Refractory materials are used in industrial structures like furnaces, boilers, wastes, and chemical reactors to protect them from intense heat. What they do is provide a type of insulation from the heat which these structures are exposed to; heat which can damage them and increase the need for costly repairs. But there are also problems which can arise during the creation process of refractory which can have damaging or even dangerous effects.
When refractory material is created it is done in the same way which cement is created when it is mixed with water. As refractory is heated it becomes solid. However, if this happens to fast sometimes the moisture doesn’t have the chance to dry up and it becomes trapped inside the solid refractory.
And then what?
Well, when the refractory heats up that moisture starts to expand. In most cases the result is mere cracking, but if the expansion is severe and rapid enough it’s like setting off a bomb. So refractory dry out provides a safe and effective way for removing this moisture and thus preventing the possibility of expansion or explosion.
The way it works is high velocity burners use a combination of intense pressure and near one thousand degrees Fahrenheit heat to remove moisture from the refractory at a safe rate. This heat is applied at an ambient temperature at first and is slowly increased over a prolonged period of time. In some cases, proper dry out process can take over two hundred hours. This is because the refractory has to have the time to dry out and to solidify properly in order to ensure for a stronger end product.
Therefore his controlled temperature adjustment period is crucial to accomplishing a safe and effective means of refractory solidification. This means not only a stronger more solid refractory lining, but also for removal of mechanical and chemical water which keeps cracking and explosive spalling from ruining the structure. Proper refractory dry out also applies hot, cold and intermediate thermocouples to ensure proper through wall temperate gradients within refractory linings. This process causes something called ceramic bonding which prevents sagging in dual component linings, resulting in a stronger refractory and safer structure.
Some of the industries which require refractory dry out are: foundry, glass, aluminum, cement, ceramic, refineries, chemical plants, power plants, and steel mills. These industries all use furnaces, kilns, chemical reactors, and wastes and therefore utilize refractory materials in order to protect them from the intense heat used to operate them. This requires proper application of refractory dry out technologies for the sake of a safer operating environment and a greater durability and lifespan of their structures.