Silica in Ontario, Industrial Mineral Report #9, 1963


DOUG MURRAY
 

 Please find below some information from the Industrial Minerals Report of 1963 on Silica. Does anyone have any further information or pictures of this operation by Bellevue? I would assume the ACR moved the material to Algoma Steel in the Sault? 

If it was only used for bricks it would be a small operation versus Lawson Quarry over by Little Current. 


Silica brick has been manufactured by Algoma
Steel Corporation Limited from quartzite quarried
in Deroche township, District of Algoma, 20 miles
north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Quartzite of medium to fine grain-size, ranging
in composition from 96 to 98 percent silica, has
proven to be the best raw material for silica brick.
Much of the Lorrain Quartzite of the Sault Ste.
Marie-Sudbury area is suitable for the manufacture
of silica brick, comparing favourably with Penn
sylvania and Wisconsin quartzites.

Silica, which melts at 1,7280C., has the ability
to sustain loads even when temperatures approach
the melting point; therefore, it is an extremely
useful refractory material in the metallurgical
industry. Silica brick is widely used in steel
furnaces where operating temperatures may be in
the range of 1,6800C.

Silica bricks are manufactured by grinding the
quartzite to a suitable mesh-size (usually about
55 percent between 4- and 28-mesh, 20 percent
between 28- and 65-mesh, and 25 percent under
65-mesh); bonding with 1-2 percent lime; molding
into bricks; drying and firing in a kiln. On firing,
the quartz converts to tridymite and cristobalite
with resultant expansion. The extent of the
conversion has an important bearing on the
behaviour of the brick in service.

The most westerly of these is near
Bellevue in Deroche township on the Algoma
Central and Hudson Bay railway, 20 miles north
of Sault Ste. Marie; a quarry operated by Wright
and Company formerly supplied silica to Algoma
Steel Corporation for the manufacture of silica
brick.

Bellevue Quarry, Deroche Township (lA)
Wright and Company operated a small
quarry in the Lorrain Formation of the Bellevue
ridge at mileage 19.8 on the Algoma Central and
Hudson Bay Railway line. This quarry supplied
crude mine-run quartzite to Algoma Steel Cor
poration for the manufacture of silica brick.
At the quarry, the quartzite strikes northeast
and dips SO0 to the northwest. The rock is grey or
pink and contains scattered patches of specularite.
Ripple marks and crossbedding can be seen on the
ridge above the face of the opening. Quartzite
breccias and quartz conglomerates were also noted.
At the east side of the quarry, sericite soapstone is
developed along a sheared zone striking N.100W.,
and dipping SO0 west. This quarry has been taken
over by Algoma Steel Corporation.


Blair Smith
 

Doug

Pit is still visible in Google, as is the clearing for the short loading spur.  About a half mile north of the bridge, where the highway and tracks converge again.  When I first visited the ACR in the early 90's, the siding switch was still in place.  My picture of the loading frame is here:

http://www.trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/Bellevue/bellevue2.jpg

Not sure if the frame is still there, or if the WC or CN have ripped it out.  It's well off the main, so it's not a train hazard, per se.

It would make a neat small industry to include, sourcing a car or two a day.

Blair Smith


On 3/20/2022 3:03 PM, DOUG MURRAY wrote:
 Please find below some information from the Industrial Minerals Report of 1963 on Silica. Does anyone have any further information or pictures of this operation by Bellevue? I would assume the ACR moved the material to Algoma Steel in the Sault? 

If it was only used for bricks it would be a small operation versus Lawson Quarry over by Little Current. 


Silica brick has been manufactured by Algoma
Steel Corporation Limited from quartzite quarried
in Deroche township, District of Algoma, 20 miles
north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Quartzite of medium to fine grain-size, ranging
in composition from 96 to 98 percent silica, has
proven to be the best raw material for silica brick.
Much of the Lorrain Quartzite of the Sault Ste.
Marie-Sudbury area is suitable for the manufacture
of silica brick, comparing favourably with Penn
sylvania and Wisconsin quartzites.

