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DEFLOCCULATED CASTABLE - POSSIBILITY OF SUCCESSFUL TORCRETING

Milan Henek
Průmyslová keramika, spol. s r.o., Rájec-Jestřebí
Miroslav Vajda
RAMIRA PRAHA-ZÁPAD, Třebotov

1. INTRODUCTION
Gunning is a very effective, efficient and relatively simple method of installation of
monolithic refractory linings. There has been dominant the dry (sometimes called semi-dry)
method in the field of castable techniques. There have been known and used conventional
refractory gunning castables for spraying. The refractory mixtures are based on its
composition from conventional casting dense or insulating castables, which means they
contain a high proportion of hydraulic binding material - alumina cement. Thus, there are
brought to the lining all of known deficiencies of ordinary castables, such as high porosity,
decrease of its strength with temperature, poor corrosion resistance of matrix and much more.
Any spraying of quality deflocculated castables with reduced cement content has some
considerable technical and technological difficulties and it hasn´t been wide-spread yet in the
field of castable techniques. The article deals with the real possibilities of application of the
method of dry gunning even used for a group with reduced cement content.

2. PROBLEMS AND LIMITATIONS OF DRY GUNNING OF DEFLOCCULATED


CASTABLE
First, we should mention the application of deflocculated castable mixtures is known
as a method called "Shotcreting". However, it requires very expensive equipment installation
and is suitable for coating of large volumes lining, and it is preferable to do so permanently at
just one workplace. In common practice, anyway, there are hundreds of applications with the
need of gunning of smaller volumes of lining. Then, the realizations are performed by
different operators of thermal plants in different parts of these aggregates, which can often be
difficult to access. Therefore, this article is devoted to only conventional dry gunning.

2.1. What restrictions are there for spraying deflocculated castables?


In traditional dry (semi) method a dry refractory mixture is transported pneumatically
by a gunning machine and its hoses to the spray nozzle, where it is fed by mixing water, and
there is the mixture moistened, following to its rapid application to the storage location. The
mixing water serves for wetting of all particles of the mixture and for actually facilitating its
compaction. Derived affect is that it can hydrate the cement binder, allowing the reaction
leading to the gradual setting and hardening. Gunning castables are different from vibrated
castable with their grain size, such as higher proportion of fines, their restrictions of fluidity,
increased adhesion, or rapid early hardening etc.
There have been developed deflocculated castables with reduced alumina cement
included because of well- known reasons of conventional refractory castables. Their
unconditional components are additives called “fluidizers”. First, we must dissolve these
additives during mixing in the mixing water in order to start the effect of these substances.
This process usually takes a minute, which is actually a known fact. At first, castables of this
type after the addition of water during mixing seems to be dry, but there occurs the
deflocculation in a few seconds. Therefore, these mixtures can be installed mainly by
vibration, ramming or method mentioned above called as “Shotcreting”. Anyway, it can be

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difficult can to use gunning method because there the time length from addition of water to
put it in place is calculated in the order of tenths of a second.

2.2. The current status of the use of deflocculated gunning castables


In practice, there are deflocculated castables demanded with reduced shares of cement for
gunning application and some manufacturers offer these materials. There are, of course, given
their properties in the data sheets. However, there can appear just the problem confusing
professionals. It is difficult to find out information about the method used to produce the test
specimen on which was the declared value determined. In the Czech Republic, there are used
for production of a specimen two methods: vibration, or ramming method in case of bad
liquidity. Although there is a relevant standard EN ISO 20182:2008, which is the prescribed
method of preparation of test specimen by spraying, but this has not been in the Czech
Republic practically applied yet, especially because of its demands of technological
equipment. There has not appeared relevant information of its application either of the EU's
leaders’ countries.
We have performed a few comparisons at several commercial deflocculated castables of
values determined on specimen made by spraying of industrial gunning castables, as well as at
the bodies made by vibrations, and we compared the results with catalogue data. The
following chart number 1 shows the data from one particular gunning LCC castable of a
leading producer. The results reveal significantly lower compaction and thus the strength of
gunning bodies.

