The C.A.T.-CIREP Test was designed to simulate the service conditions of refractories when simultaneously exposed to corrosion, abrasion and thermal shock. The test procedure is given below.

A special set-up is used (Fig. 1). Its advantages as compared to conventional abrasion test set-ups are the following:

    • It allows refractory abrasion testing at room and high temperature;
    • Test conditions can be adjusted to wear refractory samples only on central region of an exposed face, but leaving enough sample to measure residual mechanical properties such as rupture force;
    • The set-up can ben used to study the effect of separate and combined action of abrasion, erosion, corrosion and thermal shock; 
    •  An exposed face can be submitted to combined action of abrasion and/or erosion and corrosion, while the two adjacent faces (Fig. 2) are exposed only to erosion and corrosion effect. The opposite face would be subjected only to corrosion wear. The contribution of abrasion on the kinetics of corrosion can therefore be determined;
    • Dynamic or static corrosion of a refractory material partially or totally immersed in molten metal can be applied to study the influence of oxygen partial pressure on corrosion kinetics;
    • No vortex generation as the samples act as a baffle.

In this special set-up, samples ( 6 x 6 x 1 in.) are vertically installed in the crucible supported along a third of their length by a block system (Fig. 1). Abrasion tests are carried out in that manner to wear only a central zone leaving an upper region of almost the same length as the supported lower zone. Silicon carbide or tabular alumina abrasive particles are moved against the test samples by a nitride bonded silicon carbide agitator at typically 270 rpm. The test duration is typically 4 days maximum. Four samples are tested simultaneously for each material. Under thermal shock interacting conditions, the hot samples are placed on a water cooled copper plate at regular time interval during the test.

After the test, samples are cleaned with pressurized air and weighed to determine the weight loss. They are also submitted to a three-point bending test to measure residual rupture force. Wear depth and residual thickness under load are also measured and residual strength is calculated. These measurements allow the rating of the tested material.