Silica, which melts at 1,7280C., has the ability
to sustain loads even when temperatures approach
the melting point; therefore, it is an extremely
useful refractory material in the metallurgical
industry. Silica brick is widely used in steel
furnaces where operating temperatures may be in
the range of 1,6800C.

Silica bricks are manufactured by grinding the
quartzite to a suitable mesh-size (usually about
55 percent between 4- and 28-mesh, 20 percent
between 28- and 65-mesh, and 25 percent under
65-mesh); bonding with 1-2 percent lime; molding
into bricks; drying and firing in a kiln. On firing,
the quartz converts to tridymite and cristobalite
with resultant expansion. The extent of the
conversion has an important bearing on the
behaviour of the brick in service.

The most westerly of these is near
Bellevue in Deroche township on the Algoma
Central and Hudson Bay railway, 20 miles north
of Sault Ste. Marie; a quarry operated by Wright
and Company formerly supplied silica to Algoma
Steel Corporation for the manufacture of silica
brick.

Bellevue Quarry, Deroche Township (lA)
Wright and Company operated a small
quarry in the Lorrain Formation of the Bellevue
ridge at mileage 19.8 on the Algoma Central and
Hudson Bay Railway line. This quarry supplied
crude mine-run quartzite to Algoma Steel Cor
poration for the manufacture of silica brick.
At the quarry, the quartzite strikes northeast
and dips SO0 to the northwest. The rock is grey or
pink and contains scattered patches of specularite.
Ripple marks and crossbedding can be seen on the
ridge above the face of the opening. Quartzite
breccias and quartz conglomerates were also noted.
At the east side of the quarry, sericite soapstone is
developed along a sheared zone striking N.100W.,
and dipping SO0 west. This quarry has been taken
over by Algoma Steel Corporation.
-- 
Modeling the 1980 Algoma Central Railway in HO
Digitrax --- Arduino CMRI --- JMRI


Dale Wilson
 

Thank you, gentlemen; this was all news to me! It is logical that Algoma would be interested in producing what I’ve heard called “fire brick” used for lining furnaces in steel plants and smelters, but the apparent small size of the deposit seems to indicate the promise didn’t work out.

Blair, was the positioning of the “loading frame” such that it could only be for loading railway [hopper] cars, or could it have been for loading trucks?

I ask because it was in this approximate time period when Falconbridge and INCO began the truck-hauling of ores (in various forms) for many of their mines and mills

The similar deposit at Willisville, called Lawson Quarry by INCO had been noted when the line was built, as the Algoma Eastern, but never developed until INCO needed the material as a furnace flux in its smelter. It has since been replaced by sand, but trainloads were once carried to Copper Cliff 


On Mar 20, 2022, at 3:55 PM, Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Doug

Pit is still visible in Google, as is the clearing for the short loading spur.  About a half mile north of the bridge, where the highway and tracks converge again.  When I first visited the ACR in the early 90's, the siding switch was still in place.  My picture of the loading frame is here:

http://www.trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/Bellevue/bellevue2.jpg

Not sure if the frame is still there, or if the WC or CN have ripped it out.  It's well off the main, so it's not a train hazard, per se.

It would make a neat small industry to include, sourcing a car or two a day.

Blair Smith


On 3/20/2022 3:03 PM, DOUG MURRAY wrote:
 Please find below some information from the Industrial Minerals Report of 1963 on Silica. Does anyone have any further information or pictures of this operation by Bellevue? I would assume the ACR moved the material to Algoma Steel in the Sault? 

If it was only used for bricks it would be a small operation versus Lawson Quarry over by Little Current. 


Silica brick has been manufactured by Algoma
Steel Corporation Limited from quartzite quarried
in Deroche township, District of Algoma, 20 miles
north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Quartzite of medium to fine grain-size, ranging
in composition from 96 to 98 percent silica, has
proven to be the best raw material for silica brick.
Much of the Lorrain Quartzite of the Sault Ste.
Marie-Sudbury area is suitable for the manufacture
of silica brick, comparing favourably with Penn
sylvania and Wisconsin quartzites.

