Refractories manufacturer Magneco/Metrel reports it has helped to start the world’s largest blast furnace with its installation of almost 2,500 of its Metpump refractories. The silica-bonded pumpable refractories line the new 5,500-m 3, working volume furnace, operated by Shougang Jing Tang United Iron and Steel Ltd. at Caofeidan, China. The furnace is rated to produce over 5 million metric tons/year of iron.

Magneco/Metrel noted that a second identical facility is under construction at the site.

“As the world's leading developer and manufacturer of refractory, we are very honored to contribute our unique technology and expertise to these historic projects,” stated Magneco/Metrel CEO Charles Connors, Sr. “Our products are highly regarded for their ability to enhance performance while reducing construction costs, time and maintenance requirements.”

Designed to produce up to 14,000 tons/day of iron, the stave-cooled furnace vessel is approximately 50 meters high with an internal hearth lining diameter of 15.5 meters. The design includes 42 tuyeres and four tapholes. Under terms of the agreement, Magneco/Metrel is providing and installing various formulations of its Metpump products -- manufactured at three global plant locations — to match China’s new industrial specifications.

Magneco/Metrel’s line of proprietary, monolithic, Metpump refractory products are produced with advanced colloidal silica, Sol-Gel bonded, no-cement materials that can be easily and quickly applied by spray-on pumping or pouring into place, or by pneumatic shotcreting. When used in blast furnace lining system applications, this advanced nanoparticulate technology results in significantly reduced installation time, minimal dry-out and heat-up requirements, less downtime, superior performance, lower fuel rates, improved lifetime and increased production availability.

The supplier says that its Metpumb refractories are “cement-free,” and so provide exceptional hot strength, superior thermal shock and creep resistance, compared to low-cement or ultra-low cement bonded castables or prefired bricks. They also offer optimal erosion-, abrasion-, and chemical-attack resistance, for longer lining life. Magneco says Metpump’s high-temperature strengths are typically three to four times higher than conventional cement-bonded castables.