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1916-2016

VIII - General Characteristics and Sources of Supply of the Refractory Materi JSGT_V01_T109-T125

VIII - General Characteristics and Sources of Supply of the Refractory Materi JSGT_V01_T109-T125

The choice of refractory materials for use in the glass-house is a responsibility which has not hitherto fallen to my lot [geologists], and as I do not feel that I can speak with authority on this subject, I propose to deal briefly with the distribution of those refradory materials which I know are actually in use in British furnaces. Most of the work in connection with the experimental study of refractory materials which has been and is being taken up by my department has been forced upon it by the circumstances of the war, and has arisen in an endeavour to answer inquiries made by men whose interests are largely bound up with the Sheffield steel industry. Persons concerned with the British iron- and steelmaking trades have, since the beginning of the war, been faced with a shortage of many essential mineral raw materials, whilst for a continued supply of the refractory materials needed for furnace construction and repairs they have frequently been very hard pressed. At first their request to the geologist was for help in finding alternative supplies of materials to match those previously obtainable. Presently, however, they recognised that furnace linings which give a long life and continuous output of metal are the most economical, whatever (in reason) may be the prime cost, and it was mainly in their search for better refractory materials that our help was sought. The increased life of a furnace brings with it a decrease in the consumption of the materials used in furnace construction. Hence, by the improvement in the design of the furnace and by the selection of refractory materials more exactly suited to the working conditions, the available supply of refractory material is made to go further, and the shortage of that supply thus becomes less acute.

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