Chart no. 1 Comparison of properties of gunning LCC castables on bodies prepared by


various methods
Sample name LCC-V LCC-G LCC-K
Description of sample vibrated sprayed Catalogue data
production
Water 6,9
Bulk density kg/m3 110 °C 2230 2110 2250
800 °C 2200 2100 2200
1200 °C 2180 2100
1400 °C 2150 2020
Cold crushing strength MPa 110 °C 71,8 11,7 65
800 °C 62,2 13,7 75
1200 °C 105,7 29,9 110
1400 °C 98,3 23,3 110
Apparent porosity % 800 °C 17,4 19,3 22
1200 °C 16,5 19,5
1400 °C 17,6 19,2
Permanent linear changes % 800 °C -0,3 -0,4 0,0
1200 °C -0,2 -0,4 -0,2
1400 °C -0,1 -0,3 +0,2

3. DEVELOPMENT OF DEFLOCCULATED MIXTURES AVALAIBLE FOR


GUNNING

3.1. Regular gunning castables


Before we start to discuss spraying of deflocculated castables, we are going to see a
difference in the parameters of conventional castable installed by gunning and vibration.
Moreover, we are going to see an effect of various nozzles used during this test. Composition
of testing of conventional gunning mixtures is shown in the following chart no. 2.

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Chart no. 2 Composition of conventional dense gunning castable DTB
Mixture DTB
Burned kaolin 0-6mm share 65
Melt fireclay under 0,1 mm share 9
Alumina cement 70 % Al2O3 share 25
Comprehensive adhesive ingredient share 1

The conventional castable of defined composition was, within the use of all three
nozzles types, sprayed with test plates which, after hardening, were cut into test specimen and
on its basis defined their basic physic-mechanical properties. The resulting values are entered
in chart no. 3, there are also parameters determined on specimen made from the mixture of
vibration.

Chart no. 3 Comparison of specimen from the mixture made by various gunning nozzles
Temperature DTB-TA DTB-TB DTB-TC DTB-V
of heating
Gunning nozzle Type A Type B Type C vibration
Diverting water l/100 kg 11
Assessment of layer Very good Very good Very good
application
Bulk density 110 kg.m-3 2070 2130 2110 2140
400 kg.m-3 1900 2000 1970 2030
800 kg.m-3 1900 1960 1920 2000
1200 kg.m-3 1900 1970 1920 1990
1400 kg.m-3 1930 2000 2010 1980
1450 kg.m-3 1970 2090 1840 1970
Cold crushing strength 110 MPa 62,8 85,4 95,5 88,3
400 MPa 53,7 77,1 82,6 73,7
800 MPa 44,5 60,9 73,6 57,9
1200 MPa 32,3 42,0 58,9 60,4
1400 MPa 36,2 48,7 40,5 33,3
1450 MPa 29,1 68,4 40,6 93,5
Apparent porosity 400 % 30,5 28,1 29,2 26,7
800 % 32,4 31,3 32,4 28,5
1200 % 33,1 29,2 32,7 29,2
1400 % 25,5 23,3 22,3 25,0
1450 % 23,2 18,5 20,6 21,4
Permanent linear changes 400 ˇ% -0,05 -0,14 -0,26 -0,04
800 % -0,05 -0,16 -0,04 -0,08
1200 % -0,22 -0,17 -0,21 -0,34
1400 % -0,50 -0,77 -1,04 +0,15
1450 % -1,17 -1,05 +0,52 +0,34
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Abrasion resistance 800 cm 18,2 13,1

The results showed a significant effect of selection gunning nozzle applied to compact the
refractory layer. By using suitable nozzles then it does not arise any significant difference in
quality of covered layer of conventional castables between the one deposited by spraying on
the other hand the second by vibration.

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3.2. Deflocculated LCC castables
To verify a low-cement spraying castable was prepared a basic recipe of LTB, based on
past occasional experience of spraying a mixture of LCC. At the beginning of this series of
tests were again at the basic mixture LTB injected with all types of gunning nozzles. In the
practice of spraying, however, this method failed of producing the body with a nozzle.
Type C - showed a very narrow passage in regulating the addition of water flowing down of
deposited layer between dusting accompanied by increased waste.

