The cold crushing strength is the resistance of the refractory to crushing, which mostly happens during transport. It has an useful indicator to refractory performance and to the adequacy of firing and abrasion resistance in consonance with other properties such as bulk density and porosity.
The Cold Crushing Strength tells us how much load that refractory can bear in cold conditions. Generally, the higher the Cold Crushing Strength of a material is the greater should be the resistance to abrasion. But too high Cold Crushing Strength normally cause an increased brittleness, which may lead to premature spalling under sever operating conditions.
Also refractories with high Cold Crushing Strength are expected to have higher resistance to slag attack. Cold Crushing Strength is also highly important in case of insulating refractory bricks where bricks have to be porous as well as strong.
The Cold Crushing Strength can be determined by following the steps given in any of the Standard Methods for Refractory Testing like - ASTM, Indian Standards (IS), Ghost, DIN etc. CCS is not a measure of performance at elevated temperature. It measures the mechanical strength at room temperature. It is not indicative of mechanical strength at operating temperature.
The variation in cold crushing strength is as a result of variation in their chemical composition. For Alumina refractories, as the alumina content increases, the cold crushing strength also increases. The absence of oxide impurities (i.e. Fe2O3 and CaO) and the addition of Cr2O3 can double the cold crushing strength.
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