9 Common Misconceptions About Precast Refractory Shapes

Precast refractory shapes are a practical solution for a variety of furnace repairs and designs. TFL looks forward to partnering with you to create durable, cost-effective precast shapes for your unique application.

Precast refractory shapes are an efficient, cost-effective solution for repairs and improvements. #TFLHouston Click To Tweet

What are some common misconceptions about precast refractory shapes?

Common misconceptions about precast refractory shapes come in the form of:

  1. “Precast shapes are more expensive to install!”
  2. “We’ve always cast the lining…changing over to shapes would be too complicated to figure out!”
  3. “Molds for precast shapes would cost too much!”
  4. “I’d have to bring a crew in from the field to the shop to make these shapes!”
  5. “Lead times for precast shapes would be way too long!”
  6. “It’s just as easy to set forms and cast the job in the field!”
  7. “There’s no way to anchor a precast shape system in my existing furnace”
  8. “I have to use the shape manufacturer’s desired castable if I buy his precast shapes”
  9. “Lifting and handling precast shapes in the field would be a problem!”

1) “Precast shapes are more expensive to install!”

In reality, field installation of a precast shape system is typically much simpler than forming and casting, requiring less equipment on-site and fewer craftsmen. With precast shapes, the job becomes more of a routine mechanical job rather than a specialized job requiring skilled refractory craftsmen. Also, curing time and dry out can be eliminated, resulting in significant savings in time and money.

2) “We’ve always cast the lining…changing over to shapes would be too complicated to figure out!”

It can be surprisingly easy to switch over from the “old way” of forming and casting to the use of precast refractory shapes. TFL can work with you to evaluate the existing furnace structure, develop anchoring options, and access and lifting requirements.

3) “Molds for precast shapes would cost too much!”

Over the years, TFL has perfected the art of making our molds as economically as possible, while still maintaining extremely tight tolerances, durability, and repeatability. Our molding techniques are tailored to the demands of the shape system design. We use a variety of materials and molding processes to efficiently produce quality shape.

4)“I’d have to bring a crew in from the field to the shop to make these shapes!”

Not if you let TFL produce them for you! Bringing in a project superintendent, craftsmen, and labor support into your shop to cast precast shapes is not the most efficient use of your crew time. At TFL, we are casting refractory shapes every day, all day long, with resources dedicated to the task.

5) “Lead times for precast shapes would be way too long!”

We have both in-house mold making capabilities as well as talented partners that understand the business of making precast refractory shapes. That enables us to have extremely rapid turnarounds in the mold making process. Our shop crews are flexible and scalable. Most importantly, our experienced production staff understands that responsiveness is one of our four foundational elements that has made TFL successful over the years. We meet critical schedules!

6) “It’s just as easy to set forms and cast the job in the field!”

Sometimes our tendencies to “just do what we’ve always done” can cause us to overlook the tremendous benefits of a new way of doing things. The logistical and performance advantages of using precast refractory shapes vs. a field-cast lining have been proven time and again. Typically, setting forms and casting in the field is NOT the easiest way.

7) “There’s no way to anchor a precast shape system in my existing furnace”

It is true that converting from a field-cast lining to a precast shape system for the first time may require a new look at the existing structure of a furnace to accommodate the anchoring of the shapes. However, this can normally be done with minor modifications.

TFL routinely works with our customers as part of our service to design proper anchoring systems for our shapes.

8) “I have to use the shape manufacturer’s desired castable if I buy his precast shapes”

TFL makes precast shapes from a wide variety of materials, from many manufacturers. While we are happy to make product recommendations, we also understand that sometimes there’s a comfort level that exists around a particular castable material. We know that simply changing from a field-cast lining to precast and pre-fired shapes made in our shop, will automatically enhance the physical properties and performance of any castable.

9) “Lifting and handling precast shapes in the field would be a problem!”

Lifting, handling, and manipulating precast refractory shapes in the field is one of our basic considerations when we start the design of a precast system. We have to have a full understanding of on-site lifting capabilities, equipment availability, and crew limitation. We utilize a variety of unique and innovative lifting and handling methods in our designs.

Conclusion

TFL specializes in the design and manufacture of precast refractory shape systems for every application. Precast shapes can help ensure success! Let us work with you to design a precast solution for your toughest application.

Contact TFL today!