We could testify again a difference between the other two nozzles tested, so any other
body were prepared with guns type B, which create a wall of water across the entire irrigation
ring. The basic recipe LTB allows application mix as well on the walls as on the ceiling, but it
depends on individual assessment of service "is though on the edge." It may therefore appear
problems, such as using a different type of nozzle, or if it was sprayed by less experienced
crew. Therefore, the basic formula was added by some improvers, which are expected to have
an effect of improving the application and adhesion, but also to increase the density and
strength of the applied layer. Composition of the test compounds are shown in the following
Chart no. 4.

Chart no. 4. Composition of low-cement gunning mixtures LTB


Mixture LTB LTB-3 LTB-5 LTB-6 LTB-8
Burned kaolin 0-6mm share 60 60 60 60 60
Melt fireclay pod 0,1 mm share 15 15 15 15 15
Reactive micronized oxides share 15 15 15 15 15
Alumina cement 70 % Al2O3 share 5 5 5 5 5
Comprehensive adhesive ingredient share 4 4 4 4 4
Comprehensive fluidizer share 1 1 1 1 1
Inorganic adhesive ingredient share 1 1 1
Organic adhesive ingredient share 0,2 0,2
Fluidizer share 0,1
Industrial preparative for LCC spray cover share 1

The results obtained from this series of spraying gives the following chart no 5. It is
necessary to note that there were far more of the verified ingredients and combinations than
indicated in the chart. Some of them have had no significant effect, while others have
improved adhesion, but also deteriorated compaction as in an example of the formula LTB-8.
There are also values obtained at the basic mixture LTB by vibrating to see a better
comparison.
Looking at the data in the chart, it is clear that gunning method of deflocculated low-
cement castables completely has not reached values as vibrated samples. Gunning materials
(e.g. LTB-3 LTB-5 LTB-6), however, can provide the values that correspond to a high quality
castables. This is concerning to both density and also mechanical strength of castables. With
regard to any application exposed to any abrasion, there has been set an abrasion resistance at
most of the tested mixtures (according to EN 993-20). Specimen for this test was pre-heated
to 800 ° C.

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Chart no. 5 Comparison of specimen made by gunning of low-cement mixtures
LTB with various ingredients
Temperature LTB- LTB- LTB-3 LTB-5 LTB- LTB- LTB-V
of heating TA TB 6 8
Gunning nozzles Type A Type B Type B Type B Type Type vibrations
B B
Diverting water l/100 6,0
kg
Assessment of the average average Very Very Very Very
layer application good good good good
Bulk density 110 kg.m-3 2050 2150 2160 2160 2160 2070 2230
400 kg.m-3 2010 2110 2090 2110 2100 2030 2180
800 kg.m-3 2020 2120 2100 2100 2100 2030 2190
1200 kg.m-3 1980 2130 2120 2130 2130 2050 2180
1400 kg.m-3 2020 2130 2120 2140 2160 2060 2250
1450 kg.m-3 2070 2160 2150 2140 2140 2080 2250
Cold crushing 110 Mpa 48,1 76,6 68,5 44,6 54,9 32,8 82,4
strength
400 Mpa 53,1 72,6 60,8 72,2 75,1 39,4 118,0
800 Mpa 42,6 84,9 64,8 72,8 83,9 42,7 127,5
1200 Mpa 30,2 72,3 72,2 80,4 73,8 48,6 128,8
1400 Mpa 43,5 69,8 52,1 68,7 68,7 49,7 138,0
1450 Mpa 61,4 103,7 82,2 72,3 57,0 42,0 143,5
Apparent porosity 400 % 22,6 19,1 20,5 17,7 17,8 21,2 12,3
800 % 21,4 18,5 18,3 19,6 19,3 21,0 12,2
1200 % 20,9 16,9 17,9 18,6 18,3 20,2 13,7
1400 % 21,1 18,2 17,5 18,2 18,2 20,0 13,6
1450 % 20,6 17,6 17,8 18,8 18,3 20,4 12,1
Permanent linear 400 ˇ% -0,18 -0,17 +0,02 -0,22 -0,27 -0,26 -0,08
changes
800 % -0,42 -0,31 -0,31 -0,36 -0,27 -0,37 -0,40
1200 % -0,39 -0,44 -0,52 -0,75 -0,78 -0,43 -0,31
1400 % -0,74 -0,78 -0,71 -0,75 -0,88 -0,58 -0,67
1450 % -0,89 -0,87 -0,92 -0,84 -0,96 -0,86 -1,04
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Abrasion resistance 800 cm 14,4 12,5 11,1 9,7 19,4 8,6

