The andalusite refractory are made of andalusite as raw material, andalusite refractory bricks are added with powders such as sillimanite powder and mullite powder. The binder is added in proportion, then mullite powder, andalusite fine powder and sillimanite powder are placed in the mixed sand. Machine mixing, adding clay and mixing water of 2% of the total weight of the raw materials, then adding silicon micropowder for mixing, pressing brick into a fire brick, drying the refractory brick and putting it into a firing kiln for sintering, burning into andalusite refractory brick.
Andalusite is a natural raw material belonging to the sillimanite group, together with kyanite and sillimanite, available in sizes from 5µm up to 8mm. It is a pure aluminosilicate (Al2O3.SiO2), with theoretical composition of 62.9% Al2O3 and 37.1% SiO2. A very complex beneficiation process is required to concentrate crystalline andalusite and separate it from gangue and unsuitable minerals. This process consists of several stages- crushing, milling/classification, magnetic/heavy media separation, as well as floatation, in order to achieve the highest possible purity. Unlike most of the raw materials used in the refractory industry, andalusite does not require firing prior to use in refractory applications, thus leading to a lower carbon footprint (145 kg CO2/t – from French ADEME Emissions factors), when compared to calcined aggregates (chamotte, sintered mullite or bauxite – ranging around 400 kg to 750 kg CO2/t). Furthermore, this lack of calcination necessity results in specific/positive refractory properties, such as low porosity and small pore size. Andalusite products are widely used in several refractory solutions, due to its intrinsic/advantageous characteristics. Although its main use/market is in refractories for the iron and steel industry, its use is now well developed in brick and castables for glass, aluminum, cement, and even the foundry industry. This is not only due to the fact that andalusite is a high quality mullite source (once fired), but also due to several other inherent properties which, will be described, in detail, in this paper.
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