Silica, which melts at 1,7280C., has the ability
to sustain loads even when temperatures approach
the melting point; therefore, it is an extremely
useful refractory material in the metallurgical
industry. Silica brick is widely used in steel
furnaces where operating temperatures may be in
the range of 1,6800C.

Silica bricks are manufactured by grinding the
quartzite to a suitable mesh-size (usually about
55 percent between 4- and 28-mesh, 20 percent
between 28- and 65-mesh, and 25 percent under
65-mesh); bonding with 1-2 percent lime; molding
into bricks; drying and firing in a kiln. On firing,
the quartz converts to tridymite and cristobalite
with resultant expansion. The extent of the
conversion has an important bearing on the
behaviour of the brick in service.

The most westerly of these is near
Bellevue in Deroche township on the Algoma
Central and Hudson Bay railway, 20 miles north
of Sault Ste. Marie; a quarry operated by Wright
and Company formerly supplied silica to Algoma
Steel Corporation for the manufacture of silica
brick.

Bellevue Quarry, Deroche Township (lA)
Wright and Company operated a small
quarry in the Lorrain Formation of the Bellevue
ridge at mileage 19.8 on the Algoma Central and
Hudson Bay Railway line. This quarry supplied
crude mine-run quartzite to Algoma Steel Cor
poration for the manufacture of silica brick.
At the quarry, the quartzite strikes northeast
and dips SO0 to the northwest. The rock is grey or
pink and contains scattered patches of specularite.
Ripple marks and crossbedding can be seen on the
ridge above the face of the opening. Quartzite
breccias and quartz conglomerates were also noted.
At the east side of the quarry, sericite soapstone is
developed along a sheared zone striking N.100W.,
and dipping SO0 west. This quarry has been taken
over by Algoma Steel Corporation.
-- 
Modeling the 1980 Algoma Central Railway in HO
Digitrax --- Arduino CMRI --- JMRI

Dale Wilson




Blair Smith
 

Dale

The rails ran under the frame, picture right of the supporting legs.  Ties were all that was left.

But if you look at the location in Google Maps, the road ran down from the pit to access the highway just north of the spur switch, so if the trucks were already loaded, they'd just proceed onto the highway, I would expect.  It's clear from Google Maps that the pit is still used for something - they've set up an inbound-outbound gate at the highway, so something has been happening.


On 2022-03-20 16:42, Dale Wilson wrote:
Thank you, gentlemen; this was all news to me! It is logical that Algoma would be interested in producing what I’ve heard called “fire brick” used for lining furnaces in steel plants and smelters, but the apparent small size of the deposit seems to indicate the promise didn’t work out.

Blair, was the positioning of the “loading frame” such that it could only be for loading railway [hopper] cars, or could it have been for loading trucks?

I ask because it was in this approximate time period when Falconbridge and INCO began the truck-hauling of ores (in various forms) for many of their mines and mills

The similar deposit at Willisville, called Lawson Quarry by INCO had been noted when the line was built, as the Algoma Eastern, but never developed until INCO needed the material as a furnace flux in its smelter. It has since been replaced by sand, but trainloads were once carried to Copper Cliff 


On Mar 20, 2022, at 3:55 PM, Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Doug

Pit is still visible in Google, as is the clearing for the short loading spur.  About a half mile north of the bridge, where the highway and tracks converge again.  When I first visited the ACR in the early 90's, the siding switch was still in place.  My picture of the loading frame is here:

http://www.trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/Bellevue/bellevue2.jpg

Not sure if the frame is still there, or if the WC or CN have ripped it out.  It's well off the main, so it's not a train hazard, per se.

It would make a neat small industry to include, sourcing a car or two a day.