4. MANUFACTURED LCC GUNNING CASTABLES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS


Recently, there have been lots of demands for gunning lining from low-cement
castables, but in a quality approaching to the vibrated linings, therefore we have established
the tests described here, focusing on the preparation of industrially applicable mixtures. The
interest has come mainly from operators of cement kilns. This is concerning to problematic
points in lining exchangers, calcining plants, a variety of flue gas ducts etc. Within the current
"boom" in the use of alternative fuels there have appeared conditions in this field when
conventional gunning castables are already totally inadequate. Shortening of the winter
repairs again does not allow managing all linings by pouring of deflocculated castables into
the formwork. There has been therefore a demand for a comparable quality of gunning
castables. Another area of interest for these materials are various power equipment, boilers
and furnaces, whether there is concerning to a spray of membranes or of parts of aggregates
exposed to abrasion and all other heating equipment.

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We can see in subsequent chapters again the parameters of particular castables set out on
specimen made by gunning. There are always to compare the values of the mixtures of
vibrated bodies, and moreover the values of the material list of castable, which is designed
specifically for the application of vibrating.

4.1. Alkali-resistive LCC fireclay type castable


Chart no. 6 Comparing the values of the various made bodies of gunning alkali-resistive
fireclay type castable
Heating NT-0 NT-0 NT-0 NT-0 NT-O DC LC
temperature B M R Č -RA
vibration
Gunning nozzle beige blue red black vibration vibration vibration
Diverting water l/100 6,3 9-10,5 6,0
kg
Assessment of the soft Very Very Less
layer application tough tough tough
Assessment of Very Very Very Very Mat. Mat.-list
covered layer good good good good list
adhesion
Bulk density 110 kg.m-3 2120 2220 2160 2170 2250 2150 2280
400 kg.m-3 2030 2140 2050 2130 2210
800 kg.m-3 2100 2140 2120 2130 2190 2020 2260
1000 kg.m-3 2090 2160 2140 2080 2190
1200 kg.m-3 2100 2170 2080 2130 2220
1400 kg.m-3 2080 2180 2130 2120 2210
1450 kg.m-3 2090 2160 2050 2140 2230 2060 2290
1500 kg.m-3 2080 2130 2140 2160 2170
Cold crushing 110 Mpa 48,1 67,0 49,1 49,7 71,6 65 80
strength
400 Mpa 40,6 87,0 46,5 93,5 155,1
800 Mpa 50,2 85,0 75,1 106,1 120,8 45 90
1000 Mpa 26,5 ? 90,4 80,2 78,2 89,8
1200 Mpa 49,0 75,9 53,7 66,9 99,6
1400 Mpa 75,1 72,4 35,5 ? 64,3 74,5
1450 Mpa 84,1 76,3 41,4 48,6 82,9 40 100
1500 Mpa 67,3 59,6 78,4 83,9 63,9
Apparent porosity 800 % 21,0 18,3 19,3 16,3 16,3 22 13
1000 % 20,2 17,7 18,6 18,0 16,1
1200 % 20,1 18,1 20,3 18,1 15,5
1400 % 17,7 16,2 17,2 15,7 14,6
1450 % 17,4 15,9 18,9 16,0 15,2 18 11
1500 % 15,6 16,1 16,3 15,5 13,7
Permanent linear 800 % -0,4 -0,27 -0,40 -0,30 -0,29 -0,1 -0,2
changes
1000 % -0,53 -0,39 -0,41 -0,75 -0,53
1200 % -0,26 -0,51 -0,53 -0,59 -0,61
1400 % -0,09 -0,58 -0,41 -0,21 -0,50
1450 % -0,58 -0,08 -0,04 -0,83 -0,60 -1,0 -1,1
1500 % -0,01 -0,34 -0,25 -0,69 -0,31

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Chart no. 6 is a castable which in its composition, particularly with the matrix, ensures a
very good resistance to alkali bursting.

