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Onsite Refractory Materials handling involves the movement, protection, storage and control of refractory materials throughout the various stages of warehousing, distribution, consumption and disposal.

This article; a continuation from a previous article entitled Refractory Materials Handling Offsite briefly describes the handling of refractory materials once they arrive at the end user’s premises. It covers environmental exposure, offloading, stacking and installation among other aspects.


On receipt of refractory stock, it is imperative that refractory specifications, data sheets quantities, physical state, shapes and descriptions are checked and compared against order documentation. This process assists in checking and ascertaining that delivered material is what has been delivered is as per order. Each particular type of refractory must always be stack in one place or row for trace ability purposes and ease of extraction during installation works.

The golden rule is that only a maximum of three to four pallets can be stack on top of each other to avoid and minimize refractory damage due to overloading or falling. A location plan of how materials are stored is always important at the end. Each row must have a clear display or label of the content. This idea helps define a work plan and make it easy for refractory movement during shutdown and maintenance works.

Refractory bricks must never be driven over, dropped or impacted or scratched by forks of a forklift or mobile equipment. Refractory bricks must never be bruised. Surfaces must be intact to ensure close contact and bonding on installation. Failure to achieve tight contact renders the surface susceptible to heat penetration on the furnace or kiln surface thereby resulting in refractory failure, red spots, hot spots and shell deformation if not attended to urgently. Furthermore shell damage may result in an un-safe act and accident, even loss of life and property.


  • Hydrated and /or defective refractory

  • Wrong refractory delivery and under-delivery

  • Delays and mistakes in refractory movement from stores to working site

  • Project execution delays due to material shortages

  • Premature refractory failure

  • Increased cost of production due to premature refractory failure

For companies that outsource refractory installation services, it would be highly beneficial to involve the contractor from the time of refractory material collection in order to ensure effective, efficient and comprehensive refractory materials handling before and during a shutdown.


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