DOI: 10.1115/1.4058403 ISSN: 0097-6822

Boiler-Furnace Refractories

E. B. Powell


The advance in combustion equipment during the past twenty years has made continuously increasing demands upon boiler-furnace refractories. Improvement in refractories, however, has apparently not kept pace with these demands, and today various measures of wall cooling are being employed to overcome some of the limitations of refractories. The purpose of the paper is to promote interest in the further development of refractories. Some of the limitations of refractory raw materials, current practice and improvements at present under way in refractory manufacture, service conditions under which refractories are employed in boiler furnaces, characteristics of commercial refractories, and tests employed in analyzing these characteristics are discussed. Fireclay brick are given the greatest attention in this discussion as being the most universally used form of refractory.

There is need for further technical study both of boiler-furnace conditions and of refractory materials, and it is of special importance at the present that means be devised for interpreting laboratory test results in terms of service performance. The problem is complicated by the structural changes which refractories undergo in service. It is believed, however, that the microscope, which has been invaluable in the development of electrical porcelains and is now being directed upon refractories, will prove of very material assistance in this study.

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