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Instructions for Handling

And Installing
Plibrico Plastic Refractories


To assure a completed installation that will be
reliable and lasting, we recommend that you read
these instructions through before proceeding.

Pre-Installation Considerations

Material Consistency & Characteristics
Plibrico plastic refractories are stiff, moist, putty-like
materials. Upon leaving the factory, they have the
proper workability and are ready for installation
without the addition of water. To preserve the proper
workability, Plibrico plastic refractories are
protected by moisture retaining wrappers, and
packed in cartons.
Before using a Plibrico plastic, test it for workability
by forming a small handful of material into a ball. It
should be sufficiently pliable to mold and knit into a
homogeneous monolith when rammed with a hand
rammer or pneumatic tool
Grouped according to setting characteristics,
Plibrico plastic refractories fall into 3 general
categories heat-setting, air-setting, and chemical

Material Storage
Until installed, all Plibrico plastic refractories
should be stored indoors in a cool, frost-free
location. Under these conditions, the materials can
be kept to the limit of their storage life.
The average storage life of air & heat-setting
Plibrico plastic products extends up to 12 months.
The average storage life of chemical-setting
refractories extends from 3 to 6 months. Since there
are variations in the storage life of individual
products, please note the exact storage life for the
product(s) you store.
When heat-setting and air-setting Plibrico plastic
refractories are stored for too long and/or under hot
conditions, the material may become unworkable.
Reconditioning may be possible if no fresh material
is directly available. Consult the Plibrico Technical
Department for the proper procedures.

Chemically bonded plastic refractories cannot be

Reconditioning Frozen Material
When Plibrico plastic refractories have frozen in the
cartons, the material should be relocated to an
environment where the temperature is 60 degrees F
or more. Material must then be thawed slowly, not
quickly, as fast thawing results in a soft, non-uniform
The cubes of refractory should be taken from their
cartons, leaving the protective wrappers intact, and
should be positioned so that warm air can circulate
around them. The plastic refractory product is usable
when it has fully thawed and the original workability
is restored. Normally, the thawing process requires 2
to 3 days.

Equipment Requirements

In addition to the tools normally required for
masonry construction, the installation of Plibrico
plastic refractories requires:
A reciprocating pneumatic rammer with a steel or
hard rubber ramming head operating at
approximately 1200 strokes per minute. The shape of
the ramming head depends upon the material
applied, the shape of the lining, and the users
experience. Bench rammers are recommended for
most jobs, but floor rammers can be used where
space permits.
Sufficient air hose to connect the rammer with the air
An air manifold with multiple connections if more
than one rammer is used. (The recommended
pressure for pneumatic rammers is 80-90 psi).
Sufficient air volume must be provided to maintain
this pressure on all rammers being used.
A 2.5# hammer for hand ramming in small sections.
A short handled spade for trimming the lining
A hand tool for cutting expansion joints.

While installing plastic refractories, workers should
follow normal construction safety procedures. Also
refer to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for
special instructions.


Site Preparation
Before beginning the installation of Plibrico plastic
refractory, these precautions should be taken.
1. The site where the Plibrico materials will be installed
must be clean so nothing can contaminate the
refractory. The back-up surface, against which the
Plibrico plastic refractory will be placed, must be
smooth, without wide gaps or cracks, and thoroughly
2. Care must be taken to prevent rain or water from
contacting the refractory during installation and
before bake-out takes place.
3. Care must also be taken to insure that the material
does not freeze in the unfired state.

Forming & Anchoring Provisions

While Plibrico plastic refractories can usually be
installed without forms, the use of forms and/or false
anchoring is necessary in some cases.
Forms are necessary for arches, suspended roofs,
and walls which slope inward. Forms are
recommended where it is desirable to achieve
maximum compaction of the plastic in vertical walls
exposed to severe mechanical load. It can also be
economical to use forms for walls of large size and
The forms must be braced and made of strong
material to prevent movement, bending, or vibration
when the material is installed. False anchoring is
necessary when installing chemical setting plastics
overhead. Contact the Plibrico Engineering
department for specific information on forming and
false anchoring methods.
Depending upon the dimensions and position of the
Plibrico refractory lining, it must be provided with
special anchors and supports. These hold and secure
the lining to the outer wall or steel structure and
make it possible to remove or repair one section
without affecting the stability of adjacent sections.
Anchors are not to be used in molten metal contact
A wide range of Plibrico anchors and supports
provide for all kinds of positions, temperature, and
process conditions. Plibrico does not recommend the
use of round bar type metallic anchors. The type and
quality of anchors and supports as well as their
position are given on the Plibrico drawing. If no
drawing is available, contract Plibricos Engineering
Department and ask for further advice before
Anchor hooks and support brackets must be securely
fastened by an appropriate method to the outer
surface or steel structure prior to installation of the
refractory lining.
CAUTION: When forms are used, ceramic anchor
tiles in their fully extended position should be to
away from the inside face of the form to allow for
trimming. In no case, should the plastic refractory
protrude past or on top of the ceramic tile anchor
after trimming.

