As modern steel plants and manufacturing processes evolve, additional demands are placed on refractory installation and performance. Many traditional tundish working lining materials require long drying and preheating curves, which can inhibit equipment availability and production output. These heating requirements also result in high energy usage and CO2 generation for the plant. To support the industry’s productivity and environmental goals, the FAST TO CAST tundish spray product line was formulated. Developed as a cross-regional R&D collaboration, FAST TO CAST products can be sprayed onto the tundish permanent lining and taken directly to final heating, shortening or bypassing the traditional drying step. The resultant lining maintains its physical integrity and refractory performance, while offering reduced fuel requirements and a lower carbon footprint.
To achieve the objectives of improving efficiency, equipment availability, and fuel consumption of slurry gunning refractory mixes, several considerations had to be addressed. For standard slurry gunning products that are prevalent in today’s marketplace, there is an inherent demand for careful dry-out and preheating practices to maintain the physical integrity of the refractory and promote the best possible performance. Typical slurry gunning mixes incorporate water additions around 20–30 wt.% to achieve the proper application consistency and behaviour. For this water to be removed effectively, dry-out heating curves can reach 4–6 hours or more, depending on several variables such as specific material choice, lining thickness, and burner configurations. This controlled drying step is critical to reduce the likelihood of cracking, blistering, and spalling in the refractory working lining. By reducing or eliminating the drying requirement, the overall application process time can be reduced, while necessary energy inputs can be lowered as well. Other main aspects of the mix, such as equipment compatibility, application methodology, and overall refractory performance are expected to remain constant while the changes to drying requirements are made.
As demand for efficiency in steelmaking operations continues to increase, the importance of equipment turnaround and availability is at an all-time high. For continuous casting, this means reliably having tundish vessels that perform well and are available quickly. Trials of FAST TO CAST grades in North and South America have produced results showing that the necessary drying time can be reduced by 70% or even eliminated completely, while energy requirements and CO2 emissions from drying are also reduced accordingly. Additionally, the low density of these materials can decrease specific refractory consumption by an average of 20%, while also lowering heat transfer to the tundish shell. Furthermore, trial results showed that other important properties such as sprayability, refractoriness, and deskulling are unchanged as a result of the improved drying behaviour.
 Tassot, P. and Turrel, C. Actual Trends for the Tundish Refractory Lining. Refractories Worldforum. 2011, 3, 93–98.
 Krausz, I., Tassot, P. and Turrel, C. Element Pick-Up in Liquid Steel from Tundish Lining Refractories. Presented at the 11th Unified International Technical Conference of Refractories (UNITECR), Salvador, Brazil, Oct. 13–16, 2009.
 Correa, A., Resende, R., Borges, R., Bellandi, N., Brito, M. and Abrao, E. Why is Spray Mix Still a Dominant Technology for Tundish Coating Application? Presented at the 15th Unified International Technical Conference of Refractories (UNITECR), Santiago, Chile, Sept. 27–30, 2017.
 Helmus, D., Bross, R., Fechner, R., Ratto, J. and Ratto, J. Tundish Wear Lining: Taylor Made Dry Vibratable Material Concepts and Lining Installation Technologies. 2nd Refractory Material Seminar, IAS. 2013.