BLACK MAGIC AND MYTHOLOGY
Mythology was defined by Colin Hardy, Refractories Department Manager at BSC Teeside Laboratories, in a classic paper in 1978 as “a means of explaining the unknown in terms of the known and essentially differs from science in that the explanation is not based on demonstrably valid fact”. Refractory technology is widely seen by many users as “black magic” and this is understandable as refractory application technology is not a science, but rather an engineering discipline in which the conflicting demands of an application have to be balanced against material properties. Since most of these demands are assessed qualitatively rather than quantitatively and some are unknown, it is not unusual for different solutions to be offered for the same problem according to the viewpoint and experience of the refractory technologist.
In recent years, the application of scientific principles to fired refractory brick technology has demolished some of the myths, but the refractory industry and some practitioners of the art are dynamically conservative and long-established “facts” live on. The field of monolithic refractories and particularly refractory castables is riddled with mythology and very little scientific work has been published, perhaps as a result of much of the technology being borrowed from civil concrete technology without full examination.
This book is not intended as a definitive treatise on refractories, but rather as a basis for further study in this complex technology. It is based on a 5-day training course “Refractories for Industrial Users” which was developed over a seven year period to assist users of refractory products to understand the practical aspects of selection and installation.
Book can be send with a courier service.
Many of the questions on refractories were the same as those in our courses from 1985-1995 but new questions/problems were raised relate to the globalization of the refractories industry. Monolithic products were being imported into South Africa from the USA and Europe and many of these were totally unsuitable for our ambient conditions, types of equipment and the lack of skills of our installation personnel. The consistency of these products from pallet to pallet in water additions, flow characteristics and setting times was frequently outside the normal acceptance level for South African materials.
South Africa, like many countries, has experienced drastic reductions in manpower levels in a wide variety of industries and both the people responsible for the refractory maintenance function at the user industry and the refractory salesman generally have far less experience than the situation 10 to 15 years ago. My colleague, Darrol Biggs, and I decided to reprint the book. We have made some additions, included some new photographs and generally tried to provide answers to the typical questions on refractories we encounter on our Training Courses in the new millennium.
Course is presented in Vereeniging, South Africa during the month of April and attracts delegates from around the globe. The final day is a practical demonstration where delegates have to opportunity to gunite, lay bricks, ram plastic materials, work with self flows and low cement technology. The practical day is limited to 30 delegates.
For more information on this course contact firstname.lastname@example.org