Special Weather Conditions

Hot Weather Installation
Plastic refractory installations in warm or tropical
climates require extra precautions due to the high
ambient temperatures normally encountered.
Provisions for cool storage of the Plibrico plastic are
essential, particularly if the product will not be sued
soon after delivery.
During installation, these steps should be taken:
The distance between the cut joints should be
reduced to between 20 and 28.
The distance between vent holes should be 6.
CAUTION: Phosphate-bonded plastics should be
vented immediately before bake out.
Prevent condensation from forming on the surface of
the unfired refractory (which normally results from
high humidity and lower temperatures inside the
furnace than outside) by opening access doors,
combustion air dampers, and flue gas dampers to
create a slight draft. This reduces the risk of surface
condensation, as constant ventilation is the most
efficient preventative measure. Take care to limit
ventilation to prevent excessive surface drying.

Cold Weather Installation
Plastic refractory installations in cold weather also
require extra precautions:
Store plastic refractories in a frost-free warehouse.
Do not install frozen plastic refractories.
Take steps to prevent the material from freezing
during installation.
Take steps to prevent the installed Plibrico plastic
lining from freezing in the unfired state.
If material is accidentally frozen in the cartons, see
the section on reconditioning frozen material. If the
plastic refractory is frozen after installation and
prior to firing see the section on bake-out

Ramming Procedures

Open the carton and the moisture proof packaging at
all 4 corners of the cube (with the pre-cut slices in a
vertical position). Separate the individual slices with
a trowel or spade.

Ramming - WALLS
Lay a row of either complete or cut Plibrico slabs in
place against the back-up wall, plate, or insulation,
and along the length of the wall or section to be
lined. Never place more than 1 layer, or a 2
thickness, at a time. With the pneumatic or hand
ramming tool, ram the first layer of material
thoroughly into a solid, monolithic mass. This
ramming must be done uniformly and thoroughly. All
ramming should be done by moving in a direction
perpendicular to the length of the work. When
thoroughly done, the plastic should be compacted to
approximately one half the original unrammed
thickness. Voids should not be present, and the slices
should be molded into a monolithic mass.
After ramming the first layer, proceed by placing the
second layer directly on top. For this second layer,
and all succeeding layers, stagger the placement of
the slabs so that the joint between pieces is offset
from the layer below, preventing continuous vertical
joints from being formed.
Ramming of subsequent layers must also be done
thoroughly. Do not ram the next layer against a
smooth surface, as the previous rammed layer must
be roughened before the next layer is placed. This
will give maximum coherence between the 2 layers.
This practice is of great importance in metal contact
As soon as the Plibrico wall reaches the height of a
row of anchor hooks or support brackets, the anchors
or supports must be fitted to these hooks or brackets
and then embedded into the Plibrico plastic
This must be done carefully, fitting each anchor into
the base of the hook, and each support into the base
of the tapered portion of the bracket.
In order to keep anchors flexible, it is recommended
that the connection between the anchor and the hook
be kept free of plastic refractory. All anchors must be
installed in a fully extended position. To do this,
insert a pair of non-metallic wedges between the
anchor and the hook. When the anchor has been
rammed in place, the wedges should be removed.
CAUTION: Never ram directly on a ceramic anchor.
When installing ceramic anchor tile, use a dummy or
spare tile to make a full depth profile in the plastic
refractory. Then set the ceramic anchor tile.

Ramming - ROOFS
Ramming roofs/arches requires forming and the use
of ceramic tile anchors. Chemically setting plastic
refractories additionally require false anchoring
provisions. Consult with your Plibrico representative
or the Plibrico Engineering Department for details.

Ramming - FLOORS
No anchors are required in floor applications.
Ramming should be carried out in a direction as
close to perpendicular to the hot face as possible.

Never face ram the outer surface of a lining.

If the Plibrico plastic is not rammed behind forms, a
wall lining may tend to bulge due to vertical
ramming. Therefore, trim off the bulging portion to
the required thickness using a sharp flat blade or a
special pneumatic tool.
The trimming must be done within a short time while
the material is still workable. Trimmed material can
be used again if it is not contaminated with foreign
matter. A clean job site is beneficial.

