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ITC-100HT Ceramic Coating for Refractories. Is there something like the itc-100 that is cheaper to use? 

I want to make a forge with the portland cement, sand, Perlite, and clay. But I was thinking the the itc 

would protect the cement from the heat. Problem is 100 bucks or so cost. Is there a cheaper option for

reflecting heat from the concrete?

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Wayne Coe is a great guy, he can set ya up fast.  While you are waiting for his reply, why not try reading some of the posts in the gas forge section rather than try to reinvent the wheel?  I will relocate this post to that area.  You may find the cement is not the best nor cheapest option,  If you add your general location you may find you have a smith living close by that wil willing to assist you.   WELCOME TO THE FORUM.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry about the delay in messaging back. Computer needed some work and a tuneup. But i am back and getting ready to get after the build. After looking at the ribbon burner I think that may be my setup. Thank you wayne for the post. I went to your site and if ok will be calling or emailing you with an order soon.

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  • 11 months later...

I ditto the Kast-O-Lite 30 recommendation, it's tough, reasonably well insulating for a hard refractory so will shield the insulation and is pretty much impervious to common forge welding fluxes.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Many refractories are made with high silica ceramics Ceramic blanket refractories are almost all silicas. Silica dissolves a caustics "sodium silicate" is a solution of silica dissolved in a strong caustic, sodium. What this means for a blacksmith's propane forge has to do with welding fluxes. For the most part modern welding fluxes are strong bases to help reduce iron oxide to iron and provide a surface that doesn't block diffusion. Iron oxide has a higher melting temperature than iron or steel and prevents the pieces from making close enough contact for a diffusion weld to occur.

Unfortunately at forge welding temperatures say, 2,300f+ Borax is more than a strong base it's downright caustic and dissolves Kaowool like hot water through cotton candy. You can watch it dissolve holes in soft firebrick like it was a sugar cube, hard fire brick lasts longer but not terribly.

I've probably gone on rambling about refractories and flux long enough. But that's the essence of why products like Kast-O-Lite 30 are a good thing. Kast-O-Lite products aren't silica ceramics, they're mainly aluminum oxides. (and other stuff) Aluminum oxides don't care how much caustic you put on them they aren't subject to that chemistry, hot or cold.

Kast-O-Lite 30 is a high alumina bubble refractory so it's a better insulator than a hard cast refractory say Greencast xx. The bubbles are evacuated spheres Like a bunch of little bitty vacuum thermoses that don't conduct heat so well. The insulating factor of say 1/2" of bubble refractory isn't a big factor in the forge's overall insulation. It's significant contribution is as a shield for the ceramic blanket or hard board. Kaowool and equivalent ceramic blankets aren't typically rated above about 2,300f and a decent well tuned propane forge gets a LOT hotter than that say sparking iron 2,700f, mine will turn your project into a puddle if you aren't paying attention.

The hard refractory inner liner is the sacrificial flame face and takes the direct heat and contact of the flame. A propane flame is very chemically active and tends to do interesting high energy chemistry. Interesting maybe but you don't really want it happening to your forge liner. 

Your last line (oh okay maybe it's the first line) of protection from the flame is the "kiln wash" ITC-100 is the best known in the blacksmith community. There are a lot of kiln washes used in ceramic kilns they protect the refractory from hot glazes, keep them from cementing the pottery to the kiln, etc. Our main concerns are protection of the refractory from hot caustics and re radiating IR back into the forge. Re radiating IR is where zirconium silicate comes in and the magic ingredient in ITC-100.

If you check Wayne Coe's site you'll find less expensive and pretty much just as effective Kiln washes as well as most anything you need to make a good working propane forge.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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