This paper provides guidelines and good practice for the refractory user to ensurethat the material specified by the designer is delivered on site according to the qualityrequired for the application. The differences between data sheets, productspecifications and test certificates are discussed. A series of suggested checks to bemade during the various procurement and supply process stages is also given.
Ideal Life Cycle of a Refractory Lining
1.For a refractory lining design, the lining thickness, anchorage, expansion joints,material selection, etc., are all to be carefully considered, based on the processconditions and vessel design given to the designer.2.The final design is then presented as a drawing to the client. The commercialdepartment will purchase the recommended material from a selection of suppliers based on the specifications set out in the design.3.During the next stage, a qualified refractory installer will install the materialsaccording to the specifications given in the drawing, making use of bestpractices.4.The dry-out or start-up is then carried out to the recommended heat-up profilesupplied by the material manufacturer. Once the unit goes into production, therefractory lining is then exposed to the design conditions anticipated by theprocess engineers and will remain in place until the end of its lifetime.
Main Categories of Failure
From the life cycle highlighted above it is evident that there are four main areaswhere premature failure can originate:1.Design2.Material3.Installation4.Operation.There are many reasons for failure in all of these areas. Following are some of thereasons why problems can occur during each stage of the lifetime of a refractorylining.1.During the design process, assumptions relating to the process conditions maybe incorrect or incomplete. This may result in the wrong choice of refractorymaterial. The steel shell designs have normally been made without taking theproperties of a refractory lining into consideration and this may lead to complexand impractical refractory shapes.2.During the purchasing of the material, a general specification of material may beused by the buyers with the result that, possibly, the cheapest alternative may beacquired. This may not be the material best suited to that application. During thepurchasing of materials, the documentation from the supplier is often solelyrelied upon. In addition, materials are often delivered to site without ensuring thatthe correct material was supplied.