REFRACTORIES IN HEAT UNITS
NANOMATERIALS IN REFRACTORY TECHNOLOGY
D. V. Kuznetsov,
D. V. Lysov,
A. A. Nemtinov,
A. S. Shaleiko,
and V. A. Korol’kov
Translated from Novye Ogneupory,No.3,pp.3–6,March, 2010.
Original article submitted December 9, 2009.
A short review is presented of prospects for using nanomaterials in various refractory technologies, and an es
timate is given of existing and future directions of their use for improving the operating properties of
refractories. The possibility of controlling material properties at the atomic level makes it possible to create
new innovative refractory materials and technology.
Keywords: refractories, nanomaterials, nanopowders, nanoparticles.
The main stimulus in the development of the contempo-
rary refractory industry is improvement of existing and the
development of new high-temperature technology with even
more severe specifications for refractory operating condi-
tions, i.e. temperature, chemical erosion, mechanism, etc.
Here the task of improving the service properties of
refractories is inseparably connected with the question of re-
ducing the cost of production, observation of ecological stan-
dards, the possibility if utilizing waste products, and recy-
The requirement for finding comprehensive solutions has
led to use in the majority of heating units, in particular fer
rous metallurgy, of complex multicomponent composite ma
terials, including oxide ceramics, metals and carbon. During
the last thirty years significant success has been achieved in
optimizing the physicochemical properties and chemical
composition of these refractories for specific operating con
ditions. Currently the main areas of development include a
change-over to controlling the refractory properties for an
evermore finer size level, since the microstructure of any ma
terial is mainly determined by occurrence within it of differ
ent physicochemical processes.
In view of this use in refractories of highly- (0.1–1mm)
and nanodispersed (10 – 100 nm) systems with a controlled
composition and morphology is very important. In fact, the
refractory branch, for tens of years and thousand of tons of
consumed technical grade carbon (soot) and silica
(microsilica, aerosil) is already one of the largest world users
of nanomaterials. Development of new refractory technology
has a favorable effect on formation of the market for new in-
dustrial nanomaterials, stimulating an increase in the volume
of their production and a reduction cost.
Interest in this class of materials is due to the possibility
of a marked change in properties of normal substances by
converting them to a nanosize condition . An increase in
the relative proportion of atoms or molecules, that are at the
surface of particles, leads to an increase in the contribution of
surface energy in practically all physicochemical processes
of nanodispersed system reaction with the surroundings.
Such a change, important from the point of view of dispersed
refractory systems, may be a reduction in the melting and
sintering temperatures, an increase in chemical activity and
the rate of occurrence of chemical reactions, the possibility
of preparing alloys, compounds and composites, impossible
in traditional materials from a thermodynamic point of view.
In turn, an increase in the relative interphase surface of bulky
compacted refractories leads to a marked improvement in the
mechanical properties, since the typical sizes of defects that
grow during failure of a component becomes less than the
size of structural elements of the material.
These features of nanosize systems create good prerequi
sites for effective and comprehensive solution of questions
connected with forming the required structure and properties
in situ in refractories, i.e. directly in the course of heating
unit lining operation . As examples of the practical use of
nanomaterials it is desirable to refer to experience of the
main Japanese companies that are currently leaders with re
spect to innovative activity in the field of refractories . In
the refractory industry of Japan since the middle of the 1990s
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 51, No. 2, 2010
1083-4877/10/5102-0061 © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
From the proceedings of the International Conference of Metal
lurgists and Refractory Workers (April 23 – 24, 2009, Moscow).
NITU MISiS, Moscow, Russia.
OAO Severstal’, Cherepovets, Russia.
OOO Severo-Zapad Ogneupor, Cherepovets, Russia.