Aluminium Centre in India Develops Refractory Material Using Saprolite Ore Instead of Calcined Clay

Calcined clay, the most common material used as refractory material, is so much in demand that an alternative was needed. The Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre (JNARDDC), in Nagpur India, has uncovered a substitute by using the unutilized saprolite ore found at the bottom of bauxite mines. This procedure will reduce the material cost by five times as compared to that when calcined clay was used. The Centre has filed for a patent at a national level. Although this project is still at a lab stage, the material has been tested in a furnace over a period of one year. This is the first time that saprolite is being used as a refractory material in India. The Government of India has funded the project by giving Rs 41 lakh and the Centre is aiming to convert these results to industrial processes by 2017.

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