Refractories for the Steel and Cement Industry: The Key to India Infrastructure growth

Refractories for the Steel and Cement Industry: The Key to India Infrastructure growth

India as a developing country has seen a new phase of progress over the past 2 decades. In this phase, the country has witnessed a never-before growth across segments and sectors, for which, the credit goes to the policy-driven strong focus on infrastructure. For example, the Union Budget for FY 2022-23 has laid the foundation of growth across infrastructure creation primarily focusing on the following:

  • Roads and highways
  • Means of mass transport
  • Logistics industry
  • Housing sector
  • Mobility, and 
  • Commercial real estate, among others.

Therefore, this provision is going to create an extremely good intersectional ripple effect on a wide range of industries across different segments. To see this positive picture in a clearer light, it is of immense significance to understand the role of refractory solutions as the key enabler for the production of steel, cement, and other paraphernalia used in the construction industry. Let’s take a clearer picture by taking a close look at the numbers given below:

  • As per the capacity, India targets 300 MT of steel production by 2030
  • The production is expected to grow to 230 MT by that time from 118 MT in FY 22
  • The cement industry is expected to grow by 12% against a CAGR of 6% historically.

All this simply means that the refractory suppliers of the country are going to address a never-before need gap in the times to come. However, this expected growth, to a large extent, depends entirely upon the refractory products or solutions which are a little bit lesser known but crucial components for both steel and cement industries.

Refractories or refractory products are the most essential lining materials extensively used in the backup zones and working interfaces of the high-temperature furnaces throughout the manufacturing processes of steel and iron. In the same way, refractories line up the kiln and a large number of other crucial equipment in the cement production process. In a nutshell, any metal or non-metal that calls for extremely high temperature cannot be produced without refractories.

A look at the offerings for the cement industry by the top Indian refractory manufacturers:

  • Product portfolio: a comprehensive product range that offers different materials for each area of the pyro-process.
  • Customized lining concepts: a complete analysis of the process conditions for obtaining a substantial improvement in the performance of refractories.
  • Refractory seminars and training: Varied seminars and training are specially arranged for the valued customers.
  • Post-mortem investigations: meaningful information on a used refractory product for the further and better optimization of the respective lining area.
  • Shell test measurements: a shell test measurement provides crucial information for preventive maintenance.
  • Supervision: The best installation is ascertained on-site by skilled and experienced supervisors. 

Some of the top offerings for the steel industry by the top Indian refractory manufacturers:

  • New-age, innovative technology providing undaunted safety standards and diligence
  • Optimized lining concepts as per the exacting needs of the production process
  • Periodic reporting on different processes, consumption as well as cost
  • Exclusively optimized materials and systems for special metallurgical needs
  • Individually adapted system packages for solving different problems
  • High-grade products including innovative design solutions
  • Innovative lining methodologies, and
  • Comprehensive calculation and analyses of thermo-mechanical behavior centering Finite Element Method (FEM).

Historical trends in the industry

There were times when India’s cement and steel industries used to depend entirely upon imported refractory solutions. And, most refractories were imported from a country like China. All the imported refractories were treated as a significant commodity. China manufactures and supplies around 65% of the world’s refractory solutions at present and has been a privileged nation in terms of the raw materials required to produce refractories. This gives the country an edge over other Asian and European countries in terms of tremendous cost and strategic advantage.

But over the past 2.5 decades, India has also come up with global quality refractories that the world recognizes and uses across industries and applications. Now India does not have a fragmented refractory industry giving a tough fight to china-made products. Experts are of the view that so-called cheap refractories imported from China always come at a long-term cost. Now a large part of the Indian cement and steel industry meets their refractory needs within the country with a minimal dependency on Chinese refractory solutions. 

A glance at the new positive scenario

The government's drive for Atmanirbhar Bharat and better comprehension of the criticality of refractory solutions to steel and cement manufacturing has triggered a great change in the businesses' outlook. There is presently more popularity for items to be made in India and a specific preference is being given to them. One more significant pattern has been that organizations all over the planet, that have constructed their production network around China, are presently willing to de-risk the country. This pattern has fundamentally sped up post-Covid. Thus, most nations currently look for alternative refractory solutions providers to decrease their weighty reliance on China for both raw materials and completed merchandise. This has set out huge freedom for India to step in. Indian refractory industry presently is catering to the expanded inward interests all over the planet.

The bottom line 

Firing the growth engine of the glass industry, RHI Magnesita India is one of the leading refractory suppliers for the cement and steel industry. With the incredible ability to provide customized intriguing shapes, RHI Magnesita India in association with its reputed manufacturing partners has developed a comprehensive range of refractories to meet the needs of the cement and steel industries. The product portfolio of the company includes refractory bricks and blocks, mixes, and mortars belonging to the given material groups: 

  • Silica
  • Calcium aluminate
  • Insulation materials
  • Magnesia and zircon-magnesia
  • High alumina / mullite / andalusite / fireclay
  • Chrome-alumina
  • Zircon.

 As one of the top refractory suppliers in India, RHI Magnesita has a dedicated research and development wing that is always committed to:

  • Developing innovative products
  • Finding newer ways for effective and efficient technical marketing
  • Constantly monitoring refractory lining performance
  • Improving projects
  • Introducing new solutions
  • Increasing performance, and
  • Working relentlessly to obtain the best price-performance ratio.

RHI Magnesita has 4 main offices, 26 site offices, and 2000+ strong skilled workforce across the country. More details regarding the company’s products and services can be obtained from its website.