Blair Smith


On 3/20/2022 3:03 PM, DOUG MURRAY wrote:
 Please find below some information from the Industrial Minerals Report of 1963 on Silica. Does anyone have any further information or pictures of this operation by Bellevue? I would assume the ACR moved the material to Algoma Steel in the Sault? 

If it was only used for bricks it would be a small operation versus Lawson Quarry over by Little Current. 


Silica brick has been manufactured by Algoma
Steel Corporation Limited from quartzite quarried
in Deroche township, District of Algoma, 20 miles
north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Quartzite of medium to fine grain-size, ranging
in composition from 96 to 98 percent silica, has
proven to be the best raw material for silica brick.
Much of the Lorrain Quartzite of the Sault Ste.
Marie-Sudbury area is suitable for the manufacture
of silica brick, comparing favourably with Penn
sylvania and Wisconsin quartzites.

Silica, which melts at 1,7280C., has the ability
to sustain loads even when temperatures approach
the melting point; therefore, it is an extremely
useful refractory material in the metallurgical
industry. Silica brick is widely used in steel
furnaces where operating temperatures may be in
the range of 1,6800C.

Silica bricks are manufactured by grinding the
quartzite to a suitable mesh-size (usually about
55 percent between 4- and 28-mesh, 20 percent
between 28- and 65-mesh, and 25 percent under
65-mesh); bonding with 1-2 percent lime; molding
into bricks; drying and firing in a kiln. On firing,
the quartz converts to tridymite and cristobalite
with resultant expansion. The extent of the
conversion has an important bearing on the
behaviour of the brick in service.

The most westerly of these is near
Bellevue in Deroche township on the Algoma
Central and Hudson Bay railway, 20 miles north
of Sault Ste. Marie; a quarry operated by Wright
and Company formerly supplied silica to Algoma
Steel Corporation for the manufacture of silica
brick.

Bellevue Quarry, Deroche Township (lA)
Wright and Company operated a small
quarry in the Lorrain Formation of the Bellevue
ridge at mileage 19.8 on the Algoma Central and
Hudson Bay Railway line. This quarry supplied
crude mine-run quartzite to Algoma Steel Cor
poration for the manufacture of silica brick.
At the quarry, the quartzite strikes northeast
and dips SO0 to the northwest. The rock is grey or
pink and contains scattered patches of specularite.
Ripple marks and crossbedding can be seen on the
ridge above the face of the opening. Quartzite
breccias and quartz conglomerates were also noted.
At the east side of the quarry, sericite soapstone is
developed along a sheared zone striking N.100W.,
and dipping SO0 west. This quarry has been taken
over by Algoma Steel Corporation.
-- 
Modeling the 1980 Algoma Central Railway in HO
Digitrax --- Arduino CMRI --- JMRI

Dale Wilson




Blair Smith
 

Correction.  Looking in Google Earth, the access road is still used, but it also leads to the Comms tower at the top of the hill, and a fork just inside the gate leads to an extensive clearcut to the north.  The actual pit access is in shadow, possibly overgrown, so I'd say the pit is NOT in use, but the other roads are. 

Blair

On 3/20/2022 4:54 PM, Blair Smith wrote:

Dale

The rails ran under the frame, picture right of the supporting legs.  Ties were all that was left.

But if you look at the location in Google Maps, the road ran down from the pit to access the highway just north of the spur switch, so if the trucks were already loaded, they'd just proceed onto the highway, I would expect.  It's clear from Google Maps that the pit is still used for something - they've set up an inbound-outbound gate at the highway, so something has been happening.


On 2022-03-20 16:42, Dale Wilson wrote:
Thank you, gentlemen; this was all news to me! It is logical that Algoma would be interested in producing what I’ve heard called “fire brick” used for lining furnaces in steel plants and smelters, but the apparent small size of the deposit seems to indicate the promise didn’t work out.

Blair, was the positioning of the “loading frame” such that it could only be for loading railway [hopper] cars, or could it have been for loading trucks?

