and formal analytical testing after exposure to alkali slag and vapor.

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Refractories: The workhorses of high-temperature materials manufacturing

By Jonathon Foreman / April 8, 2022

Refractory ceramics are integral to ensuring the smooth operation of numerous essential industries, and researchers are continually investigating new materials and processing techniques to improve refractory performance. Several recent collections curated by ACerS highlights some of the latest research in this field.

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Refractory professionals gather in Chicago to celebrate the return of UNITECR

By Lisa McDonald / March 22, 2022

Originally scheduled to take place in 2021, the Unified International Technical Conference on Refractories took place March 15–18, 2022, in Chicago, Ill. People from 28 countries gathered to attend the hybrid conference, which featured much discussion of challenges and opportunities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A shocking development—electrodynamic fragmentation could provide high-quality recycled materials for the refractory industry

By Lisa McDonald / March 18, 2022

Recycling and reusing waste materials is one approach the refractories industry is pursuing to improve sustainability. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics have explored the potential of electrodynamic fragmentation to recycle composites, and their recent study looks specifically at the potential of this technique applied to refractory materials.

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Ceramic characterization reveals the practices of a late medieval brass foundry

By Lisa McDonald / March 11, 2022

Historical research on the trade of metal supplies and objects often overshadows studies on the practices, recipes, and supplies of clays used by metallurgists of the time. Researchers in Belgium and France characterized metallurgical ceramic samples from the remains of a Late Medieval Period foundry in Brussels and found the analyses, in conjunction with written sources, highlight the mobility of clay materials, not just metal.

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Innovations in refractory technology, plus more inside March 2022 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / February 17, 2022

The March 2022 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring refractory issues related to the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel—is now available online. Plus—UNITECR meeting abstracts.

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Cementing a new tradition—researchers explore effectiveness of various joining materials in rotary kilns

By Lisa McDonald / December 21, 2021

Steel plates are the typical material used to join refractory ceramics in rotary kilns, but certain conditions can lead the steel to deteriorate and cause catastrophic wear. Researchers in Japan explored whether a basic mortar could be used instead of steel plates.

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Reducing the need for trial and error—systematic selection of inorganic binders for refractories

By Lisa McDonald / September 17, 2021

The binder used in refractory production requires careful consideration because it can influence the refractory’s final mechanical and chemical properties. Researchers in Germany advanced a selective and systematic method for choosing an inorganic binder.

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Casting for alternatives—researchers explore potential of potassium carbonate as flux in continuous steel casting

By Lisa McDonald / January 22, 2021

In continuous steel casting, ceramic powders are thrown on top of the liquid metal to prevent oxidation. Two researchers from Japan investigate whether potassium carbonate may serve as an alternative to more expensive materials in the powder.

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