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What is refractory material made of?

Now China has become a powerful country in science and technology, but do you know how powerful China's technology is? The manned space station alone is not enough, and now it has successfully broken through the key technology of nuclear fusion, even leading the world by 15 years. Does this mean that China is not far from the artificial sun? It turned out that the fully superconducting tokamak nuclear fusion experimental device developed by China at the Hefei Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences successfully achieved a record of 101 seconds of continuous operation at 120 million degrees Celsius, and broke the world record. Compared with the previous record in South Korea, China has time has been directly extended by 5 times, and it seems that we are one step closer to the practical stage of artificial sun.
The success of nuclear fusion technology will lead to the development of chromium oxide.

A refractory material is a material that resists to heat, pressure or chemical erosion and decomposition, and maintains strength and shape at high temperatures. Refractories are widely used in iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, glass, cement, ceramics, petrochemical, machinery, boiler, light industry, electric power, military industry and other fields.
Based on chemical composition, refractories can be divided into acidic refractories, alkaline refractories, and neutral refractories.
Acidic refractories are mainly composed of silica and commonly used silica bricks and clay bricks. Silicon brick is a silicon product containing more than 94% silicon oxide, and the raw materials used are silica, waste silicon brick, etc., which has strong resistance to acid slag erosion, high load softening temperature, and does not shrink or even expand slightly after repeated calcination; but it is easy to be eroded by alkaline slag and poor thermal shock resistance. Silicon bricks are mainly used in coke ovens, glass furnaces, acid steelmaking furnaces and other thermal equipment. Clay brick takes refractory clay as the main raw material, contains 30% alumina, 46% alumina, is a weak acid refractory, has good thermal vibration resistance, corrosion resistance to acid slag and is widely used.
Neutral refractories are mainly composed of alumina, chromium oxide or carbon. Corundum products containing more than 95% alumina are high quality refractories with a wide range of applications. The chromium brick with chromium oxide as the main composition has good corrosion resistance to steel slag, but poor thermal shock resistance and low high temperature load deformation temperature. Carbon refractories include carbon bricks, graphite products and silicon carbide products, which have low coefficient of thermal expansion, high thermal conductivity, good thermal shock resistance, high temperature strength and resistance to acid, alkali and salt, especially weak acid and alkali. It is not wetted by metal and molten slag and is light. It is widely used as high temperature furnace lining material, as well as autoclave lining in petroleum and chemical industry.
Basic refractories are mainly composed of magnesia and calcium oxide, and magnesia bricks are commonly used. Magnesia bricks containing more than 85% magnesia have good resistance to alkaline slag and iron slag, and their fire resistance is higher than that of clay bricks and silicon bricks. It is mainly used in open hearth furnace, oxygen blowing converter, electric furnace, non-ferrous metal smelting equipment and some high temperature equipment.
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Due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the covid-19 pandemic, how will the international situation develop is highly uncertain. It is too difficult to assess its economic impact properly. However, we could see energy prices and commodity prices keep rising and supply chains are disrupted. Therefore, chromium oxide prices are expected to rise in the future.

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