I ask because it was in this approximate time period when Falconbridge and INCO began the truck-hauling of ores (in various forms) for many of their mines and mills

The similar deposit at Willisville, called Lawson Quarry by INCO had been noted when the line was built, as the Algoma Eastern, but never developed until INCO needed the material as a furnace flux in its smelter. It has since been replaced by sand, but trainloads were once carried to Copper Cliff 


On Mar 20, 2022, at 3:55 PM, Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Doug

Pit is still visible in Google, as is the clearing for the short loading spur.  About a half mile north of the bridge, where the highway and tracks converge again.  When I first visited the ACR in the early 90's, the siding switch was still in place.  My picture of the loading frame is here:

http://www.trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/Bellevue/bellevue2.jpg

Not sure if the frame is still there, or if the WC or CN have ripped it out.  It's well off the main, so it's not a train hazard, per se.

It would make a neat small industry to include, sourcing a car or two a day.

Blair Smith


On 3/20/2022 3:03 PM, DOUG MURRAY wrote:
 Please find below some information from the Industrial Minerals Report of 1963 on Silica. Does anyone have any further information or pictures of this operation by Bellevue? I would assume the ACR moved the material to Algoma Steel in the Sault? 

If it was only used for bricks it would be a small operation versus Lawson Quarry over by Little Current. 


Silica brick has been manufactured by Algoma
Steel Corporation Limited from quartzite quarried
in Deroche township, District of Algoma, 20 miles
north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Quartzite of medium to fine grain-size, ranging
in composition from 96 to 98 percent silica, has
proven to be the best raw material for silica brick.
Much of the Lorrain Quartzite of the Sault Ste.
Marie-Sudbury area is suitable for the manufacture
of silica brick, comparing favourably with Penn
sylvania and Wisconsin quartzites.

Silica, which melts at 1,7280C., has the ability
to sustain loads even when temperatures approach
the melting point; therefore, it is an extremely
useful refractory material in the metallurgical
industry. Silica brick is widely used in steel
furnaces where operating temperatures may be in
the range of 1,6800C.

Silica bricks are manufactured by grinding the
quartzite to a suitable mesh-size (usually about
55 percent between 4- and 28-mesh, 20 percent
between 28- and 65-mesh, and 25 percent under
65-mesh); bonding with 1-2 percent lime; molding
into bricks; drying and firing in a kiln. On firing,
the quartz converts to tridymite and cristobalite
with resultant expansion. The extent of the
conversion has an important bearing on the
behaviour of the brick in service.

The most westerly of these is near
Bellevue in Deroche township on the Algoma
Central and Hudson Bay railway, 20 miles north
of Sault Ste. Marie; a quarry operated by Wright
and Company formerly supplied silica to Algoma
Steel Corporation for the manufacture of silica
brick.

Bellevue Quarry, Deroche Township (lA)
Wright and Company operated a small
quarry in the Lorrain Formation of the Bellevue
ridge at mileage 19.8 on the Algoma Central and
Hudson Bay Railway line. This quarry supplied
crude mine-run quartzite to Algoma Steel Cor
poration for the manufacture of silica brick.
At the quarry, the quartzite strikes northeast
and dips SO0 to the northwest. The rock is grey or
pink and contains scattered patches of specularite.
Ripple marks and crossbedding can be seen on the
ridge above the face of the opening. Quartzite
breccias and quartz conglomerates were also noted.
At the east side of the quarry, sericite soapstone is
developed along a sheared zone striking N.100W.,
and dipping SO0 west. This quarry has been taken
over by Algoma Steel Corporation.
-- 
Modeling the 1980 Algoma Central Railway in HO
Digitrax --- Arduino CMRI --- JMRI

Dale Wilson



-- 
Modeling the 1980 Algoma Central Railway in HO
Digitrax --- Arduino CMRI --- JMRI


DOUG MURRAY
 

On average you have to change the liner in the blast furnace every 15 years or so? Not sure how often you had to do the bricks in open hearth furnace, torpedo cars, slag car etc.  so making bricks probably was a seasonal job? 
 INCO was taking out 2200 tons per day according to same report at Lawson pit. But it was a flux so they needed lots.


