AN ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY FOR REFRACTORIES
BASED ON THE PERIODIC LAW
L. B. Khoroshavin
and V. B. Shcherbatskii
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 10, pp. 75 – 83, October, 2005.
Original article submitted June 2, 2005.
Prospects for development of electronic technologies in the production of refractories are discussed. Princi
ples of the electron technology of refractories are given and techniques for control of electron supply in the
electrochemical, thermochemical, and electrothermochemical treatment of refractory materials are described.
The potential use of electromagnetic fields to increase the slag resistance of refractory linings is considered.
Electronic wear as an initial stage in the wear of refractory materials is considered. Decreasing the diffusion of
electrons from metal and slag to refractory may inhibit the electronic wear of refractory lining.
One of the major routes in the development of a new
generation of refractories targeted at improving the wear re-
sistance in service and the saving of resources is the rational
use of deep-seated microscopic properties of refractory ma-
terials, viz. their atomic structure in the whole and, in partic-
ular, the electronic structure of chemical elements and mine-
rals. Development of an electronic technology in the produc-
tion of refractories is undoubtedly a challenging problem in
the refractory industry. In fact, this signifies the advancement
to a higher level in the manufacture of refractories.
In principle, any electronic technology is based on the
control of electrons. The advent of electronic technologies
was heralded by the discovery of electric current, which re
sulted in the most spectacular achievements in science and
technology and has become widespread in various areas of
In metallurgy, pulsed electron irradiation has become a
well-established technique to improve the performance char
acteristics of metals. The electrorolling method, based on
passing current through rollers and rolled stock, has recently
been gaining acceptance. Techniques employing electrons
have found many applications in metallurgy.
In the area of building materials and ceramics, electronic
technologies have likewise found use; see, for example,
[1, 2]. In principle, these technologies are based on the use of
electromagnetic fields (electric current) in a range of manu-
facturing processes such as electroconcentration (electro-
beneficiation), electrodrying, electrodeposition, electroplat-
ing, etc. The need for further development of these advanced
technologies is evident — few would argue against this view.
The electrophysical properties [3, 4] and magnetic sus-
ceptibility [5, 6] of refractory materials have been studied,
and encouraging results were obtained in the use of magnetic
susceptibility for enhancing the wear resistance of the lining
of electric melting furnaces [7, 8, 9].
Of special significance for the electronic technology of
refractories are pulsed electromagnetic fields that are capable
of initiating the mutual conversion of chemical elements
. So, many materials (alloys, slags, melts, etc.) when ex
posed to electric pulsed discharges suffer change in their
chemical composition to yield new elements. Therefore the
purpose of the present study was to emphasize the need for
development and organization of the production of refrac
tories using electronic technology. Electronic technology,
when compared with the conventional one, exhibits a whole
range of benefits such as higher production process rate,
wider range of process parameters employed, economic use
of energy, higher quality of end products attained, lower pro
duction costs, higher level of production, etc.
To design the basics of electronic refractory technology,
the fundamental law of materials science — the periodic law
— was used. Its founder, D. I. Mendeleev, noted that the pe
riodic law “awaits new applications and improvement, in
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 46, No. 5, 2005
1083-4877/05/4605-0344 © 2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Interested readers are invited to take part in a discussion of the
material of this paper.
Eastern Research Institute for Refractories (VOSTIO), Ekaterin
burg, Russia; Ural State Technical University (UGTU-UPI),