Every day, refractories serve the very important functions of controlling and confining high temperatures and chemical reactions in industrial processes worldwide. The theme of the 43rd Symposium on Refractories, held March 28-29, was Thermal Management.
The 42nd Annual Symposium on Refractories, sponsored by the St. Louis Section and the Refractory Ceramics Division of the American Ceramic Society, was held in St. Louis, Mo., March 29-30, 2006, with about 120 attendees. The theme of the meeting was "Advances in Raw Materials," and the event featured an exposition with 17 exhibitors in addition to the technical program.
The world refractories community convened in Orlando, Fla., at the Rosen Centre Hotel, November 8-11, 2005, for the 9th biennial gathering of the Unified International Technical Conference on Refractories (UNITECR). The UNITECR'05 Proceedings was provided to each registrant and includes 226 papers. Steel industry topics make up 44% of the papers, and 30% deal with monolithic refractories.
The annual production and market value for refractories has steadily decreased in recent years, so there are economic concerns associated with the ongoing improvement of products and technologies that are bringing in less revenue.
The refractories industry has been-and continues to be-remarkably successful in making practical and technical improvements and innovations that have greatly benefited the manufacturing industries of the world.
In 2003, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China increased by 9.1%. It is not known if this rapid pace of economic growth can continue-some predict it will go on until at least 2010, while others say this may be a "bubble" and that the government will have to put on the brakes to slow and control the growth.