Manufacturers have seen a progression of priorities over the past several decades — from product quality, to productivity, to the latest trend, process quality. Note, product quality and productivity have never diminished in importance, but process quality aims to identify and categorize the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and even the sustainability of a production process. In this light, designers of furnaces, ladles, and crucibles are devoting more attention to the performance of lining materials and systems. The heat-resistant furnace linings of melting and pouring furnaces contribute significantly to the overall efficiency of such systems, and also help to extend the service life of a furnace.

StrikoWestofen credits a new-concept approach to furnace relining that it claims matches the quality of original designs for the fact that its projects frequently achieve performance standards comparable with newly introduced furnace designs. “Work done incorrectly shortens the service life of the equipment, reduces the melting capacity, and increases the energy consumption by up to 30%,” explained Holger Stephan, manager of Service and Spare Parts at StrikoWestofen. “Furthermore, additional cost-intensive and time-consuming work is often necessary – like operating pouring furnaces with porous plugs.”

Refractory linings for melting and pouring furnaces are high-tech concepts. The materials — StrikoWestofen uses up to six different types of refractory and insulating materials — as well as the entire interior furnace geometry, are precisely engineered and constantly optimized.

To reline a melting system, it offers a complete engineering service that it stated would achieve optimal results. In a first step, service technicians record the current performance and energy consumption of the furnace under real foundry conditions. Based on this assessment, StrikoWestofen compiles a forecast of the values to be expected after a complete lining renewal.

“The use of state-of-the-art materials and the latest engineering results often allow us to achieve values comparable with those of up-to-date models – at only 20% of the purchase price,” Stephan Holger explained.