It’s time to upgrade maintenance practices for vertical vessels. Like any routine maintenance, inspecting, removing and replacing refractory in vertical vessels places a costly burden on facilities in terms of downtime and lost productivity. One of the main reasons for this is the traditional solution for accessing vertical surfaces – scaffolding – severely limits efficiency.
In response to increased demand from the U.S. steel industry, HarbisonWalker International (HWI) – a supplier of refractory products – is making an investment to substantially increase production of its steelmaking products. HWI will build a manufacturing and service hub for steel customers in the United States. The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company is assessing strategic site options, and construction is scheduled to begin immediately once the location is determined. The new facility is expected to open as early as the third quarter of 2022.
The Plibrico Company, a supplier of monolithic refractories and construction services, completed the acquisition of Redline Industries Inc. Chicago-based Redline Industries supplies low-cement refractory castables and gun mixes. Redline refractories are engineered to safeguard furnaces in the high-temperature processing of nonferrous metals, such as aluminum, as well as prevent furnace heat loss to promote greater energy efficiency. Plibrico will continue to manufacture Redline refractories to their current specifications and promote the Redline brand within Plibrico’s product portfolio.
Industry Services Co. (ISC), a provider of industrial maintenance services and a portfolio company of Osceola Capital, acquired three refractory and industrial maintenance services companies: Oak Mountain Industries (OMI), Bisco Refractories and Glasrock. Pittsburgh, Pa.-based OMI is a refractory solutions provider specializing in refractory maintenance, installation and product supply. The company services industrial customers in the steel, coke, cement and aluminum industries. Birmingham, Ala.-based Bisco Refractories provides a full range of refractory services, including plant maintenance, installation services, precast shape fabrication and large project capabilities. The company’s end-market experience includes steel, cement, foundries, coke, petrochemical, aluminum, glass and power plants. Ontario-based Glasrock provides refractory maintenance, installation services, precast shape fabrication and large project capabilities to industrial customers across Canada. The company services customers in end markets including blast furnaces, steel, coke, aluminum and foundries.
A significant concern when manufacturing aluminum metal is the practical service life of the furnace. The service life is largely driven by the refractory lining’s ability to resist the various operating conditions within the furnace, such as high temperature, temperature variation, chemical corrosion and mechanical abrasion.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced that PRCO America Inc., a manufacturer of specialty refractory brick for the steel industry, plans to open its first U.S. production facility next year in Graves County. The nearly $5.5 million investment is expected to create up to 32 full-time jobs. The facility will produce custom-sized resin-bonded magnesia graphite refractory brick, which steel mills use to line furnaces and transfer ladles. The company plans to install the latest hydraulic pressing and automation technology to ensure high productivity. The 35,000-square-foot facility could begin production by the end of 2020.
RHI Magnesita, a global supplier of high-grade refractory products and systems, acquired Missouri Refractories Co. Inc. (MORCO). Based in Pevely, Mo., MORCO produces over 400 high-quality monolithic mixes that serve a range of industries, including steel. The employees also have the expertise to provide refractory material for the petrochemical industry.
Cleaning and maintenance is one of those necessary evils: It takes time away from the project, but skipping it can be even more time-consuming and costly. Shotcrete pumps are no exception. Consider these tips for cleaning and maintaining high- and low-pressure pumps used to spray refractory shotcrete linings.