The use of graphite as a refractory material began before 1900 with the graphite crucible used to hold molten metal;
this is now a minor part of refractories. In the mid-1980s, the carbon-magnesite brick became important,
and a bit later the alumina-graphite shape. As of 2017 the order of importance is: alumina-graphite shapes,
carbon-magnesite brick, monolithics (gunning and ramming mixes), and then crucibles.
- Crucibles began using very large flake graphite, and carbon-magnesite brick requiring not quite so large flake graphite;
- for these and others there is now much more flexibility in the size of flake required, and amorphous graphite is no
- - longer restricted to low-end refractories. Alumina-graphite shapes are used as continuous casting ware,
- such as nozzles and troughs, to convey the molten steel from ladle to mold, and carbon magnesite bricks line steel
- converters and electric-arc furnaces to withstand extreme temperatures.
- Graphite blocks are also used in parts of blast furnace linings where the high thermal conductivity of the graphite is critical.
- High-purity monolithics are often used as a continuous furnace lining instead of carbon-magnesite bricks.