Starting in 1993, the Strategic Alliance between Forgestal S.L. and Refractarios Campo S.L. finds its foundations on a personal and business relationship started in 1979 between the owner of Campo Group and the founder of Forgestal.
The main activity of this joint venture is the design, production and supply of refractory linings for ceramic kiln cars, roofs and walls.
Refractarios Campo S.L., the operations partner based in Villalonga-Sanxenxo (Spain), is responsible for Financial Backup, Raw Materials Supply (with its own mines of refractory clays), Preparation and Mixing, Manufacturing, Quality Control, Laboratory, and Delivery.
Forgestal S.L, the engineering partner based in Esparreguera near Barcelona (Spain), is responsible for the Commercial Operations, Product Design and Engineering, Supply of Insulating Materials, Commissioning and CustomerService. Additionally, Forgestal designs, builds and supplies Kiln Car Vacuum Cleaning Machines, providing a significant synergy to the Campo/Forgestal product range.
Campo and Forgestal operate both internally and externally as a complete business unit, including the possibility of a turnkey assembling service.
MANUFACTURING PROCESS AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANTAGES
All refractory parts are manufactured by the plastic shaping process, either by plain extrusion or by extrusion plus re-pressing, of the mixes composed of refractory chamotte, refractory clays and additives.
Different refractory chamottes combined with the right proportions of own refractory clays and additives produce a wide range of mixes with varying degrees of thermal shock resistance and refractoriness up to 1400ºC operating temperature.
Some of the main technological advantages of this process, as performed by Campo/Forgestal, against dry pressing are:
– Total flexibility of shapes, including tri-dimensional and hollow ones, is an excellent basis for innovative designs. Hollow shapes allow for:
– Lighter linings resulting in lower energy consumption.
– Faster heating up and cooling down of the refractory parts in contact with the ceramic ware, resulting in a reduced energy consumption, a better quality of the fired ware and, quite often, a shortening of the firing cycle and therefore in a higher output. It is well known that a higher output means an additional energy saving per unit of fired ware because the losses through walls and roof remain constant.
– Compactness and strength are not affected by differences in thickness, the forming process being highly isostatic because of the flowing capacity of the plastic body.
– Lower and smaller size porosity is an efficient strategy against chemical attack penetration. This feature is especially relevant when alkali containing clays and/or aggressive fuels are used.
– Thermal shock resistance, based on a high percentage of cordierite together with a very low percent of free quartz, is enhanced by the “sponge like” network of the high cordierite matrix surrounding the chamotte grains.
A high dimensional accuracy is achieved by means of a strict control of the mixing and manufacturing parameters, completed by the diamond cutting at exact length of all parts.
Additionally, grinding facilities are used when an extreme precision and/or flatness is required, as it is the case for the big size setting supports or the supporting parts for U-cassettes or H-cassettes.
Long lasting, low maintenance, energy efficient and easy-to-assemble complete range of linings for any possible combination of product, firing system, firing temperature or firing cycle are possible, with more than 500 references worldwide.
Design can always be adapted for co-existence with old linings in case or partial or progressive renewal of existing kiln cars.
Design and supply of chassis can also be offered as a part of a complete turnkey service.
The basic Campo/Forgestal design features:
– Integrated protection of refractory hangers against contact with the kiln atmosphere so avoiding them being damaged by chemical attack, always present in real kilns in a higher or lower degree.
– Alternative “double leaf” design allowing for easy change of damaged facingleaf in cases of an extremely high chemical attack, as in cases with very high alkali containing clays.
– Simple and easy to assemble metal hangers system that, combined with precision refractory hangers, allows for an easy and precise assembling without need of individual adjustments.
– Airtight design option.
The basic modular design can be adapted to the specific requirements of Kiln Builders and is also easy to use for partial repairs of damaged roofs.
With a hollow insulated design, the refractory wall systems help to reduce the total thickness of the kiln wall either with metallic or ceramic external closing.
Two versions are available for free standing or load bearing walls, and both can be fitted with the “double leaf” and/or airtight design option.
In the case of the free standing walls, the interlocked design of wall component parts allows for an extremely simple stabilizing system without need of refractory anchors.