On Mar 20, 2022, at 4:42 PM, Dale Wilson <dale.wilson@...> wrote:

Thank you, gentlemen; this was all news to me! It is logical that Algoma would be interested in producing what I’ve heard called “fire brick” used for lining furnaces in steel plants and smelters, but the apparent small size of the deposit seems to indicate the promise didn’t work out.

Blair, was the positioning of the “loading frame” such that it could only be for loading railway [hopper] cars, or could it have been for loading trucks?

I ask because it was in this approximate time period when Falconbridge and INCO began the truck-hauling of ores (in various forms) for many of their mines and mills

The similar deposit at Willisville, called Lawson Quarry by INCO had been noted when the line was built, as the Algoma Eastern, but never developed until INCO needed the material as a furnace flux in its smelter. It has since been replaced by sand, but trainloads were once carried to Copper Cliff 


On Mar 20, 2022, at 3:55 PM, Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Doug

Pit is still visible in Google, as is the clearing for the short loading spur.  About a half mile north of the bridge, where the highway and tracks converge again.  When I first visited the ACR in the early 90's, the siding switch was still in place.  My picture of the loading frame is here:

http://www.trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/Bellevue/bellevue2.jpg

Not sure if the frame is still there, or if the WC or CN have ripped it out.  It's well off the main, so it's not a train hazard, per se.

It would make a neat small industry to include, sourcing a car or two a day.

Blair Smith


On 3/20/2022 3:03 PM, DOUG MURRAY wrote:
 Please find below some information from the Industrial Minerals Report of 1963 on Silica. Does anyone have any further information or pictures of this operation by Bellevue? I would assume the ACR moved the material to Algoma Steel in the Sault? 

If it was only used for bricks it would be a small operation versus Lawson Quarry over by Little Current. 


Silica brick has been manufactured by Algoma
Steel Corporation Limited from quartzite quarried
in Deroche township, District of Algoma, 20 miles
north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Quartzite of medium to fine grain-size, ranging
in composition from 96 to 98 percent silica, has
proven to be the best raw material for silica brick.
Much of the Lorrain Quartzite of the Sault Ste.
Marie-Sudbury area is suitable for the manufacture
of silica brick, comparing favourably with Penn
sylvania and Wisconsin quartzites.

Silica, which melts at 1,7280C., has the ability
to sustain loads even when temperatures approach
the melting point; therefore, it is an extremely
useful refractory material in the metallurgical
industry. Silica brick is widely used in steel
furnaces where operating temperatures may be in
the range of 1,6800C.

Silica bricks are manufactured by grinding the
quartzite to a suitable mesh-size (usually about
55 percent between 4- and 28-mesh, 20 percent
between 28- and 65-mesh, and 25 percent under
65-mesh); bonding with 1-2 percent lime; molding
into bricks; drying and firing in a kiln. On firing,
the quartz converts to tridymite and cristobalite
with resultant expansion. The extent of the
conversion has an important bearing on the
behaviour of the brick in service.

The most westerly of these is near
Bellevue in Deroche township on the Algoma
Central and Hudson Bay railway, 20 miles north
of Sault Ste. Marie; a quarry operated by Wright
and Company formerly supplied silica to Algoma
Steel Corporation for the manufacture of silica
brick.

Bellevue Quarry, Deroche Township (lA)
Wright and Company operated a small
quarry in the Lorrain Formation of the Bellevue
ridge at mileage 19.8 on the Algoma Central and
Hudson Bay Railway line. This quarry supplied
crude mine-run quartzite to Algoma Steel Cor
poration for the manufacture of silica brick.
At the quarry, the quartzite strikes northeast
and dips SO0 to the northwest. The rock is grey or
pink and contains scattered patches of specularite.
Ripple marks and crossbedding can be seen on the
ridge above the face of the opening. Quartzite
breccias and quartz conglomerates were also noted.
At the east side of the quarry, sericite soapstone is
developed along a sheared zone striking N.100W.,
and dipping SO0 west. This quarry has been taken
over by Algoma Steel Corporation.
-- 
Modeling the 1980 Algoma Central Railway in HO
Digitrax --- Arduino CMRI --- JMRI

Dale Wilson




DOUG MURRAY
 

 "Coke ovens are made of numerous refractories for various component materials. The main materials used are silica bricks constituting the coke oven wall".

