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Using Refractory Castable for Pompeii Floor - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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Using Refractory Castable for Pompeii Floor

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  • Using Refractory Castable for Pompeii Floor

    I am in the process of making my own Pompeii Oven and was considering rather than using bricks for the oven floor, using insulating refractory castable material to mold the floor [such as Pacocast or Harbison-Walker] which comes in 55# bags. That way there would be no seams on the oven floor. I was wondering if this would affect oven performance in this situation.

    Any thoughts by the experts?

  • #2
    Re: Using Refractory Castable for Pompeii Floor

    This is an old thread, but it's more than likely occurred to others and might be useful, even if too late for the OP. You can cast a floor, but it seems to me that there would be two key criteria. One you'd want to find a castable refractory that has very similar thermal properties to firebrick. And you'd want to kiln fire it, so that it is durable and less likely to spall, crack and otherwise cause you grief.

    I don't know that many people have access to a kiln. I think that you could expect the floor to crack if not kiln cured, especially for a one piece cast. I'd try doing it in four pieces.

    It'd be really interesting to hear from the OP or anyone else who has actually tried this and how it turned out.



    • #3
      Re: Using Refractory Castable for Pompeii Floor

      A one piece castable floor is more prone to cracking because of the uneven heating. Likewise with a one piece cast dome which is going to get a lot hotter at the top first. To avoid thermal shock you should fire slowly (100 C /Hr rise), but who is going to bother firing that slowly ?
      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


      • #4
        Re: Using Refractory Castable for Pompeii Floor

        If you want to use a castable for your floor do not use an insulating one use a dense castable which is stronger and denser because you want the floor to soak up and store the heat. An insulating material won't do this.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.