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Refractory bricks & incinerators


As you know the building of incinerators requires refractory bricks and cement. As it is logistically difficult/expensive to transport bricks from neighbouring countries or from Europe, could anyone suggest an alternative when these are not available locally? Could we use locally fabricated/"normal" bricks, and would this mostly have an impact on the lifetime of the incinerator?


Hello Elodie F, Could you please confirm what your 'normal' bricks are made from and how they are made. Also the location would help, I thought perhaps you are in Africa, it helps with understanding the brick quality and composition. I hope you found some advise below helpful, if so we would love to hear back from you, if not then we would love to hear back and why or what other issues you have had 1 Best wishes Pauline Redr KP

RedR TSS gravatar imageRedR TSS ( 2015-12-03 13:58:07 )

7 Answers


One of the mailing lists on this website would be a good place to post your questions:

Most of the english speaking experts in the world on stoves are on the stoves lists. I'm sure someone on that list will be able to help you.


Hi Elodie

I presume you're looking at the de Montfort incinerator

This is a known problem - MSF have been experimenting with other designs that are made from metal but it is still being trialled. It's not just about the materials, but standards of workmanship and operation.

There is about to be a call for innovation in this area as part of the Humanitarian Innovation fund - not very helpful for you but shows you're not alone!


I have received the following reply from Jim Picken of de Montfort, who is obviously still active although now retired. He has used ordinary bricks and has some advice on selecting the most durable. I am advised that the lining should be high alumina cement and using a low density, insulating aggregate like vermiculite, if possible.

'Hello Jeff, I had the same message from RedR but my reply has not been printed (probably because of my poor computer skills) Briefly, I have built incinerators using common bricks. Where possible I have skimmed the combustion chambers with High temp cement, but where not I have chosen bricks fired at the highest temperature available. In Senegal this worked during my stay but as usual no one bothered to tell me what happened later. Yours, Jim Picken'


Dear Jim and The Specialist, Thankyou very much for your valuable response and solution to this debated query. Thank you for posting it on our behalf, as I am sorry to say I can not find Mr Picken's email currently. We have had a large change in our communications network recently so it is possible if arrived during that period it may take longer to find. Once again Thankyou both! Pauline RedR TSS

RedR TSS gravatar imageRedR TSS ( 2015-09-03 12:12:07 )

As I mentioned earlier - there is an innovation challenge just been launched in this area


Dear Elobie F,

We would really need more information about the materials you are using to make the bricks as this determines their suitability. I am trying to get some ISO information regarding the production of refactory bricks that may guide you.

I have seen 'normal' bricks used and then layers of a cement mix built up on the inside to protect the bricks, however this was only for a small pizza oven internal diameter about 0.5m. This was not constructed under any check or calculations and suits purpose for occasional use.

I hope this helps and I will get back to you as soon as I can with any further details.

Best wishes Pauline Redr TSS.

Hi Elobie

I have found this so far, but I don't have the actual documents. The link below only takes you to a website where you can purchase refactory bricks, which I appreciate is not what you are looking for.

The BS/ISO standard appears to be:

BS 1902-3.13:1996, ISO 12678-2:1996. Methods of testing refractory materials. General and textural properties. Measurement of dimensions and external defects of refractory bricks. Corner and edge defects and other surface imperfections

BS 3056- . Sizes of refractory bricks

I hope this helps a bit, but it seems you are not alone from other comments. I feel it is actually a specific and possibly large scale operation to produce them and of course keep turn over going.

Best wishes Pauline RedR TSS/Knowledgepoint

P.E. Regan


My initial thoughts would be to try and contact a specialist with some local knowledge of the available materials. I know there is a large refractory industry in South Africa. Attached link to the Dickinson Group who are experienced in producing refractory products. They are based in South Africa and familiar with East/West Africa with offices in Mozambique and Tanzania. If we are talking about somewhere in Africa then I think it would be best to approach someone like this as they would have the best knowledge of what could realistically be achieved with local or most closely available materials.

They may not be able to help directly but there is a good chance they will have a technical person or know someone else who has some local knowledge who could offer some sensible advice.

Hope this is of some use. In the meantime if you get any more information please pass it on and we will have a look.


Les K.


We are following up on the above lead and will let you know of any feedback we can. Pauline RedR TSS

RedR TSS gravatar imageRedR TSS ( 2015-08-28 15:24:20 )

Please find attached :

Designation: C416 − 97 (Reapproved 2013) Standard Classification of Silica Refractory Brick


I hope it helps. Pauline RedR TSS