Refractory Lining Removal


Partial removal completed, showing cutting head making vertical pass.

The traditional way to remove old or damaged cementitious refractory lining material has been with men using percussive tools such as jack hammers. This method has many potential safety hazards as well as causing damage to the integrity of the steel structure and the supporting “Y” anchors.
RGL has developed a purpose built rig incorporating a remote controlled water jet system which can be operated outside of the work area thus removing the man from the potential hazards associated with confined space work.

This is an innovative, proven solution removes the refractory lining but does not damage the integrity of the steel vessels or pipes and preserves the ‘Y’ anchors and Hexmesh. It can be used for removing refractory from Boiler Water Walls and leaves the delicate tubes undamaged and perfectly clean ready for re-application of new refractory material. This method is quicker and more cost effective than the jackhammers and reduces overall turnaround times for this critical maintenance task.

To date, we have successfully deployed this equipment to remove refractory linings from calalyst regeneration chambers, risers and loop seals, furnaces, incinerators and boilers. The rig can be used for entire lining removal or patch repairs.


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    • Typical removal speed – 0.1 cubic metres per hour.
    • Produces a perfectly clean surface which is free from any chemical contamination.
    • Improves the quality and longevity of the subsequent lining material.
    • Creates no percussive noise or vibration.
    • Does not cause micro cracks in the structure.
    • This solution is a one step process without the need for secondary processes.


    • Operatives remain outside the structure and remove the material via remote control.
    • Uses mains water which can be contained and treated, thus causing no contamination to the environment.
    • No HAVS issues – crews can work normal hours without risk.
    • A light weight modular adjustable frame is deployed into the Vessel or Boiler and normally winched into position. This can quickly be assembled by two men. The remote control cutting head is positioned on the frame over the area of refractory selected for removal. Once in position the men leave the vessel. A series of remote control, nozzle passes are made removing the lining material. Once a section of lining material has been removed the rig is repositioned to the next section
    • Once the rig is positioned all operatives remain outside the structure during the cutting process thus reducing their exposure to hazards
    • The remote control powered movement of the cutting head is provided by an Electro- Hydraulic power pack control unit. The operator has full control via a console on a wander lead
    • The cutting head uses an ultra high pressure water jet to cut the refractory lining material. This leaves all steel intact (note: the threshold pressure of lining material is lower than the steel structure, anchors and Hexmesh)
    • It is capable of negotiating and removing linings in bends and lobster back sections
    • The water jet removes all non – visual chemical contaminants and helps ensure that failures due to corrosion of the steel substrate do not occur
    • The water jet process leaves the surface clean warm and dry
    • The water jet cuts the refractory lining material into small pieces (similar to coarse gravel) and this waste can be removed by vacuum truck or similar
    • Ultra high pressure water is delivered via portable diesel driven pump units with working pressure up to 3000 bar
    • The cutting head uses clean tap water – approximately 14,000 – 20,000 litres of water are used in one shift
    • Waste water is filtered to remove the majority of suspended solids and then disposed through plant drainage system

    To optimise timing for equipment set up on site and deployment of cutting rig, early involvement with your TA Team for planning is recommended.

    For this type of operation we typically work around the clock, running two twelve hour shifts.


    Fill out our enquiry form to get a quotation.

    Make an Enquiry Now