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|Faster and more efficient methods of producing and refining iron and steel are imposing severe conditions on the refractory materials used to contain these metals in the molten state. In order to provide refractory linings which will give the desired service life and maintain unit availability at an economical level, it is necessary to appreciate the aggressive environment in which the refractories operate and determine the reaction mechanisms by which the refractories are destroyed. Only by such studies can the most suitable refractory or refractory combination for a particular unit be selected. Examples of refractories selection and reaction mechanisms are discussed for blast furnaces, BOS vessels, AOD vessels, steel ladles, vacuum degassing units and continuous casting.|