Nutec Bickley has demonstrated its expertise in ceramic kiln relines over many decades, a vital service that offers many benefits to our customers, not least extended operational life for major items of capital equipment. In the majority of cases this work involves the use of special fiber systems and we are able to take full advantage of the fact that another company in our group, Nutec Fibratec, develops and manufactures ceramic fiber blanket and modules in factories in North, Central and South America, as well as in Europe.

Backed by this in-house expertise, and recognizing the drawbacks associated with both refractory firebrick and standard fiber insulation, Nutec Bickley decided to develop its own ceramic Macro Modules and the Jointless™ kiln lining system. Macro Modules completely cover a kiln wall, door or roof. Being constructed from a single piece with an integral form means that we can eliminate the problem-causing gaps that one gets with traditional ceramic fiber modules. Having our own ceramic fiber production facilities means we can custom produce these modules in the shape and size required by each individual client.

When it comes to relines, the Jointless system allows large steel sections to be prelined as a single module instead of a patchwork of smaller modules. Typical Jointless installations last over 10 years with minimal maintenance. By contrast, traditional modular linings can show severe damage after five years which, left untreated, will cause kiln structure damage.

The Jointless system also allows Nutec Bickley to create better insulation around roof flues which are notoriously prone to damage and leakage in traditional module-lined kilns.

Fiber linings can also be used to replace damaged brick linings for many temperature applications and they generally offer improved fuel efficiency and reduced lining maintenance.

That said, Nutec Bickley also has extensive experience relining kilns where the temperature and applications require brick linings. There are a number of different temperature grades of brick available depending on the firing temperatures. Nutec Bickley also offers an interlocking brick system for improved wall and roof stability for temperatures as high as 1,800°C (3,270°F).

I am including below just a few examples of kiln reline projects that demonstrate the effective execution and diversity of applications.

1.- Clay pipe kiln

This project required us to provide new roofs for two 440m3 (15,550ft3) clay sewer pipe shuttle kilns.

  • Prelined steel sections supplied for quick installation.

  • The kiln roof was fully lined using Jointless ceramic fiber modules for excellent insulation and long life, coupled with low maintenance.

  • Operating temperature 1,200°C (2,190°F).



2.- Sanitaryware kilns

Nutec Bickley has relined numerous sanitaryware shuttle kilns for many of the largest ceramic sanitaryware producers worldwide. These projects have involved kiln sizes ranging from 100m3 up to 250m3 (3,530ft3 to 8,830ft3) with between four and nine kiln cars.

  • Old linings with modules often have gaps between modules where heat can escape and cause permanent damage to kiln shells.



  • Roof replacements often also include replacement of existing pressure control dampers with the Nutec Bickley system which offers improved pressure control as well as lower maintenance.


  • New linings and replacement Jointless fiber relines normally last over 10 years with only limited maintenance.

Nutec Bickley can also help with kiln car relines and often redesigns which can help with weight reduction and fuel savings.

Here is just one example of this type of project:


3.- High temp Carbell® kiln

Where temperatures exceed 1,350°C (2,460°F) Nutec Bickley uses refractory bricks to replace damaged linings. We can offer traditional linings or interlocked bricks which further improve insulation and lifespans. The pictures below show an old lining of a downdraft Carbell kiln and then a new lining for kiln firing to 1,750°C (3,180°F).





The bricks used were interlocking bubble alumina with a rating over 1,800°C (3,270°F).


4.- Switching from refractory firebrick to fiber lining

This particular project was in the refractories manufacturing sector and involved a 15m3 (530ft3) shuttle kiln.

  • Converting a brick arch roof to a Jointless fiber roof.

  • Faster cycles required – up to 1,350°C (2,460°F).

  • Reduced maintenance requirements following this reline.

  • Fuel savings achieved, due to the lighter weight of the lining.

  • Explosion relief panels fitted for additional safety.







5.- Raising the roof in an electro-porcelain kiln

This project was to replace an existing brick arch roof with a flat Jointless roof in a 100m3 (3,530ft3) kiln used for firing insulators. The kiln is a four-car model with an operating temperature of 1,320°C (2,410°F). The refurbished roof was supplied in steel sections which were prelined using the Jointless system.

  • It’s now possible to fire taller pieces, with the kiln setting height having been raised by 20%, from 2.5m to 3m (8.2ft up to 9.8ft).

  • Better loading uniformity due to flat roof.

  • Executed under difficult conditions due to problems with restricted access.





by Adam Slater, International Sales Director 

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