A letter from the editor
Welcome to another exciting edition of our esteemed Bulletin journal, dedicated to the remarkable world of refractories. In the realm of materials science, refractories play a pivotal role in enabling our modern way of life, from the production of steel for our skyscrapers to the glass in our windows. These exceptional materials endure extreme temperatures and harsh environments, safeguarding vital industrial processes and technological advancements. Refractories, the unsung heroes of high-temperature industries, have held a prominent position in the annals of materials science and stand as a testament to boundless human ingenuity, enabling us to tame fire and harness its immense power for a myriad of applications. In this issue, we once again embark on a journey that highlights some of RHI Magnesita’s technological achievements.
The modern world owes much of its progress to refractories, and this edition takes an in-depth look at various industries where these materials are indispensable. Steelmaking, cement production, glass manufacturing, and the petrochemical industry all depend on refractories for their relentless resistance to extreme heat and chemical attack. As we venture further into some of these domains, we will delve into the challenges facing refractory experts, the innovations that are revolutionising these industries, and the crucial role refractories play in the sustainability and environmental efforts of our time.
A significant focus of this edition is the cutting-edge research and development in refractory materials, systems, and solutions, such as inert gas stirring for the new electric arc furnaces with large melt volumes that are expected to meet the required steel production capacity at minimum CO2 intensity during the green steel transformation period, lining wear measurements, and numerous developments to ensure sustainability in many fields of refractory applications. The refractory industry is part of the most CO2-intensive value chains in the global economy and increasingly final customers are requesting the decarbonisation of these value chains. Therefore, final producers must report not only their direct CO2 emissions but all CO2 emissions inherent to their product. A product carbon footprint (PCF) provides greenhouse gas information of a product from cradle-to-gate and is an important input for customer industries to declare their products’ carbon footprint accurately. RHI Magnesita is the first refractory producer to implement a PCF on the technical data sheets of nearly all its products.
Scientists and engineers are pushing the boundaries of refractory performance. New materials, such as high-performance ceramics and refractory composites, are emerging to meet the ever-increasing demands of high-temperature processes. INTERSTOP automation, robotics, and digitalisation solutions are setting standards in flow control and new products are being introduced in the steel industry. In this edition we invite you to explore our research activities that promise to redefine the capabilities and lifespan of refractories, enabling more efficient industrial processes.
Environmental sustainability is at the forefront of scientific endeavors worldwide and in this edition we address the importance of refractories in reducing energy consumption and emissions. By delving into the eco-friendly innovations and circular economy principles applied to refractories, we hope to inspire our readers to join the ongoing efforts to safeguard our planet. In conclusion, our exploration of refractories is a testament to the intersection of science, engineering, and industry. Furthermore, the durability and resilience of refractories continue to challenge the frontiers of materials science, ensuring a sustainable and innovative future for generations to come. Thank you for joining us on this journey.