Should You Use Casting, Shotcrete or Gunite in Refractory Installation?

There are several common methods of refractory installation you can choose from in Indiana. Today we’re going to focus on three specific ones: shotcrete, gunite and casting.

How do you know which of these methods will be the best for your Indiana project? To determine this, you’ll need to take a variety of factors into consideration, including your budget, the volume required, the location and conditions of the site, various environmental factors that will be at play in the job, the installation equipment you’ll be using, the storage conditions and the skill of the team that will be doing the installation work.

Here’s a quick overview of these methods of installation and what you should know about them before making a decision.


This is the most straightforward method refractory installation. Casting involves mixing and pouring wet refractory into forms, or casts. Those casts keep the refractory in place until it hardens and sets, at which point the casts are removed.

A common example are arch shapes, where the arch shapes are created with casts, often wooden, that then get removed after a specific point of hardening. This is what allows them to be quickly installed as they are already cured and ready for use.

Another form of casting is pump casting. Because refractory castable is fluid, you can often pump it out to the location where it will be needed with pneumatic truck or trailer-mounted pumps with pipes and hoses. Depending on the application, you can transfer large volumes of the material using this method.


Shotcrete is a type of low-moisture, low-cement material that has been tempered and mixed with water and, in some cases, other special additives. The material then gets applied using a machine with a piston pump, air, and usually some type of accelerant, allowing the wet material to be sprayed out from a nozzle.
This type of application allows you to deliver greater volumes at higher speeds than standard casting or gunite, and it is a frequent choice for application at high locations if the pump is able to get the material up that high.


Gunite is a type of dry refractory used with dry gun equipment in Indiana. It is similar in some ways to shotcrete.
The gunite generally features additives to enhance its tack, and is applied by a special machine that features air that pushes the gunite through a hose and at the target. Water gets added at the nozzle to moisten the dry mix as it’s being applied to the target surface.

As with shotcrete, gunite requires a more skilled installation team than standard casting, which is quite simple. Gunite equipment is also relatively inexpensive and easy to find, which can help you cut costs in your job in some cases.

For more information about these three choices for refractory installation, visit ACMS Group or contact our Indiana construction management company with any questions you have for our team.

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