Refractory failure frequently is the result of poor specification tactics, according to Ceram, a United Kingdom-based refractory materials analysis, testing and consultancy company. Ceram has released a white paper that highlights why the failures occur and offers tips on how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

"Purchasing Monolithic Refractory Materials" describes the ideal lifecycle of a refractory lining and describes the main categories of premature refractory failure. It provides best practice guidelines for choosing a materials supplier and placing orders for a refractory replacement project. It also describes a typical test program for refractory materials and then details how material for the testing procedures should be prepared and how the tests are performed.

The guidelines in the white paper focus on examples in the petrochemical industry, but the tips also apply to the glass, iron/steel, cement and enviro/energy industries, according to the company. It is available as a free download at