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Introduction to Refractories


Live On line.   Eight 3-hour lectures


This course addresses most of the significant topics in the field of refractories, both theoretically and experimentally.  The lectures follow the natural evolution of refractories from their mineral and synthetic origins, to their chemical, mineralogical, and microstructural constitution, and their application, installation and degradation in service.  The sesions are also designed to give the participants knowledge of common refractory testing techniques.  


Engineers, managers, contractors, purchasing agents, furnace operators, maintenance supervisors, and technicians who are involved in the manufacturing, marketing, research and development, or consumption of refractory materials will find this course beneficial. Refractory installers and maintenance personnel may particularly benefit from better installation and maintenance techniques. A high level technical or engineering background is not essential to take this course, although technical professionals will find the subject matter informative and useful.


The objectives of this course are to introduce the participants to the ceramic engineering fundamentals of all of the classes of refractories, their constitution, their application, and some of their degradation and failure processes. 


Dr. Joseph Homeny is Technical Director of the Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation, Columbus, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Ceramic Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and M.S. and B.S. degrees from Rutgers University. He has industrial refractories experience in the research laboratories of the J.E. Baker Co. and North American Refractories Co. Prior to joining Orton in 1992 he taught refractories as a professor in the Ceramic Engineering Department of the University of Illinois. Dr. Homeny is active in the refractories and advanced ceramic committees of ASTM.


Lecture 1

  • Introduction to Refractories

  • Thermal Properties

    • Volume Stability

      • Reversible Changes

      • Irreversible or Permanent Changes

    • Heat Capacity

    • Thermal Conductivity

Lecture 2

  • Mechanical Properties

    • Elasticity

    • Brittle Fracture

    • Creep

Lecture 3

  • Thermomechanical Properties

    • Thermal Stresses

    • Thermoelastic Theory

    • Thermal Shock Damage Resistance Theory

  • Corrosion Properties

    • Fundamental Principles of Liquid-Solid Corrosion

    • Liquid Phase Formation

      • Wetting

      • Phase Equilibrium Diagrams

Lecture 4

  • Silica Refractories

    • Raw Materials – Silica

    • Phase Relationships

    • Processing

    • Microstructure/Properties

  • Alumino-Silicate Refractories

    • Raw Materials – Alumina-Silica

    • Phase Relationships

    • Processing o Microstructure/Properties

Lecture 5

  • Basic Refractories

    • Raw Materials – Magnesite, Dolomite, Chrome-Magnesite, Forsterite, Spinel

    • Phase Relationships

    • Processing

    • Microstructure/Properties

  • Insulating Refractories

    • Insulating Firebrick

      • Processing

      • Microstructure/Properties

    • o Insulating Fibers

      • Processing

      • Microstructure/Properties

Lecture 6

  • Monolithic Refractories

    • Raw Materials – Hydraulic Cement, No Cement, Chemical Binders

    • Phase Relationships

    • Processing

    • Microstructure/Properties

  • Non-Oxide Refractories

    • Raw Materials – Carbon, Silicon Carbide, Silicon Nitride

    • Phase Relationships

    • Processing o Microstructure/Properties

Lecture 7

  • Composite Refractories

    • Raw Materials – Magnesia-Carbon, Alumina-Silicon Carbide-Carbon, AluminaCarbon

    • Processing

    • Microstructure/Properties

  • • Special Refractories

    • Raw Materials – Zirconia, Zircon, Fusion Cast – Alumina-Zirconia-Silica, Alumina, Alumina-Chrome, Magnesia-Chrome

    • Phase Relationships

    • Processing

    • Microstructure/Properties

Lecture 8

  • Design of and with Refractories

    • Microstructural Design

    • Process Vessel Design

  • Applications of Refractories

    • Iron and Steel

    • Non-Ferrous Metals

    • Ceramics

    • Glass

    • Minerals Processing

    • Chemicals

To Download the Course outline and for Registration Details click here

For additional Questions Contact:

The Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation provides products and services to the ceramic materials industry. The Foundation was established in 1932 and has continued to adhere to the guiding principles as prescribed by Edward Orton Jr. in the founding documents. Orton's Materials Testing and Research Center provides third party, independent testing of refractories and other ceramic materials for more than 1200 companies to help solve difficult product or processing problems and conduct failure analysis.

A worker at a foundry and refractory
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