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The fourth paper was presented by Jean Claude (France), with the title “Metallic Anchors for Acid Conditions”. This was an exhaustive review of the anchor technology available to the refractory engineer; a topic which is probably “not given the attention it deserves”. The previous two papers touched on the effect of acid on the corrosion of metallic structures and naturally anchors, so the three papers together outlined the potential problems and how to avoid them.

Jean demonstrated the advantage of soft forming of V anchors versus pressed; the effect of 1mm corrosion on a round anchor versus a flat one (36% loss versus 56%) and the philosophy behind a 10mm diameter anchor for alternative fuels versus an 8mm.

He also noted that all anchors should have caps for expansion allowance; these should be polyethylene rather than PVC to avoid chloride (caps melt around 140°C).

The choice of anchor alloy is critical, temperature, corrosion resistance and rupture strength all play important roles. The stainless grade 310 is the most popular, 330 is used for high temperature strength and he introduced the “rarer” 253 MA (micro-alloyed) grade, which has the same temperature rating of 310 (1100°C), however Cerium is added to 253 to improve the adhesion of Cr2

O3 corrosion resistance.

It also exhibits a 3 fold increase in creep rupture strength in comparison with 310.

The afternoon session commenced with a presentation from Rebecca Fielding of Gradconsult. Rebecca Fielding has considerable experience of HR strategy, team development and leadership, working with many household names such as the Co-operative, Heinz and Asda. Her present company specialises in the field of graduate recruitment in the UK. She challenged the audience’s demographic and asked pertinent questions

to the alloy surface, thus improving

in regard to succession planning and “in house” development of personnel. It was clear that we require more graduates entering the field of refractories albeit that the general consensus was “we were not an attractive industry”.

Rebecca outlined a case study in which a graduate placement had revolutionised a company’s production rate, this is something that we should all keep in mind.

The final paper of the day was presented by Chris Windle of DSF Refractories. Chris’ paper “Can Refractories be Green” explored whether the energy intensive process of making refractories could be balanced by the “green” energy provided by the technologies that refractories made possible. Chris took E-glass for wind turbines, solar glass and C-glass (wool) for house insulation as examples. To manufacture these materials you require high temperatures and therefore specialised resilient materials. The comforting outcome is that due to furnace longevity and the number of units that can be supplied over that time, the multitude of wind farms, solar farms and indeed household insulation meant that the refractory energy input was actually insignificant.

Members of the IRE executive decided that the prize for the best paper of the day should go to Chris Windle.

President, Mr Keith Andrews closed the conference with thanks to the speakers, organisers and attendees.




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