During bake-out of a Plibrico installation, the plastic
refractory has a tendency to first shrink and then
expand. It is recommended that provisions be made
for this to occur at preselected places rather than
where cracks are not desired, such as at anchor
locations. To accomplish this, the surface lining must
be provided with cut joints.
The depth of these cut joints should be about 1/5
the wall thickness, with a maximum depth of 2 on
walls over 12 thick. These joints can be made with a
hand tool.
The cut joints must be made in both horizontal and
vertical directions. Position of cut joints may be
given on the drawing of the refractory lining. Should
no drawing be available, it is recommended that the
joints be cut at distances of about 48. The prime
consideration is to space cut joints between rows of
anchors. If required, the Plibrico Engineering
Department can supply special recommendations
regarding distance between joints and their depths.
CAUTION: Do not cut joints in molten metal contact
The joints must be cut within a short time after
ramming, while the Plibrico material is still

During the bake-out of the lining, moisture in the
Plibrico plastic refractory will evaporate. In order to
facilitate the escape of water vapor and to prevent
spalling of the lining, two measures must be taken
during installation: surface roughening and venting.
When the Plibrico lining is trimmed to the proper
thickness, the surface of the material must be made
rough This can be done by scraping it with a trowel
or special roughening tool. Surface roughening must
be done within a short time after ramming is
completed. Do not finish the Plibrico lining to a
smooth and slick surface.
When trimming, joint cutting, and surface
roughening are completed, vent holes must be made
in the Plibrico lining. The distance between the vent
holes should be about 8 inches, except in molten
metal contact areas. A 3/16 diameter rod or nail
should be used to pierce the lining to a depth of
approximately 50% of the lining thickness, up to a
maximum of 6.
In metal contact areas, only make the vent holes 2
deep and the vent holes should be 18 apart.
Vent holes must be made while the lining can still be
pierced, however not too soon because the vent holes
may close due to external vibration from surrounding
equipment or installation activities. The best time to
make vent holes is immediately before bake-out, if



Plibrico skilled installation crews will craft a refractory lining of superior
quality. From tear-out of the worn lining to new lining bake-out, we offer
service so extensive it makes it easy for you to plan and coordinate your project.
Large job or small we can provide the best installation service, combined
with the best refractory products. This results in bottom-line economy for you,
due to our single source capabilities.

Our nation-wide network of Plibrico Sales & Service offices is ready to provide
you with a free estimate for performing every service needed to carry out your

We also draw on the resources of the Engineering Department of Plibrico
Company which, since 1914, has dealt with every phase of refractory enclosure
configuration. We can give you refractory linings computer programmed for
maximum thermal efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Start your work the right way call Plibrico today!
For the name of your local Plibrico representative
Please call (312) 337 9000
Or fax (312) 337 9003

Work Interruptions
When the installation of a Plibrico plastic refractory
lining is interrupted, as during a lunch break,
overnight, or over a weekend, or for any reason, the
working surface must be covered with plastic
sheeting to prevent the lining from drying out. When
work resumes, the dried material on the working
surface must be scraped away and the new surface
roughened before ramming begins.
If possible, try to have work interruptions coincide
with where a joint is to me made later. When any
interruption will exceed 8 hours, the installed lining
must be trimmed and provided with cut joints.

Frozen Linings
When an installed plastic refractory lining is frozen,
it must first be thawed very carefully. Since both the
freezing and thawing process can dry the surface of
the lining excessively, it should be sealed with a
plastic or a sealing compound before thawing to
avoid the risk of surface spalling later. Then, the
temperature of the lining must be increase no more
than 25 degree F/hr, up to a maximum of 150 degrees
F. This temperature should be maintained for at least
24 hours. Linings over 9 thick may require a longer
holding time at 150 degrees F. Consult your Plibrico
representative for special instructions. After that,
normal bake-out procedure can be initiated.
Frozen and thawed linings may show higher surface
shrinkage, which does not always affect the quality of
the lining.

For more information about bake-out
procedures, contact Plibricos
Engineering Department for assistance.

Bake out Instructions
Do not allow high drafts through the furnace, which
may cause an undesirable rapid dry-out. A slight
draft is necessary to prevent the formation of
condensation on the lining. However, do not leave
the doors and dampers wide open.
Refractory linings must also be protected from
freezing prior to bake-out!
The bake-out of a Plibrico plastic refractory lining is
of great importance. During this procedure, the
existing free water, which was necessary for the
workability of the material, must evaporate. This
bake-out procedure must take place with a prescribed
temperature increase per hour, depending upon the
amount and type of material installed.
Various grades of Plibrico plastic refractories
require different bake-out rates. Please refer to
Plibricos bake-out schedules for the appropriate
bake-out program. Also, advice is available from
Plibricos Engineering Department on the proper
bake-out procedure for installations that are very
large, or complicated, or of multi-components, or
which involve special processes.
Linings constructed of chemical setting plastics
should be baked out within 1 week after installation.
Thus, you must take this requirement into
consideration when scheduling the work. When bake-
out is delayed beyond this time, the lining must be
covered and carefully sealed with plastic sheeting or
curing compound to prevent drying. Suspended roofs
or chemical-setting plastic should also remain
supported before-bake-out.
Linings constructed of air-setting plastics need not be
baked out immediately. Air bonded materials are
designed to stand in their unfired state for a period of
time, while developing a certain strength at room
Flat arches of air-setting plastic require special
curing procedures, ask your Plibrico representative
for specific details.

1010 N Hooker St
Chicago, IL 60622
Phone (312) 337 9000 Fax (312) 337 9003