Coke oven battery is a refractory structure, contained within a steel and/or concrete exoskeleton. This exoskeleton is held together in the lateral direction by a series of tie rods between steel buckstays. The buckstays are vertical steel beams located on the ends of the heating walls between the ovens. In a longitudinal direction, the tie rods extend between the pinion walls on either end of the battery.

The heating walls have traditionally been constructed of silica refractories. Silica is the refractory of choice primarily because, at normal coke oven battery operating temperatures, silica refractories are subject to minimal creep. Also, since nearly all of the expansion of silica bricks take place at temperatures which are below 650 deg C, hence the moderate temperature fluctuations of the walls have no effect on the volume stability of the refractory comprising the wall during normal operation of a battery.

Coke oven batteries will have an operating life of twenty to forty years, depending upon operating conditions and battery maintenance. There are several examples of coke oven batteries working for 40 – 50 years due to correct operation and timely repair. There are also cases where the failures of coke oven refractories has happened in less than 10 years of its operations.  Usually a battery requires specific repairs to the refractories, steelwork or machinery. These repairs, if properly performed, extend the life of the battery.


Further info on this discussion from the book entitled Algoma Steel and Sault Ste Marie A History by Don Barill and USWA Local 2724 ,
.
Page 148 1975  , “ on August 13 , No. 9 coke ovens battery begins producing after two years of unique construction. This battery was built inside an enclosed shed because it used silica brick which could not be exposed to the weather”


1977 “ No. 9 coke oven has been out of service since October 1976, after its initial start- up in November 1975.. It requires $21 million to replace the refractory. Algoma is negotiating with Willputte Canada for responsibility of costs on this repair since Willputte had rebuilt the factory with silica brick. Finally , Algoma sues Willputte to recover the $21 million.”

So not an everyday occurrence, playing with silica brick.  But as Blair says you could have a little side spur industry  on your model just past Bellevue trestle to seasonally load a hopper car or two if your time period corresponds to coke battery rebuilds or repairs and you have room on your layout. 

On Mar 20, 2022, at 4:42 PM, Dale Wilson <dale.wilson@...> wrote:

Thank you, gentlemen; this was all news to me! It is logical that Algoma would be interested in producing what I’ve heard called “fire brick” used for lining furnaces in steel plants and smelters, but the apparent small size of the deposit seems to indicate the promise didn’t work out.

Blair, was the positioning of the “loading frame” such that it could only be for loading railway [hopper] cars, or could it have been for loading trucks?

I ask because it was in this approximate time period when Falconbridge and INCO began the truck-hauling of ores (in various forms) for many of their mines and mills

The similar deposit at Willisville, called Lawson Quarry by INCO had been noted when the line was built, as the Algoma Eastern, but never developed until INCO needed the material as a furnace flux in its smelter. It has since been replaced by sand, but trainloads were once carried to Copper Cliff 


On Mar 20, 2022, at 3:55 PM, Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Doug

Pit is still visible in Google, as is the clearing for the short loading spur.  About a half mile north of the bridge, where the highway and tracks converge again.  When I first visited the ACR in the early 90's, the siding switch was still in place.  My picture of the loading frame is here:

http://www.trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/Bellevue/bellevue2.jpg

Not sure if the frame is still there, or if the WC or CN have ripped it out.  It's well off the main, so it's not a train hazard, per se.

It would make a neat small industry to include, sourcing a car or two a day.

Blair Smith


On 3/20/2022 3:03 PM, DOUG MURRAY wrote:
 Please find below some information from the Industrial Minerals Report of 1963 on Silica. Does anyone have any further information or pictures of this operation by Bellevue? I would assume the ACR moved the material to Algoma Steel in the Sault? 

