Abrasion-resistance determination and testing

The thinning of a refractory lining due to abrasion is a source of frustration for many thermal-processing operations and is one of the most common modes of failure encountered in the refractory world.

Abrasion resistance is one of the most critical and possibly the most misunderstood consideration when choosing a refractory solution. So, how do we test it?

The most common measure of holistic abrasion resistance used to compare refractory solutions is the ASTM 704 test. This test exposes refractory lining materials to a stream of abrasive particulate that cause a portion of the sample to be abraded over time. By keeping sample size and shape constant – along with particle velocity, particle material and test duration – various refractory materials can be compared on an apples-to-apples basis.

This testing can be performed by any qualified refractory testing lab and most reputable refractory manufacturers. Test results are recorded based on the volume of material lost from the sample during the test and are reported in cubic centimetres.

Products with excellent abrasion resistance consistently test at 5 cc of loss or less, while elite materials can score less than 3 cc of loss.

Products designed specifically for abrasion resistance will report ASTM 704 results on their material technical data sheets. It is important to remember that the abrasion-loss numbers reported on material technical data sheets are based on samples prepared in a lab under controlled conditions.

Achieving these same properties in the field under real-world, job-site conditions would require a high-quality refractory installer partnered with a world-class refractory manufacturer.

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