General Secretary’s Report and President’s Column GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT

Dear Members I

hope refreshed you are after all your

summer holidays, I am writing this column and believe it is only 100 days to Christmas Day! And by the time you are reading this it will be closer to 80 days, people say time seems to go faster as you get older, this year has flown by. Since we printed the last journal and the results of the survey, we have had two meetings to assess the results and to start to look at how the exec can take into account the wishes of our members. I hope you have all had time to look at the survey results in the July journal, please let us have any feedback if you have any.

The first change will be to our website, so meetings are set up to start the design of a new website. I am having a meeting later on this week with our IT and website

engineer, we are looking to update our website in the very near future so please keep your eye out in the coming weeks.

Other points will take a little longer, but it is important that we make the right changes.

The Conference and Training Day bookings are coming in thick and fast so if you have not already booked please do so asap, especially if you need accommodation. I have just had a box of old journals delivered from Bill Neary, I am hoping to find the journals to complete the Institute’s hard copy library, thanks Bill for dropping these off. When we have been through these I will again let you all know which journals we are missing, as I would like us to hold the full set, I know that my collection is three copies short of the full set, and I hope with Bill’s collection we may find some of the missing editions.

Jayne Woodhead

General Secretary & Treasurer Institute of Refractories Engineers


Dear Members and Colleagues

How it always amazes me how fast the year travels in the second half! Summer


holidays are over and it seems as if it was not only the children that had holidays. There seems to be a storm of work flooding in, just about the same time hurricanes and typhoons are battering the world. Two weather patterns that are essentially the same, but have different names depending on where it forms. Made me think of how we also have our differences in the refractory world about naming things differently. Just been involved in a project where some people refer to burner blocks as tiles. Would have thought that if it is one single piece one refers to it as a block, and

September 2018 Issue

when it constitutes of thin individual pieces, it would be called tiles. Then there are burner quarls, a word more frequently used in the boiler furnace industry. According to the Oxford dictionary it is a large brick or tile, such as a curved firebrick forming a channel in the wall of a furnace through which the flame of a burner passes. But then again, the word quarl is more difficult to pronounce and this may limit the use of it?

Just as you may think that bricks/tiles/blocks/quarls are confusing, the use of abrasion and erosion is even more confusing. According to the Dictionary of Ceramics, abrasion is wear caused by the mechanical action of a solid, e.g. wear of a stack lining of a blast furnace by the descending burden. Erosion is wear caused by the mechanical action of a fluid, e.g. of molten steel flowing through the refractory nozzle in a ladle or of waste gases flowing through the downtake of an open-hearth furnace. In essence it differentiates between abrasion and erosion based on the media;


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