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A light weight refractory insulating brick exhibiting substantial volumetric stability at temperatures up to 3000° F. comprising a fired reaction product of alumina and silica in approximate dry weight ratio proportions of 65-70 to 35-30, said brick also having a high content of crystalline mullite. The process for the manufacture of this brick includes molding a plastic brick composition consisting of water, finely divided alumina, and a grog comprised of a uniformly distributed mixture of kaolin clay, and from 1.8-5% by dry weight of aluminum filter dust (AFD), drying the molded brick, charging it in an oxidizing atmosphere to burn out organic material and firing the shaped brick to form the reaction product.
The raw materials used are bauxite chamotte and aluminum filter dust (AFD). AFD is a waste product of the aluminum industry composed mainly of aluminum oxide, about 8% calcium oxide, and about 15% sodium chloride. This is a valuable resource that is usually discarded as an unusable byproduct. The addition of increasing proportions of AFD to the bauxite chamotte results in a brick having a higher bulk density, but a lower water absorption capacity.
The resulting brick exhibits high compressive and flexural strengths and low thermal expansion, and is suitable for use as a lining in the furnaces that are used to melt aluminum, such as smelters and melters. It also has an excellent fire resistance and a low leaching rate. This type of refractory is suitable for use in any high-temperature furnace application.