Borgestad Industries was founded by Gunnar Knudsen as a producer of fireclay bricks for porcelain manufacturers in 1887. Borgestad Fabrikker joined the group in the 1930s and specializes in refractory products for the aluminium, ferro-alloy and foundry industries. The branch’s activities range from applications-driven research, development and production, to distribution and service. Borgestad Industries is the oldest refractory supplier in the world and in September 2016 will have the newest active plant in the world.
In terms of products, Borgestad Fabrikker offers its customers choices in a variety of categories. These include bricks, monolithics, insulation, anchoring and refractory maintenance equipment. “We offer three types of bricks: fireclay/chamotte, high-alumina and silicon carbide,” says Roger Kvam, General Manager.
Fireclay bricks are often used to line furnaces, kilns, fireboxes and fireplaces. They are built to withstand high temperatures and usually have low thermal conductivity. High-alumina bricks are used in blast furnaces, blast-furnace stoves and liquid-steel ladles. These bricks are more robust than fireclay bricks and exhibit better volume stability and abrasion resistance. Silicon carbide bricks are found in industrial furnaces, pumps and rocket engines.
Monolithics are refractories without definite shape that are then given a shape upon application. “For monolithics, we offer ramming materials, casting materials, gunning mixes, mortars and others,” adds Mr. Kvam.
For insulation, Borgestad Fabrikker sells insulating bricks, insulating castables and gunnables, and ceramic fibers. Moving on to anchoring, the business offers anchors in different steel grades to suit the chemical and thermal environment of the insulation, as well as the steel quality of the shell.
“Proper anchoring plays a very important role in the performance and durability of the refractory lining,” explains Mr. Kvam.
In order to get the most out of the refractory materials and anchoring systems, the company also gives customers the ability to purchase maintenance equipment. This equipment includes robotized gunning equipment for ladles and mixers in different sizes.
With the wide variety of products and services offered by Borgestad Fabrikker, it is easy to see why the company appeals to clientele in the industries it serves. The high-quality products and expertly trained employees keep customers coming back again and again. The branch exports about half of what it produces, with the other half staying in the local Scandinavian region.
“We are able to export a large amount of our product because we are a trusted name in the business and we stay in close contact with the clients to make sure all their needs are being met,” says Mr. Kvam. To reach new customers, the company stays active at trade fairs and does person-to-person marketing.
Future plans include focusing even more on research and development. “Our new monolithic plant that will be finished in September features robotic equipment,” adds Mr. Kvam. “We are always looking for the next big thing in the refractory world.” Other plans include continuing to support its existing customer base, expanding in markets both at home and abroad, and being a total supplier for refractory solutions.