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  #21  
Old 03-19-2010, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

The SK32 Mortar I'm dealing with seems to be Grog/fireclay Mortar. It is a heatset mortar similar to Frances and it seems Dvonk has used it in his build as well.

Here is the chemical composition: 40% minimum alumina (Al2O3), 30% minimum silica (SiO2), 4% maximum Iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3), and 2% maximum of calcium oxide (CaO) and magnesium oxide (MgO) combined.

To the point, I can't use it (on its own) since it is "sensitive" to water. Frances and some internet "literature" that I've read attest to this. I live in a tropical country and the oven is outdoors. Would there be any "side-effects" if I incorporated this to the homebrew recipe in place of the fireclay?
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  #22  
Old 03-19-2010, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

Most of the commercial mortars use calcium aluminate cement which uses a different chemical reaction. You should not mix lime or cement with it because this will interfere with the reaction. I discovered this once when trying lime added to a calcium aluminate cement. It accelerated the reaction making the brew set even faster. The aggregate in these commercial mortars is not sand but crushed and fired fireclay.
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  #23  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

Quote:
Originally Posted by david s View Post
The aggregate in these commercial mortars is not sand but crushed and fired fireclay.
Hi David,

The aggregate is crushed what? You didn't finish that part. I don't think the mortar I have has calcium aluminate. SK32 mortar never sets because I think its a heat-setting mortar like Frances and Dvonks. I will need to fire the oven to make it set and according to Frances and Dvonk, water will erode the joints if it gets into the igloo so they have waterproofed their ovens. I can't have that so I really have to use some sort of cementitious mortar to widthstand the tropical storms and typhoons here.
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  #24  
Old 03-20-2010, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

Raffy, I am not familiar with that brand product, but on the basis of what they told you and how it is acting, I think it is safe to assume that is a natural refractory clay that has been processed (cleaning, drying, milling) and bagged. A locally produced one is available here in Austin. It is fine for indoor, thin joint projects.

For an indoor fireplace, the fireclay is slaked similar to lime. It is used at the consistency of runny pancake batter. It is for very thin full bed joints only. It does not really "set"; it will only dry out, and is more of a chinking material than a mortar. It should not be used alone for the type of joints used in making a dome.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

Thanks, Tscarborough. Your description definitely matches the material I have. It would have been disastrous if I followed the advice of the supplier. Imagine, the dome and arch would have collapsed once water seeped in. Chilling...

Anyway, since it is some sort of refractory clay I have incorporated it in the homebrew mortar recipe and it is performing now (it seems) as it should. I was still a little bit wary but your reply has eased my mind.

My advice to beginner WFO builders, if you want peace of mind, go with the FB Mortar. Although if budget is an issue, the homebrew is a great cost effective alternative. If it were up to me and money and shipping charges would not be an issue, I would have LOVED to buy the FB Mortar. Even local refractory cement here is quite expensive. It comes to about USD 135.00 for a 20 kilo bag. Ouch!

Thanks a lot to everyone for their help and I just realized, I kinda deviated from this thread's original topic. Apologies to the author.
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Last edited by Raffy; 03-20-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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  #26  
Old 03-20-2010, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

And as a supplier, it is a problem I run up against pretty often. Unless I know exactly what you are doing (and I usually do not have time nor inclination to find out), I can only assume that you know what you are doing, and that you understand the nomenclature and are asking for exactly what you want. If you ask me for "mortar", you will get pre-mixed mortar, just add water. If you ask me for "fire clay", that is exactly what you will get. I carry about 10 different types of "cement", so if you ask for that, you will simply get a questioning look.
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  #27  
Old 03-20-2010, 10:23 PM
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Smile Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
And as a supplier, it is a problem I run up against pretty often. Unless I know exactly what you are doing (and I usually do not have time nor inclination to find out), I can only assume that you know what you are doing, and that you understand the nomenclature and are asking for exactly what you want. If you ask me for "mortar", you will get pre-mixed mortar, just add water. If you ask me for "fire clay", that is exactly what you will get. I carry about 10 different types of "cement", so if you ask for that, you will simply get a questioning look.
I absolutely agree with you. I know the supplier meant well by trying to advise me but it was the different terminologies and the orthodox application methods (that they are used to) that created this whole mess.

I did in fact just asked for fireclay but it was the different labels/terminologies that caused the confusion.

I have to thank you again for easing my mind. Cheers!
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Last edited by Raffy; 03-20-2010 at 10:27 PM.
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  #28  
Old 03-21-2010, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

Here in Australia fireclay is sometimes used as an additive in mortars. The stuff supplied by companies who service the building industry offer this stuff labelled as fireclay when in fact it is not a true refractory. If you need a refractory (fireproof) fireclay then get it from a refractory supplier. I'm told they are now relabelling the non refractory fireclay and calling it bricklayers clay.
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  #29  
Old 03-22-2010, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

I asked them about the alumina and silica content and it is the same as the firebrick that I purchased from them. The "model number" SK32 is apparently an indication of its max temp capacity. I guess I'll know for sure after the "trial by curing fire." hehehehe
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  #30  
Old 03-26-2010, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Fire clay Mortar Vs Refractor Mortar FB.... HeatStop... Earthcore

I used regular mortar, right off the shelf, and mixed in 20% fireclay. It was easy to work with, dried very hard, and is holding up well. I've had several firings where the oven got much hotter than I like, over 1000F, and no flaking, cracks, or any issues whatsoever have arisen with the mortar.

Not as cheap as mix-your-own but not expensive either, extremely simple and easy to work with. It was the best choice for me.

Scott
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