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Schad Repairs Bottle Car Refractory Covers

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Metal covers are often used atop bottle cars that carry molten metal from one side of a steel mill to another. The covers are designed to keep heat in the bottle car during transit. When the ceramic refractory inside these covers failed, one Schad client called us in to investigate.

The customer was an integrated steel operation in the northern U.S. They had fabricated 35 frames for the covers and contracted out the installation of the ceramic fiber cartridges on the underside of the covers. Unfortunately, the ceramic fiber cartridges failed after only four to six weeks in operation. 

Schad discovered the problem and replaced flawed refractory materials

An inspection found that the ceramic fiber in the cartridges was not being properly compacted. The anchoring system for the fiber was also inadequate. As a result, the refractory materials failed quickly. 

The customer asked Schad to remove and replace the ceramic fiber in 20 of the covers, which Schad brought back to its Detroit fabrication facility. Schad was able to get the first cover back into service in just two business days. The remaining 19 returned to the steel mill in just under one month. 

Schad found ways to increase the lifespan of the refractory materials

Along with longer-lasting ceramic cartridges, we’re working on options such as wear bars to further increase the life of the covers. Schad is also finding opportunities to make the installation of the ceramic fiber more efficient. 

 “I was honored that the customer valued my knowledge enough to seek my advice and even more pleased that, to this point, we have helped them achieve a production and maintenance cost reduction.” 

– Matt Kuderik, Schad Project Manager

Contact Schad for ceramic fiber refractory repair services 

Do you have a maintenance issue or a refractory related item that isn’t providing the service life you think it should? Contact Schad and our experienced project managers will be pleased to assist you in finding a solution.
 

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