On Monday 4th October, the West Midlands Branch, and a total of 38 attendees from across the UK and the world, were treated to a well presented, interesting and professional technical lecture / webinar delivered by the branch, the second of the new season. The talk demonstrated deep levels of practical experience and knowledge. The lecture ‘Refractories Application Tailored to Melting and Pouring’ was kindly presented by Dr. Dirk Holland, Technical Director of Calderys which is a member of the IMERYS group.


Dr Holland expertly gave a clear review of the latest melting and moulding lining solutions that Calderys and IMERYS are offering, along with their technical support for ferrous and nonferrous casting applications. Dr Holland specifically mentioned a Boron free furnace lining development, which is presently working well up to 6 tons capacity in Induction Furnace, for ferrous applications. Boron compounds have health and environmental concerns, but Boron oxide and Boric acid are good sintering aids for the present standard linings.   (Boron also can also have massive deleterious effect at very low levels in plants that are trying to achieve high proportions of pearlitic structures in ductile iron as it is a strong promoter of ferrite).

Dr Holland explained the new use of the Sol / Gel process to control the mixing of systems for lining ladles, the process has the advantage of reduced drying times (particularly late in the drying cycle where the current systems lose their water of crystallisation associated with the cement/clay bonds) and that the finished linings have higher refractoriness and lower dilation on drying.




In the present climate with tremendous pressure on the Foundry sector to reduce the energy in the casting processes a modern talk would not be complete without mentioning energy improvements. Dr Holland presented a case study on channel Furnace application and the intelligent improvement of the top of the furnace insulation to improve the efficiency of the operation.


The presentation from Dirk Holland of Calderys is now live on the CMF’s Casting the Future YouTube channel.  The direct link to the presentation is https://youtu.be/DG2qwnwxomI

The level of interest for this technical lecture was again clearly shown in the extent of the Q and A session at the end of the lecture and Dr Holland showed his depth of expertise in this field with some informed answers on Energy / Lining erosion balance that needs to be found for the particular foundry application and at the end of the talk, the attendees also thanked him in our usual way with a round of applause.

Article written by Mark Holliday Prof MICME