German Refractories Association Deutsche Feuerfest-Industrie e.V.
The Deutsche Feuerfest-Industrie e.V. (DFFI), founded in 1949, represents and advances the interests of German manufacturers operating in the industry.
The Association, which is based in Höhr-Grenzhausen (Germany), collaborates with other organisations to promote the economic and technological evolution of its member companies by putting forward the jointly adopted positions in both political and societal contexts.
The Association gives a strong voice to the refractory industry – a sector largely dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises.
The refractory industry boasts state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and products, thus acting as a major contributor towards long-term sustainable economic development.
In order to safeguard employment and invest in future-proof process technology, the member companies engaged in raw materials extraction and processing require a well-designed regulatory framework that enables them to operate on competitive terms.
This includes a sustainable approach to securing the flow of raw materials procurement as well as a future-oriented environment, climate and energy policy.
The refractories associations have established a tightly knit knowledge network in an effort to bring together their combined insights gained from research and development projects as well as from materials testing operations.
The wealth of knowledge and experience thus obtained – stretching from the input of raw materials all the way up to manufacture and use by the client [installation on the client’s site] – are transferred for the benefit of the member companies.
Up-to-date information and industry know-how is imparted through professional events of different formats that are geared to member companies and their clients alike.
The unique cluster of expertise and the close collaboration around the Centre of associations provide an invaluable one-stop resource for those in pursuit of knowledge in the refractories field:
The education and training offer covers all levels and aspects of professional qualification, from basic apprenticeship courses through to graduate and doctorate programmes.
In its capacity as an industry organisation, the German Refractories Association maintains an ongoing dialogue with all societal groups and actors.
Serving as a reconciling link between individual interests, it (re)presents the industry’s positions in the public domain.
The Association’s remit includes participation in major decision-making processes in politics, legislation and jurisdiction as well as engaging in science and research at both German and European level in the best interest of its member companies.
Service and Performance
The German Refractories Association represents and pursues the politico-economic interests of its member companies vis-à-vis public authorities and government bodies in both national and European contexts.
The Association covers a broad spectrum of issues and activities: It provides comprehensive support and guidance in all matters pertaining to raw materials supply security, environment and energy policy as well as tax, law, research and technology, including questions relating to standardisation.
Major German companies and international brand leaders have joined the Association, which for its part is a member of the national and European network of associations.
Climate and Energy Turnaround
The refractory industry promotes the climate and energy turnaround. In order for the companies operating in the refractorites business to be able to transform their production processes and invest in climate protection, they need a reliable regulatory framework. This is the only way to help them maintain their competitiveness and secure employment.
Such a framework should also be designed to curb rising energy prices, to grant carbon leakage protection to the industries as well as to provide funding for research activities geared to reducing CO2 emissions in the manufacture of refractory products.
Education and Training
The Integrated Refractory Education System (IRES) supports the development of young school leavers across all levels of vocational education and training, from basic apprenticeship courses through to graduate and doctorate programmes.
The Koblenz University of Applied Sciences offers a complementary vocational programme that leads to the qualification of Ceramic Technician (“Keramiktechniker”) as well as an academic programme leading to the degree of Bachelor of Engineering which, in cooperation with the University of Koblenz and Landau, can be crowned with the degree of Master of Ceramic Science and Engineering.
This cluster of expertise in conjunction with the close collaborative relationship maintained with the University and the Ceramics Education and Research Centre (Bildungs- und Forschungszentrums Keramik e.V. / BFZK) enables the wealth of knowledge about refractory products, their manufacture and use to be imparted and shared in a well-condensed way across all levels, up to the university-awarded doctoral degree.
Raw Materials and Recycling
The economic significance and importance of mineral resources is undisputed – they are in steadily increasing demand.
The refractory industry utilises these valuable resources while implementing consistent efforts towards introducing larger amounts of secondary raw materials into the product cycle.
The dynamic triad of nature conservation, raw materials needs and employment protection poses a broad challenge, namely to balance the requirement to make greater use of recycling materials with the need for access to mineral resources. Therefore, small and medium-sized companies rely more than ever on wise regional planning policies to secure a long-term predictable and stable sourcing environment.
The Deutsches Institut für Feuerfest und Keramik (DIFK) is the materials testing laboratory for refractory raw materials, products and system solutions. For many years already, it has been accredited to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 and also in accordance with the international ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA).
The Institute maintains close collaborative ties with both domestic and international raw material producers, refractories manufacturers and with the industries [siehe rechts DE] involved in the use of refractory products and system solutions. Its area of expertise is not limited to ascertaining the properties of materials, but also spans to performing analyses and evaluations of the extremely sophisticated technological conditions associated with the use of refractory products.
The Forschungsgemeinschaft Feuerfest (FGF) conducts research and development projects across a broad spectrum of areas, ranging from basic research and publicly funded cooperative research all the way to individual collaboration undertakings in the field of product and process engineering.
Thanks to the close networking relationship with the industries involved in the use of refractory materials, all research and development processes are practice- and results-oriented. A major focus of the work is on the development of high-temperature materials testing methods that go far beyond the existing testing systems.
Information & Innovation
The ECREF develops education and training programmes at both basic and advanced level that are accurately tailored to the needs of the industry. The programmes, which are organised in association with the European refractory industry, come in a wide variety of events. This transfer of knowledge and know-how is key to raising the level of qualification across the industry with a long-term perspective.
The Centre organises and conducts scientific seminars, colloquia and similar events so as to enable the regular exchange of expertise with a view to promoting the development and production of new and enhanced refractory products.
The International Colloquium on Refractories (ICR®) is a world-renowned event held annually in the city of Aachen. The event consists of a scientific conference, a trade fair for refractory companies and suppliers of raw materials, machinery, services and knowledge to the refractory industry, and of a varied supporting programme and social event:
The German Refractory Association is pleased to host the 18th Unified International Technical Conference on Refractories (UNITECR 2023)
This worldwide conference is organised by ECREF in 26th – 29th September 2023 in Frankfurt.
The scientific committee is pleased to invite you to submit an abstract of a paper or a poster for consideration and inclusion in the program at UNITECR 2023.
Please note abstracts must be submitted in English and electronically.