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I Forge Iron

CaO (quicklime) is both a refractory and flux??

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OK so I think I understand this better now, so I'll say for anyone else who has seen this and is confused...

CaO is used to flux the refractory to cause it to bond together better (turns into a sort of glass). This is also the case with some ashes, which is how Roman Cement gets its strength. I think certain materials create a stronger bond after they've been fired, but require a flux to allow them to be partially-melted in the first place. I think it has something to do with a pouzzolanic effect? Sorry for any confusion.

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CaO isn't a flux in refractories, it's a high temperature caustic resisting cement binding aggregates. Whatever you're reading has it very wrong.  It does NOT vitrify (turn to sort of glass) not even close.

Wood ash as a cementing agent in some forge liners or primitive concretes is nothing like volcanic ash in roman concrete. 

pouzzolanic effect? Now you're just grabbing terms hoping for something to hang your hat on. 

You REALLY need to decide which you want to do, experiment with primitive refractories or learn to build a working forge or maybe casting melters. There isn't any practical advantage or benefit to reinventing mud. It can be fun as a sideline but doesn't even carry much for bragging rights, it's really old news/tech.

Frosty The Lucky.

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