Refractories for Nonferrous Metals: Lifeline of All Heat-Sensitive Production Processes

Refractories for Nonferrous Metals: Lifeline of All Heat-Sensitive Production Processes

Refractory materials or products produced by the top refractory suppliers in India play a crucial role in almost all the major sectors involved in different types of manufacturing. These materials are considered to be the lifeline of all extremely hostile and heat-sensitive production processes. In a nutshell, various industries today can’t even imagine existing or surviving without these ceramic materials produced and supplied by the manufacturers of refractories for nonferrous metals.

The industry is all set to reach the mark of 30.3 Billion US Dollars by 2030

Various market reports reveal that the global refractory market is going to reach the mark of 30.3 Billion US Dollars by the end of the year 2030. The most prominent driving factors behind all this phenomenal growth include fast-paced infrastructure development across the world and a never-before surge in demand from the automotive industry. 

An ever-escalating demand from across sectors and industries 

Over the past few years, the demand for iron and steel from the global automotive industry has gone to a new high not only in the developed but also in developing countries. It is because refractory materials find applications for effective and efficient thermal insulation purposes in all such industries. Furthermore, a towering demand in the field of construction for modern theme-based buildings has also triggered the demand for glass that is heavily used in the making of a large number of building parts such as doors, windowpanes, etc. 

Refractories are more heat-resistant than all other common metals

Be it ambulances that carry patients during medical emergencies, hospitals, equipment and machines used in them, the road we drive on, or even the medicines that we consume cannot exist without refractories at all. Refractories are materials that are built to withstand extreme temperatures as high as 538 Celsius – a common occurrence in today's manufacturing units across the world. Since the materials find applications in jobs wherein the lining of the hot surfaces is created, they prove to be simply more heat-resistant than all common metals. 

Apart from the ability to withstand extreme heat, refractories can also withstand physical wear and corrosions which different types of chemical agents cause during different processes and procedures. What’s more, refractories are also extremely resistant to thermal stress and a large number of other occurrences that extreme temperatures induce. These are the reasons refractories are considered to be crucial not only for the manufacturing of gasoline but also for the refining of gasoline. 

Major categories of refractories based on shapes and sizes 

Based on their shapes, refractory products can be classified into 2 major categories. Some of the most common shapes include preformed shapes or unformed compositions and are called specialty/monolithic refractories. Some other refractory solutions based on ceramic fibers also seem like residential insulation, but at the same time, they insulate always at higher temperatures. Most refractory materials can either be shaped or molded as per the requirement to be placed on walls or even floors. As for the materials they are made up of, they include natural and synthetic materials including non-metallic or combinations of different compounds and minerals. Some of such good examples include:

  • Dolomite
  • Alumina
  • Bauxite
  • Zirconia
  • Fireclays
  • Chromite
  • Silicon carbide, and
  • Magnesite.

Refractories for industrial furnaces at a glance

Industrial furnaces are some of the major places where refractories find applications to perform a very crucial role. Refractories for industrial furnaces are chosen while keeping in view various factors. Some of the major ones include the following:

  • Resistance to conductivity
  • Physical wear
  • Cost involved
  • Maximum temperature exposure
  • Resistance to chemical corrosion
  • Thermal shock resistance, and
  • Thermal conductivity, etc.

Experts categorize the market for industrial furnaces in the following ways:

  • Conventional furnaces
  • Non-technology furnaces, and
  • The technology-driven new age furnaces. 

A call for value-driven, ultra-sophisticated, and innovative technology-oriented furnaces 

For the last some decades, the technology-based industrial market has been a niche wherein only a chosen few manufacturers offer furnaces that support futuristic ideas and contemporary technology. Furthermore, there has been a constant need for sustainably possible long-term investments in industrial furnaces that can help different players in the market to stay on the competitive edge while reaping the desired rewards. The furnace market that previously was only cost-orientated has now been fast replaced by value-driven, ultra-sophisticated, and innovative technology-oriented furnaces.  

Today, there are a large number of refractory compositions available but the most common ones in them still include silica, alumina, and magnesium. On the other hand, Zirconia is put into use only when the material needs to withstand extremely high temperatures. While these refractories find applications in different hostile environments including acidic atmospheres in which they are prone to be attacked by alkalis, graphite or silicon carbide is utilized for withstanding high levels of temperatures in a fully oxygen-free environment.     

The Road ahead

As of now, the refractories market in India has estimated at around 9k Crores, and RHI Magnesita India is one of the key players. Around 75% of refractories manufactured making use of magnesia, alumina, and silica find applications in petrochemicals & ceramics, boiler, and glass industries. Refractories need to be constantly produced since they are a part and parcel of almost all types of supply chains.

And, Indian refractory manufacturers have risen to the occasion by taking the call of the industry. They are ideating, innovating, and creating value-driven refractory products offering complete peace of mind to their customers both in India and across the globe. These Indian manufacturers place the highest priority on the safety of the industry employees as well as the communities they operate in.  

Concluding Remarks 

RHI Magnesita India has been the global leader in refractories for many decades. The company has the largest number of locations the world over. It offers the most innovative, reliable products and services. RHI Magnesita India has earned a formidable reputation for providing the most robust supply and quality security to its customers across the globe. The company’s R&D investment has always been unrivaled and takes the credit for driving various breakthroughs. The company also cooperates with public and private research institutions all over the world.