3 Raw Materials Used in Castable Refractory Products
Castable refractory products are non-metallic materials that have chemical and physical properties used for creating heat-resistant structures that retain and insulate. Due to their high resistance to heat and thermal shock, you can use castable refractory cements and other products to build kilns and furnaces.
As a durable and high strength material that offers low heat conductivity, these materials are also excellent for creating structures because of their stability. However, before using these materials, you must understand the properties and applications of the various castable mixes to make sure you use the right material for the job.
Understanding the raw materials used to create the mix gives you a better chance of the process being successful. Here are the three core aggregate raw materials of castable refractory products on the market today.
What are the Three Core Raw Materials?
- Perlite - A completely natural siliceous volcanic material formed by the sudden cooling and solidification of volcanic ash. This cooling traps the crystalline water into the ash’s masses. Perlite mixes are widely used in applications such as construction and aeration of the soil. The United States, Greece, Italy, and China all mine perlite.
- Vermiculite - A hydrous phyllosilicate mineral that naturally occurs as an alteration product every time a certain rock type form next to each other. When heated up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, exfoliation happens and vermiculite expands to 30 times its original size. South Africa, Russia, China, and Brazil mine it commercially. Both this material and perlite can withstand up to 2000 - 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Crushed Insulating Firebricks - Commonly used as an alternative core raw material for making insulating castable refractory products. Crushed IFB offers superior heat resistance capabilities: up to 2800 degrees Fahrenheit. Since this material has been fired to high temperature during the brick manufacturing process, it contracts very little when used in very high temperatures.
These three raw materials are just the tip of the iceberg. The castable refractory industry uses a variety of materials to create unique mixes used in special applications. Your best bet is to match the material properties to the application in which you will use the mix.