International Colloquium on Refractories

The International Colloquium on Refractories (ICR) is a world-renowned event held in the imperial city of Aachen, Germany. The Colloquium attracts international speakers and an international exhibition of refractory suppliers. Alternating annually between the topics “Suppliers Industries enabling REFRACTORIES” and “REFRACTORIES enabling High Temperature Technologies”, this event takes place with up to 600 attendees

This year, the German Refractories Association (VDFFI) held the International Conference on Refractories in Aachen/Germany on 25th and 26th September for the 62nd time, co-organized with the European Centre for Refractories (ECREF). The conference covered talks from internationally renowned experts in ten topical sessions (Coke making, Castables I/II, Refractory maintenance, Casting, Incineration, Raw materials, Testing and simulation, Innovation, Firing technology). Highlights included the ceremony for the prestigious Gustav Eirich Award awarded to the best PhD/post-doc thesis of the year in the field of refractories. Other significant events were the industrial exhibition/fair with more than 30 exhibitors every year (36 this year), the poster session sponsored by Göller Verlag and Steuler Linings and the traditional reception at the Krönungssaal in the historical town hall of Aachen.

© Andreas Hermann (via

Digitalization in the refractories industry was the topic of the opening session. Keynotes introduced the audience to the current state-of-the-art of building data-driven enterprises of the future as well as to concrete implementations of digitalization in the refractory sector. Innovation is another big challenge for any industry, and how to make innovations happen in the process industries was one of the topics on 26th September where in a dedicated session, attendants were introduced to the current trends in innovation and the tools and insights on how to monitor and improve the innovation performance of companies.

© Andreas Hermann (via

Our academic partners from Germany and Poland (RWTH and AGH respectively) had a strong presence at the Colloquium at the topical sessions and at the poster session as well. More importantly, RWTH had also a booth in the exhibition consisting of researchers from the Institute of Mineral Engineering (GHI).

Together with their colleagues from GHI, our ATHOR ESRs presented their research results in Coke making and Castables sessions. Vahid Tadaion presented ‘‘Three alternative approaches to evaluate resistance to cyclic thermo-mechanical loads-Case study of silica refractories’’ and Efstathios Kyrilis showed his preliminary results on ‘‘Monitoring the elastic properties of alumina-based monolithics exposed to steel slag and the effect of preformed spinel’’.

Poster sessions are an alternative way for universities and research centers from all over the world to present their research findings to academic and industrial attendants of the Colloquium. GHI’s participation in the session was significant and our ATHOR ESR Ilona Kieliba exhibited her results on ‘‘Acoustic emission temperature dependency behavior of alumina-spinel refractory materials’’.

The next ICR is scheduled for 16th and 17th September 2020.

This project has received funding
from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant
agreement no.764987