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castable refractory - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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castable refractory

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  • castable refractory

    Hi All,
    As with everybody else here, I seem to have spent ages reading about brocks and designs. I am utterly in love with the dmun's geodesic dome and edschmidt
    castable triangles.

    After much model, lots of paper cubes lying around, I am thinking of heading down the castable route. But, what castable should I use.I have searched for castable refractory and am presented with a variety of types. I am assuming I won't be wanting insulating stuff but which ones do I go for?

    darleyrefractories dot com au (I can't post links) has 4 which are insulating and 3 high temp ones. Any advice anyone?

    I plan to build a 90cm (36 inch) ,or there abouts, dome in the next 6 months.

    Thanks
    Steve

  • #2
    Re: castable refractory

    The nice thing about using industrial materials is that the manufacturers have process engineers on staff who's job is to answer questions just like this. These guy's jobs are pretty routine, and they often enjoy getting a question out of the ordinary. You should call Darley Refractories and say you have a technical question about a product. Explain the project, the thickness, the temperatures, the exposure to direct flame, and ask for a recommendation. Then come back and tell us what you learned.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: castable refractory

      Hi Steve
      I am just at the last stages of completing a cast oven. I used Darley Densecrete 145 for casting the dome and it worked a treat. I also used their refractory tiles for the base which are 305 x 305. This determined the size of the oven floor at 915mm.
      Happy to post more pics of the construction if you need.
      Cheers
      Willy

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: castable refractory

        Sue from darley gave me this info.
        To cast a dome, use the DC145.
        Approx 8-10 bags will cast you a 1 metre diameter dome at 75mm thick

        Now all I have to do get a dead tree removed from my garden.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: castable refractory

          Hi Steve, myself and a group of friends are about to embark on building four domes. Our plan is to build 100cm diameter domes but it has been suggested that we do it in four sections. This will make the dome easier to move and less chance of cracking. It has also been recommended that we use either stainless steel needles or chicken wire for re-inforcement. There are a number of suppliers and all sell roughly the same products.
          It looks like we'll each spend about $350 for the castable.

          Good luck with your project - if you have any other tips send them my way.

          Wild Willy, some more pics would be super - did you use Cal-Sil board for the floor insulation ? Nice looking oven.

          Regards
          Mr G

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: castable refractory

            Mr G

            Cheers for the info.

            I have memories of watching a Grand Designs episode, they were build a BECO house and used some kind of staple in the concrete mix as reinforcement rather than steel rebars.

            Have you seen edschmidt's oven?
            I did see another similar one on here but, can't find it again.

            I will track your builds with interest.
            Good luck.

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: castable refractory

              It has also been recommended that we use either stainless steel needles or chicken wire for re-inforcement.
              I'd vote no on the chicken wire. Castable refractory is ruinously expensive, very tricky to work with, and requires careful attention to curing and drying. Using a reinforcing material that will rust, swell, and cause cracks seems a false economy. Also, be careful with the stainless steel needles: They are called needles for a reason.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: castable refractory

                Originally posted by mr g View Post
                Hi Steve, myself and a group of friends are about to embark on building four domes. Our plan is to build 100cm diameter domes but it has been suggested that we do it in four sections. This will make the dome easier to move and less chance of cracking. It has also been recommended that we use either stainless steel needles or chicken wire for re-inforcement. There are a number of suppliers and all sell roughly the same products.
                It looks like we'll each spend about $350 for the castable.

                Good luck with your project - if you have any other tips send them my way.

                Wild Willy, some more pics would be super - did you use Cal-Sil board for the floor insulation ? Nice looking oven.

                Regards
                Mr G
                Definitely dont need any additional reinforcement for the castable. It sets rock hard and provided it is of sufficient thickness it is very strong. I insulated my dome with 2 layers of ceramic blanket, then chicken wire then a layer of Perlite cement render. I will finish with a waterproof cement render.

                Just got to the curing stage on mine and been firing over the last 3 days. Got the oven quite hot yesterday after a moderate fire all day. The top of the dome was just perceptably warm. Temp at the front of the oven ranged from 150-200C, I guess the temp at the lining surface was a lot higher. Certainly far too hot to touch.

                Yes, I did use Cal-Sil board for the base insulation. This combined with 2 inch refractory tiles appears to be just adequate. I may add another layer of Cal-Sil as the suspended slab under the oven is getting quite warm. I would recommend at least 2 x 1 inch layers of Cal-Sil. Cooked some spuds last night. Oven is still very warm this morning with the door open all night.

                Mr G do you want to see any specific details of my construction? I will post more pics soon.
                Cheers
                Willy
                Last edited by wild_willy; 12-02-2008, 03:31 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: castable refractory

                  HI Willy, any pics would be good but particularly those showing how you set up the form for the dome. Did you make the dome in one piece or in sections?

                  Also, how thick is the perlite render?

                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: castable refractory

                    Hi Mr G

                    I only had one bag of Perlite (100 Litres Fine) so that had to do. I figure it made about a 2 inch cover over the Ceramic blanket. Going on my firing of the other day, it seems that the dome top insulation is quite OK.

                    When I made the sand mould I made it on black plastic to protect the base tiles. It also had a short skirt (mini) that hung down around the edge to prevent the castable from adhering to the tiles so that I could remove them at a later stage if needed.

                    Cast the refractory concrete in one piece. Took 10 x 25Kg bags and just over 2 hours to do.

                    Pic of sand mould



                    Ceramic blanket


                    Perlite render
                    Last edited by wild_willy; 12-03-2008, 11:58 PM. Reason: add pic

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                    • #11
                      Re: castable refractory

                      I am a concrete contractorand thought about doing a cast but I cant find calcium aluminite cement here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: castable refractory

                        Mikeye15,
                        Do a google search.
                        I tried "catable refractory california" which lead me to do a "Mizzou Castable Refractory" search, via a blacksmiths forum.

                        I suggest you do what I was advised to do and give them a call.

                        Alternatively contact some other forum members who have gone this route, edschmidt's oven was where I started. There were others too.

                        In the similar thread section, there is a similar quetsion to yours by FIO
                        from this try

                        http://www.anhrefractories.com/
                        http://www.pryorgiggey.com/distributors.htm

                        Hope this helps.
                        Good luck
                        Steve
                        Last edited by stevepreece; 12-14-2008, 08:56 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: castable refractory

                          Mikeye15, try LeFarge Refractories, they make a brew called Ciment Fondu, it is a calcium aluminate cement. We sell approx.10 different grades of refractory castables and about 6 various cements.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            sand mold

                            Willy,

                            Can you talk about your sand mold process? How did you do your sand mold, just wet sand? Did you trowel on the refractory? Any issues with the refractory cement oozing down the vertical sides while applying it? Or did you you use a outside mold somehow?

                            Have you cured and fired your dome yet, any cracks?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: castable refractory

                              Hi Willy,

                              Your design & approach is vertually identical to plans for my own oven

                              I am from Melbourne also, outer southeastern suburbs

                              After a couple of months research from various businesses & this terrific website ( driving my wife mad ), I intend to cast an oven shortly with refractory cement with stainless steel needles over a sand mould with a front brick arch containing the chimney vent & choke

                              Cast, blanket & insulation will measure @100-150ml thick when finished with an embossed design added also

                              Any further pics of your final product would be welcome & any advice from fellow casters out there will be very much appreciated

                              Cheers

                              Comment

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