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That is the bright orange shine of molten steel for most materials engineers, combined with the radiating heat that can be felt even when standing a hundred meters away from the scene of action. But even when we see tons of molten steel rippling into a mold like water and we know operating temperatures must be well above 1400 °C, we don't feel threatened. Refractories, lining the inner parts of steel ladles, furnaces and kilns, are the reason for that. They are withstanding extremely high temperatures above 1500 °C, corrosion and thermal stress, and thus keeping us save. And they have more challenges yet to overcome. New biogenic fuel concepts, for example, that are actively corroding conventional refractory materials and need new and adapted compositions. Digitalization is an issue for the refractory industry as well. RHI Magnesita, one of the giants in the refractory industry, takes a step in that direction, introducing Refractory 4.0 for digitalizing the whole process chain. Artificial intelligence will help with optimizing the mining plan, 3D mapping allows to monitor and analyze the entire production site. ...
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