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Material that is not deformed or damaged by high temperatures, used to make crucibles, incinerators, insulation, and furnaces, particularly metallurgical furnaces. Refractories are produced in several forms: molded bricks of various shapes, bulk granular materials, plastic mixtures consisting of moistened aggregates that are rammed into place, castables composed of dry aggregates and a binder that can be mixed with water and poured like concrete, and mortars and cements for laying brickwork.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on refractory, visit Britannica.com.