Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community (
-   Getting Started (
-   -   Fire brick (

spt 10-30-2009 12:58 PM

Fire brick
Hi - I am having trouble sourcing fire bricks in New Zealand and the best I have come up with are from Placemakers but they are classed as a High Duty fire brick. It mentions in the FB plan these bricks should be avoided, but has anyone had any experience using these bricks - good or bad. The brick manufactures recommend its use in WFO's but I do not want to go to the trouble and expense of building an oven and find it not good to use. The plan mentions High duty bricks get too hot and burn breads etc, but could this be controlled by the size of fire and timing? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Regards Dave.

Neil2 10-30-2009 03:52 PM

Re: Fire brick
"bricks get too hot" ??

No such thing. You control the temperature of your bricks. For some reason fire brick seems to be difficult to obtain down under. Maybe it is a problem with terminology.

Maybe some of our Aussie posters can help ?

james 10-30-2009 04:25 PM

Re: Fire brick
Hi guys,
Sorry this has become so complicated down under. I've been thinking about firebricks, industrial development and economic history, and it's pretty interesting. In the US, our refractory industry supported the steel industry and they have both shrunk in unison to where they are only a fraction of what they once were. It's getting harder to find good quality, cost-effective refractories in the US. Plus, with fewer true brick fireplaces being built, there is even less demand.

Back to what Neill said earlier, Australian and New Zealand sort of missed the heavy industrial revolution, and never had a refractory industry.


It makes sense that if firebricks are crazy expensive, that you would use red clay bricks.

Anyway, here is a table for Low, Medium and High Duty firebricks from our producer (they also makes Super Duty, but we won't talk about that).

I think that a High Duty firebrick would make a pretty weird pizza oven. It would want to shoot up to over 1000F and as long as the fire was hot, it would just stay there. When the heat was gone, it would probably cool down too fast. Those bricks are made for metal furnaces -- not food. But that is a "High Duty" brick by the definition below. It is very possible that some manufacturers will call our Medium Duty firebrick -- High Duty.

Ask about alumina, density and service temperature.

Firebrick comparison

Low Med High
Alumina (%) 30 38 50
Density (lb/cu. ft.) 127 135 150
Service Temperature (F) 2372 2462 2642

I hope this helps!

james 10-30-2009 04:28 PM

Re: Fire brick
1 Attachment(s)
Here is it as a PDF.

james 10-30-2009 04:37 PM

Re: Fire brick
The more I think about it, we should have published this table on and in the Pompeii Oven eBook a long time about. It will help builders talk more articulately with suppliers.

LOL -- I could even rename the firebricks in the Pompeii Kit as High Duty (good for marketing). :-)


spt 10-31-2009 01:44 AM

Re: Fire brick in New Zealand
Hi James and all - I have got the spec sheets for the fire bricks today and I am happy :) they are a medium duty brick even though described as high duty brick. James thanks for the attachment fire brick comparison. The bricks I can source have 36% Alumina, density 132 lb/cu.ft. and temperature rating of 2498 degF which is very close to medium duty. For anyone in New Zealand they are manufactured by Shinagawa Refactories Australasia in Huntly and called the SHIRAL 35KTW dry pressed high duty fireclay brick. Unfortunately they cost $NZD6.14 each :eek: but are good quality. Thanks for the info once again. Regards Dave.

dmun 10-31-2009 05:59 AM

Re: Fire brick
Yikes! $4.41 usd per brick, for a differential to James' price of 3.21! Ocean shipping of pallet goods is not ruinously expensive, you've got to be close to saving money by having the FB kit shipped to you.

jlb922 03-23-2010 07:51 AM

Re: Fire brick
I am planning to build a backyard oven using the Pompeii Plans for a 42" oven.

So far I have been able to find two types of firebrick locally:

Low-duty - 28% Silica, $1.05 each = $210
Med-duty - 41% Silica, $2.72 each = $544

What would the difference be in how the oven would perform and be used? Does one type heat up faster or hold heat longer? I would like to make pizzas in the evening and bake bread and roast foods the next day.

Is it worth the extra $344 for the medium duty brick or would that money be better spent on additional insulation?


dmun 03-23-2010 09:34 AM

Re: Fire brick

Is it worth the extra $344 for the medium duty brick?
Absolutely not. Use the ordinary firebrick if you can get it.

would that money be better spent on additional insulation?
Unlike brick alumina content, insulation is critically important. Lack of proper insulation is the number one cause of oven dissatisfaction and disuse.

GianniFocaccia 03-23-2010 10:48 AM

Re: Fire brick
2 Attachment(s)
Not being familiar with alumina properties, can anyone decipher the attached Pacific Clay 'fireback' MSDS? I can only assume that what the mfr terms Aluminum Silicates is "alumina' but have no clue how the 'percentage by weight' converts to actual content. A number of FB folks in CA have built Pompeii ovens from these bricks (standard firebrick size weight etc). I would be curious to find out how they perform.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:27 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
2006/10 Forno Bravo, LLC