4.2. Alkali- resistive LCC fireclay type castable with shares of SiC and zircon
Castable is designed mainly to heat exchange systems of cement kilns. In the following
chart no. 7 are compared catalogue values of gunning LCC castable, the values of the sprayed
body and the body made of vibration. There are again catalogue values of a made castable
presented in the last column, the one produced within the similar composition intended for
building by vibration.

Chart no. 7 Comparing the values of the various made bodies of gunning alkali-resistive
fireclay type castable
Castable Catalogue Vibrated Gunning LCC
values specimen specimen SiC-ZR-RA
Mixture NT-Z-3 NT-Z-3 NT-Z-3 Material
list
Diverting water l/100kg By nozzle 6,2 By nozzle 5,4-6
Bulk density 110°C kgm-3 2310 2440 2360 2380
800°C kgm-3 2280 2370 2280 2370
1000°C kgm-3 2270
ox1450°C kgm-3 2320 2400 2330 2350
re1450°C kgm-3 2410 2290
Cold crushing 110°C MPa 55 100,4 52,4 80
strength
800°C MPa 55 66,1 60,8 80
1000°C MPa 64,6
ox1450°C  MPa  50 76,7 56,4 90
re 1450°C  MPa 35,5 58,0
Apparent porosity 800°C % 16 18,1 20,2 15
1000°C % 20,3
ox1450°C  %  16 15,1 16,2 15
re 1450°C  %  15,6 16,4
Permanent linear 800°C % -0,2 -0,28 -0,31 -0,2
changes
1000°C % ¤ -0,70
ox1450°C % -0,5 -0,40 -0,43 -0,4
re1450°C % -0,41 -0,36
ox…firing in common atmosphere re…firing in argon atmosphere

4.3. Technical conditions for gunning and evaluation


When making bodies by gunning were often tested various end-nozzles, which
differed mainly in structural modifications of water dispersion in the nozzle. During all the
realizations of the bodies examined in this paper was used spraying carried into metal moulds
with a minimum of 15 cm dimensions and surface of minimum 60x 60 cm, rather larger. The
test specimens were then made of the following panels, to the cutting off (removal) of the
edges and upper plates. The aim was to eliminate an imperfect compaction, particularly in the
edges of moulds. However, as the resulting values show, sometimes it can come to the
illogical value.
A very important factor influencing the final properties of gunning castable lining is
its own technical equipment and quality service. As an important condition for quality
gunning stands out above all the provision of high pressure air and water. Furthermore, the

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density of lining is significantly affected by the used nozzle, particularly its structural system
of perfect water distraction through the dry mixture.

The issue of the operating personnel consists in the fact that the gunning workers have
still been accustomed to work with conventional castables. In there, the high cement content
creates a protective layer that allows quite a wide range of possible variation of the mixing
water amount. Furthermore, aluminous cement itself contributes significantly to the high
adhesion of wet concrete mixture to the basis and it prevents sagging of sprayed layer.

5. ASSESSMENT AND CONCLUSION


The aim of the article was to verify the real possibility of gunning of deflocculated
castables with a reduced proportion of cement. First, we would like to see it in the view of its
technological realization but also with regard to the achievement of satisfactory physical and
mechanical parameters. After the implementation and evaluation of the above tests, we can
claim:
a) We can prepare a mixture of deflocculated castables of low-cement content that can be
applied by dry gunning without problems. It means to realize it with good adhesion of sprayed
layer of castable mixture, small amount of waste and the possibility of creating greater
structural thickness of the lining of 150 mm and above.
b) Sprayed lining has very good physic-mechanical parameters, while at higher temperatures
certainly outweighs the high quality standard castables.
It is concerning either the mechanical strength or significant differences in porosity.
Moreover, due to its lower porosity and, above all, other matrix composition is substantially
reflected in increased corrosion resistance.
c) The realized work is a good starting point for the continuation of the development of a
number of deflocculated gunning mixtures with a focus on specific applications.
Mentioned castables can replace many existing applications with conventional dense gunning
castables and thus significantly extend the lifetime of the linings.
d) Furthermore, they can be used to extend the application of the aggregates, where
conventional dense castables could not be used due to their properties at all.