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December Tip of the Month

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Shelf Life – Stock Rotation

Many consumers of refractories do not realize that refractory materials, especially monolithic materials, have a shelf-life that in many cases is much shorter than that of the can of stewed tomatoes sitting in the back of your kitchen pantry!

Depending on the composition of the material, most refractory materials have a shelf life ranging from six to twelve months.  The shelf life is due to most monolithic materials containing cement.  As the cement sits in the bag aging and reacting with the environment, its ability to react properly with the other mix components is affected.  This can lead to set time issues as well as physical property issues when the product placed into service.  As a result, it is important to pay attention to the shelf life of a particular product while it is awaiting placement.

Generally speaking, castables, mortars, and plastics all have shelf lives.  There are some exceptions. Cement-free castables and bricks fired during the manufacturing process have substantially longer, if not indefinite shelf lives given that they are properly stored during their life span.

When ordering and storing refractories it is important to consider shelf life.  Do not order more products than you will consume during a material’s life span.  Also, consider using a stock rotation system to ensure that the oldest materials are consumed prior to using newer materials.

If you have questions about product life span, or how Schad can help, go ahead and contact us.

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