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PeterW 04-30-2008 06:25 AM

UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
Just a quick update for the UK builders.

I've spent the past few days chasing an ever decreasing amount of fireclay available in the UK.

Clayman Supplies have none (I have it all... ) and will no longer be stocking it as their supplier can't get it.

Potclays had one 25kg bag, but weren't sure when they were getting any more.

Travis Perkins (East Mids area) said it was on backorder with their supplier, and didn't have a delivery date.

Hepworth Refractories still list it, but someone is going to need to buy a one tonne load...!

Martin (a_man_needs_a_project) did really well with the bricks, and I know there are a couple of suppliers that we can get new bricks through (YRSL and Sheffield Refractories). What we could do with is a list of UK suppliers of stuff. I'm going to try Encon for the insulation blanket, and probably buy a roll and sell on oven sized bits.

Anyone fancy tackling some of the other components..?



rafv 05-01-2008 11:40 AM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
I was talking to a very nice man from Special Plasters and their ceramic blanket is the cheapest I have found so far. He had never heard of fireclay though and went on to name loads of other stuff I could use but I had no idea what he was talking about. He said that he had some crushed firebrick lefteover from a job. In the end all he had was about 10kg of it, but he said I could have it for the cost of delivery. It will be here tomorrow.

PeterW 05-02-2008 04:47 AM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
What you will find is he is talking about Aerlcrete and Molochite, which can be used in refractory situations.

One of the key issues that you face with a pompeii oven, is the curve requires the adhesive to create a fillet, and these products are very poor in sheer, or repeated cycling of temperature. Consequently, most of the refractory cements (think KOS brand in the UK) are not suitable.

Who else have you spoken to about ceramic blanket..? Kitsons hold a large stock - I'm looking at pricing on the 50mmx64kg Cerawool products at the moment.

One thinG I have noticed is the high temp capability of this stuff, and do question whether you need it - most of the standard rockwool products will go to 500C, which is in excess of the temps expected outside the dome. I know you can 'harden' ceramic products, but to be honest, I'm not sure on the value vs the extra cost and finding suppliers. Happy to have it explained to me !



georgec7 05-02-2008 08:15 AM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
Hi Peter,
Hi, I'm about to start the dome , and would really appreciate some advice on the mortar to use. I've had no luck with fire clay. I have an 8 inch hearth - 4inch concrete and 4 inch vermiculite and concrete. I've laid the oven base using fire bricks secured using XL fire cement - this is a pre-mixed cement available in 2kg tubs - a few have gone under the bricks!
I was recommended to use 'Ciment Fondu' for the dome as it copes with high temperatures rather than fire clay. I have phoned around 25 building suppliers, fire stove shops and art material shops(it's used in sculpture) in the last couple of days - but no luck. So I'm planning on using Portland cement, sand lime and I've also picked up granite dust aggregate - I'd really appreciate any advice on ratios - especially the granite dust - will it make any difference to the heat retaining/coping properties? - Cement fondu is made by Portland cement - i think I have the contact numbers if you're interested - I found that because I only wanted 100kg I couldn't get anyone to order it for me. Thanks

PeterW 05-02-2008 01:34 PM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
Hi George

How's things...? Nice to see you've got things on the go - when did you start...?

On the Ciment Fondu thing, I'm a bit surprised you need 100kg ! That would indicate needing around 400kg of Sand, which would be a lot of mortar ! The page hereCiment Fondu® gives you and idea of the mix.

Interestingly, ciment fondu is banned for building use in some countries - it becomes porous over a period of time and weakens. Not sure if I'd want to trust my dome to that !

There have been a few queries about what to put in instead of the fireclay - a standard mortar mix may work, but as I've still got the dome to do, I'm probably not the one to say !

Need to catch up for a beer sometime



georgec7 05-03-2008 02:51 AM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
Hi Peter,

Just as well I didn't get the ciment fondue then - I was going to use it on the outer shell as well - hence 100kg - the technical data did boast that it was laid on a foundry floor and was still going strong after 25 years. So today's the day - I'm about to start the dome -I'll post some pictures later!

Cheers George

A_man_needs_a_project 05-08-2008 02:36 PM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
My project finally gets going this weekend. I was in Bristol today and thought that I could pop into Purimachos to get some fireclay. They no longer stock it. They said it was a bit 'old fashioned' and I would be better off using refractory castables and sieving out the aggregate. I suggested that i may finish up with 20% of the volume when aggregates have been removed, and finish up spending £150. They suggested that fire cements could be no good for larger gaps.

Does anyone have any other leads/ideas?


Carl 05-08-2008 03:09 PM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
Now I'm feeling guilty that I might have used up the last 75kg fireclay in england when I built my dome :eek:

Can I recommend a good book: "Contemporary Ceramic Formulas" - John Conrad (published 1980 - so not that contemporary any more...). I used this for guidance when I made my dome mix and my insulation mix. It has an entire chapter on making refractory materials using clays - clearly from the days when it was the norm to build your own kiln.

This book has a range of recipes for firebrick, insulation brick, castable refractories, crucibles, kiln shelves and posts and 'kiln repair paste'. The bad news is that the majority of the recipes use fireclay :mad: but there are some that don't. The non-fireclay recipes use ball clay (R101), ball clay and sodium silicate (R106), kaolin & ball clay (R109, R121), mullite (R114), mullite & ball clay (R116, R118, R119), kaolin & talc & spodumene (R127) or ball & china clay (R130).

Ths might give you an idea what you could substitute for the fireclay?

Tom Jaine recommends using a portland:lime:sand mortar for the oven bricks (1:1:6), but then he also recommends using engineering brick rather than firebrick.


SimonWoodfield 05-12-2008 01:23 AM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
Yorkshire refractory products YRPL Homepage Supplied fireclay and firebricks to me. Bricks at £1.05 each and clay at 0.38 per kilo. Sadly they charge about £50 to deliver, I guess if there were a group of people located fairly close, a big order might be cost effective. I have just finished my dome and used most of 1 bag.


Wlodek 05-12-2008 11:42 AM

Re: UK Suppliers for Fireclay (again...)
I have ordered (and received) pretty much all the insulation materials and castable refractory from Scarva Pottery Supplies.
They delivered quickly and painlessly. Their prices were OK and I made the decision to buy from them because I got everything from one place - a single delivery charge. Deliveries of these relatively inexpensive materials can tot-up to a lot, so getting all from one place was useful.

As for the castable refractory - it was recommended to me by the man from Purimachos -another UK supplier - as suitable as both mortar and for sealing the joints.

Best wishes,

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