refractory glossary

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Glossary on Refractory Engineering and Practice


  • Glossary of Terms

    Abrasion: The wearing of a surface by the mechanical action between solids.

    Abutment: In furnace construction, the structural member which withstands the thrust of an

    arch. In general, an abutment consists of a brick skewback and a steel supporting member.

    After-contraction/expansion: The percentage permanent contraction or expansion, measured

    after cooling, that takes place when refractory material is heated for a specified time and

    temperature. Also known when measured linearly, as the permanent linear change on

    reheating. (PLC)

    Ageing or souring: A process in which the plasticity of a body is improved by allowing the

    moist body to lie for a period, e.g., by storage in a heap or in a pit (of tempering)

    Air ramming: A method of forming refractory shapes, furnace hearths or other furnace parts

    by means of pneumatic hammers.

    Air separation: A process for separation of particles into groups of a given size by means of

    air or gas (of sedimentation and elutriation)

    Air-setting mortar: A refractory composition comprising chemical agents that ensure

    hardening at room temperature.

    Anchor: a) A metal or refractory device for holding a refractory lining in place.

    b) Refractory or metallic pieces fixed to the casing and designed to

    ensure the stability of the refractory lining.

    Arch or roof: Part of a structure bridging a gap in a in a wall (e.g. a door arch) or spanning

    the space between two walls (e.g. a furnace roof)

    Arch brick: A brick in which two large faces are inclined toward each other in such a way

    that, with a certain number of these bricks , an arch can be constructed.

    Armouring: the internal metal protection at the top of the stack.

    Baffle: Refractory or metallic partition designed to direct the gases through the banks of


    Bag wall: One of the protective walls within a kiln around individual fireboxes(of flash wall)

  • Batch: The whole of the various constituents making up the mixture for one operation (of

    batch composition)

    Batch composition: The blend of raw materials proportioned in a definite manner.

    Batt or bat: a) A fired slab of refractory material generally of thin section, used

    In the firing of ceramic products.

    b) A flat refractory slab.

    Batter : a) Incline of a wall surface; also designates the angle made by a wall

    Surface with the vertical.

    b) Aslope of the face of a wall, usually causing a decrease in thickness as

    the wall ascends; the angle at which a face of a wall slopes from the


    Battery: A series of ovens built side by side in a continuous structure( of bench)

    Bear or salamander: The man of iron and other metal which may replace part of

    the hearth bottom.

    Bell, Funnel or trumpet: The top unit in the trumpet assembly.

    Belly or waist: The part of the blast furnace, of maximum cross-section, between

    the stack and the bosh , and also part of the converter in which

    steel is gathered at the moment of tapping.

    Bench: A series of chambers or retort settings, built side by side in a continuous

    structure (of battery)

    Bevel brick: A brick shape in which one edge, between two adjacent faces, is replaced by a

    bevel (of skewback or Springer)

    Binder: A substance added to a non plastic granular material to give it workability and

    green/dry strength (of bond)

    Black core or black heart: dark central part of fired product resulting from inadequate


    Blank or clot: The rough shape of a product ready for final shaping or of a raw material prior

    to calcination

  • Bloating: The permanent expansion, accompanied by the formation of a vesicular texture,

    which occurs when some type of clays are fired.

    Bond: A material that binds together the discrete grains of a mix.

    Bonded roof: A roof in which the joints are crossed in one or both directions.

    Bonder: A brick one-and half times as wide as a standard square, and sometimes with the

    large faces inclined towards each other from end to end.

    Bosh: The truncated central part of the blast furnace, narrowing from the lintel to the tuyers

    belt at the bottom.

    Breakout: An escape of metal or slag through the furnace lining, especially through the


    Breast or banks: Sloping part joining the central area of the hearth to the walls in an open

    hearth furnace. The breast is the sloping part at the end of the hearth. The banks are those

    parts at the sides of the hearth, beneath the back and front walls.

    Breast wall: a) Side wall of combustion space of a tank furnace, above and

    generally behind the tank blocks.

    b) Brick wall between pillars of a pot furnace and in front of or

    surrounding the front of a pot.

    Bridge cover: Bricks spanning the space between the bridge walls.

    Bridge walls: a) Brick work, in a furnace, separating the combustible or fuel

    from the working chamber.

    b) The wall between the slag chamber and the regenerator of an

    open- hearth furnace.

    c) or Firebridge: refractory wall towards the end of the furnace,

    designed to ensure completion of combustion chamber.

    d) an internal double wall separating the melting end and working

    end of a tank furnace and through which they are linked by

    means of the throat.

    Buck stay or buck stave: A steel member used in furnace construction to take the thrust of

    the brickwork.

    Bullers ring: A particular type of ceramic device for measuring temperature or more

    accurately heat-work.

  • Bulkhead, key brick, cupola brick, crown brick : A brick in which the side faces are

    inclined towards each other in such a way that one of the end faces is shorter than the other,

    used particularly at the apex of an arch.

    Bull nose or jamb brick: A brick in which one end face is completely rounded off to join one

    side face.

    Bulls eye or electrode ring: An assembly of bricks in the roof of an arc furnace through

    which an electrode passes.

    Bung: A stack of saggers or cranks set with ware.

    Burden or charge: The raw materials charged to the blast furnace.

    Bursting: Disintegration following permanent increase in volume, particularly of chrome-

    magnesite refractories which absorbed iron oxide.

    Bustle pipe: the common main surrounding a blast furnace, by means of which air is

    distributed through goose necks to the tuyers.

    Buttress wall or pinion wall: Non-refractory end wall of a battery.

    By-pass plug hole: Hole serving for the escape of gases during the initial heating up of


    Calcination: Heat treatment intended to produce physical or chemical changes in certain raw


    Campaign: the working life of a furnace between major repairs.

    Canal: The part of a window glass tank leading from refining zone to to the drawing zone.

    Car deck: Refractory top of a car for the support of the ware in a tunnel kiln or truck

    chamber kiln.

    Carburettor: The refractory-lined chamber of a water glass plant, often filled with checkers

    on which oil is sprayed for enrichment of the water gas.

    Castables refractory: A mixture of refractory aggregate and heat resisting hydraulic cement.

    These products are generally cast into place (of hydraulic refractory cement)

  • Casting slip: Generally a stable suspension of clay in water with or without the inclusions of

    other materials. This term can also denote other stable suspensions e.g. of alumina.

    Catenary arch: a sprung arch which is part of a hollow cylinder having the shape of an

    inverted catenary ( a catanary is the curve taken by a thread suspended at both ends)

    Centre brick, crown brick or distributor brick: Hollow refractory block which distributes

    molten steel from the trumpet assembly to the runner bricks.

    Ceramic bond: The vitreous or crystalline material formed on firing between the coarser

    constituents of a ceramic body and giving cohesion and mechanical strength to the fired


    Cermets: a) A composite material containing both ceramic and metallic


    b) A product consisting of a mixture of ceramic material and finely

    divided metal: also referred to as cermals

    Chamotte: Refractory clay that has been specially fired for use as a non-plastic material

    Checker or chequer: Bricks or shapes set in such a way that the hot gases can pass between

    them. (the filling of a regenerator chamber)

    Checker brick or chequer brick: Brick used for checkers in regenerator. In France, a checker

    brick for a hot blast stove is called Ruche.

    Chemically bonded brick: A brick in which the mechanical strength is imparted by chemical

    binding agents instead of firing.

    Chemically bonded refractory cement:

    a) Air setting refractory cement or mortar: a refractory compo