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Refractory Mortar Question - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Refractory Mortar Question

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  • Refractory Mortar Question

    Im using a refractory Plastic Fireclay Premixed Mortar for Firebrick Called DEMON Mortar Mix made by Plibrico Purchased in a Pail. This stuff seems to take quite a while to set up and then if exposed to moisture the next few days it seems to take up moisture again and become more pliable Does this stuff require higher than normal summer air temps to fully cure? Anyone familiar with this stuff It was purchased from Alsips in Winnipeg the largest brick and refractory place around Quite expensive about $40.00 a pail . Hope its the right Stuff!!!

  • #2
    The DEMON appears to be an "Air Set" mortar. Here is a link to a different refractory air-set mortar that has a little more info on the page This company does not reccomend Air set for outside installations...I ended up buying http://www.alsey.com/non_water_soluble_mortar.htm
    and when I ran out, I bought Heat Stop 50 Dry Mix. These were not cheap either...

    Probably want to keep it dry as you can, and then once it is enclosed it would stay dry?
    Drake
    My Oven Thread:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

    Comment


    • #3
      I have heard from builders that some of the wet pre-mixed mortars (in a tub) don't like exposure to moisture, and that you have to be careful in outdoor use. I think you have to be patient and make sure your enclosure is waterproof.

      Not to belabor the point, but Refrax from Forno Bravo is made for pizza oven installation. That's its sole goal in life (along with fireplaces). It is a dry premix, works fine outdoors, has a setting agent, and is less expensive than the wet pre-mixed you find in various masonry supply stores. Some refractory mortars take 48-72 hours to cure, but Refrax is 70% set in 70 minutes.

      You still have to pay for shipping from California, but it's something to think about.
      James
      Last edited by james; 06-18-2006, 11:25 PM.
      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces

      Comment


      • #4
        In a nutshell “air set” mortars are for thin bed high temperature installations. In other words you use a thin bed of mortar between each brick, we use it in the furnaces under the large bread ovens we build as the furnace runs at a very high temperature when firing. If you use thick beds of mortar shrinkage takes place during drying.

        Don’t be mislead by the name “Air set”, the mortar only sets when heat is applied, i.e. during firing. Personally I wouldn’t use it for oven construction, its to expensive and wont hold the bricks well until fired.

        Use James’s Refrax or a mortar made with lime and fireclay.

        Alf
        http://www.fornobravo.co.uk/index.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Refractory

          Or you could use a brick mortar made from LaFarge Fondue, brick sand and water. Fondue is readily available in Canada, but it's not cheap and not easy to work with. It sets quite quickly but takes a week to cure and you must be very careful with small fires at first to make sure it's absolutely dry.

          Jim
          "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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          • #6
            We use LaFarge Fondue or any high alumina cement for casting furnace caps, oven side springer bricks etc for our large bread ovens. I have also used it to repair oven arches and have built complete oven arches with it. When we are doing a quick Forno Bravo oven installation we use high alumina cement for the island hearth and vermiculite insulation to get things going.

            There are two drawbacks with refractory cement mortar, that is, it sets up very fast so trying to build a small oven from brick is difficult as you usually have a lot of cutting and experimenting to do with the bricks. The second problem is that the mortar can really stain the bricks during building so your lovely brick dome is stained black and no amount of firing will clean it off.

            Alf
            http://www.fornobravo.co.uk/index.html

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            • #7
              I am building a oven now and am having trouble finding fire clay to make the morter. I an in north east Texas. Any ideas?

              Comment


              • #8
                I wish you could skip that part, but the fireclay is the part that is heat resistent in your mortar -- so you need it. I am guessing you have called every brick yard and stone supplier in a 60 mile radius.

                If worse comes to worse, we can always send you bags of Refrax via UPS Ground.

                James
                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces

                Comment


                • #9
                  You are correct. 200 miles. I have bought two pails of the air set however when I returned, the men laying the bricks thinned it with morter and vermiculite!! I suspect it will have to be rebuilt. If I can figure out how, I will include a picture.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Refractory Mortar Question

                    I was unable to get up to Forno Bravo to pick up som Refmix so I got impatient last weekend & set the first couse down using the formula for high temp mortar. 3 sand 1 fire clay, 1 al silicate, 1 lime. It has been 5 days & its still quite soft. I can scratch out the motar with my fingernail.

                    Will it set up or should I rip it out? I can think of a few possibilities of what may be wrong

                    1 The fire clay says clay mortar on the bag. The brick company assured me it was the same thing.
                    2 The aluminum silicate was full of small lumps approx 20% by volume, I sifted them out before dry mixing
                    3 I mixed it a little wet because it goes off so fast. It was very difficult to work after about 10 or 15 minutes.
                    4 I wet sanded the floor within an hour or so of laying the first course, perhaps it got too wet.

                    Any insight on the proporerties of this mortar could save me a couple hours of grief this weekend.

                    Any takers?

                    Thanks

                    Balty
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Refractory Mortar Question

                      Picked up my Refmix, hard to justfy the cost until you start using it. This stuff is awsome, Spreads like cream cheese, stays open right to the end & sets like a rock. Suggest mixing in small batches unless you know what you're doing. This rookie was able to handle 1/2 bag at a time, approx 12 halfbricks. My only other frame of reference is the high heat formula in the plans, which is very difficult to use, I ripped this out & replaced it with Refmix.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Refractory Mortar Question

                        Balty,

                        Your floor and first course look great. Now on to the mortar; we want them to stay there for a long time. Can you give us more details on the al silicate that you used?

                        Every mortar has to have a setting agent, which is the product that forms a chemical reaction with the aggregate and water to set the final product. You can use Portland cement or Calcium Aluminate (sometimes called the trade name lumite). Without one of these, your mortar won't set.

                        Is it possible that your cal silicate was not Calcium Aluminate?
                        James
                        Pizza Ovens
                        Outdoor Fireplaces

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Refractory Mortar Question

                          Wow. Talk about two ships passing in the night. I think the two previous postings were made at just about the same time.

                          Glad the Refmix works!
                          James
                          Pizza Ovens
                          Outdoor Fireplaces

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Refractory Mortar Question

                            Not sure.. I haven't used al silicate. I use the same formula, but with portland cement in place of the alumina.. Works a treat. I add a little more fireclay to the mix than is prescribed, as it makes the mortar stickier and easier to work with.. Still has nothing on refmix for strength though.. I have some refmix which i have set aside for casting my vent.. Is the name refmix set? How do people feel about it. Any suggestions? Hows about, Fuegofrax, of flament, or refractoment, or cemax, refracto, or... FORNOFRAX?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Refractory Mortar Question

                              I already ripped the 1st layer out & replaced it with Refmix but just as a reference for others. It was still wet after a week, I let a chunk dry overnight & I was able to pulverize it between my fingers the next day.

                              Attached is a picture of the bag. Aluminum Silicate, or Luminite. Notice the rocks in the scoop beside the bag. These were sifted out of 1/2 a scoop. Is this normal or could it have gone off in the brickyard. (Old Inventory maybe)

                              My formula was 3 dry #2 sand, 1 Calcium Aluminate (I sifted the rocks out), 1 Fire Clay (I think, see pic of bag), 1 Lime. It was measured accurately & dry mixed first.

                              I think the problem was that I wet sanded the floor using too much water before the mortar had cured.
                              Attached Files

                              Comment

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