If it was only used for bricks it would be a small operation versus Lawson Quarry over by Little Current. 


Silica brick has been manufactured by Algoma
Steel Corporation Limited from quartzite quarried
in Deroche township, District of Algoma, 20 miles
north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Quartzite of medium to fine grain-size, ranging
in composition from 96 to 98 percent silica, has
proven to be the best raw material for silica brick.
Much of the Lorrain Quartzite of the Sault Ste.
Marie-Sudbury area is suitable for the manufacture
of silica brick, comparing favourably with Penn
sylvania and Wisconsin quartzites.

Silica, which melts at 1,7280C., has the ability
to sustain loads even when temperatures approach
the melting point; therefore, it is an extremely
useful refractory material in the metallurgical
industry. Silica brick is widely used in steel
furnaces where operating temperatures may be in
the range of 1,6800C.

Silica bricks are manufactured by grinding the
quartzite to a suitable mesh-size (usually about
55 percent between 4- and 28-mesh, 20 percent
between 28- and 65-mesh, and 25 percent under
65-mesh); bonding with 1-2 percent lime; molding
into bricks; drying and firing in a kiln. On firing,
the quartz converts to tridymite and cristobalite
with resultant expansion. The extent of the
conversion has an important bearing on the
behaviour of the brick in service.

The most westerly of these is near
Bellevue in Deroche township on the Algoma
Central and Hudson Bay railway, 20 miles north
of Sault Ste. Marie; a quarry operated by Wright
and Company formerly supplied silica to Algoma
Steel Corporation for the manufacture of silica
brick.

Bellevue Quarry, Deroche Township (lA)
Wright and Company operated a small
quarry in the Lorrain Formation of the Bellevue
ridge at mileage 19.8 on the Algoma Central and
Hudson Bay Railway line. This quarry supplied
crude mine-run quartzite to Algoma Steel Cor
poration for the manufacture of silica brick.
At the quarry, the quartzite strikes northeast
and dips SO0 to the northwest. The rock is grey or
pink and contains scattered patches of specularite.
Ripple marks and crossbedding can be seen on the
ridge above the face of the opening. Quartzite
breccias and quartz conglomerates were also noted.
At the east side of the quarry, sericite soapstone is
developed along a sheared zone striking N.100W.,
and dipping SO0 west. This quarry has been taken
over by Algoma Steel Corporation.
-- 
Modeling the 1980 Algoma Central Railway in HO
Digitrax --- Arduino CMRI --- JMRI

Dale Wilson



Dale Wilson
 

The apparent problems Algoma Steel had with its coke oven battery seems to have been the best reason for the silica deposit just north of the ACR’s Bellevue bridge not being further developed. The road access to that goes on past the ‘quarry’ to some other facility — name/purpose unknown —so something else seems to going on there.

If there are modellers [of the ACR] in the Sault and surrounding area, no one in the Sudbury area is aware of them. That will likely be for the usual reasons of aging and leaving the hobby, but if there is anyone still on the list knowing more, the current surviving model club in Sudbury would be interested in hearing. That club can be reached through me if necessary.

On Mar 23, 2022, at 9:52 AM, DOUG MURRAY <dmurray55@...> wrote:

 "Coke ovens are made of numerous refractories for various component materials. The main materials used are silica bricks constituting the coke oven wall".

Coke oven battery is a refractory structure, contained within a steel and/or concrete exoskeleton. This exoskeleton is held together in the lateral direction by a series of tie rods between steel buckstays. The buckstays are vertical steel beams located on the ends of the heating walls between the ovens. In a longitudinal direction, the tie rods extend between the pinion walls on either end of the battery.

The heating walls have traditionally been constructed of silica refractories. Silica is the refractory of choice primarily because, at normal coke oven battery operating temperatures, silica refractories are subject to minimal creep. Also, since nearly all of the expansion of silica bricks take place at temperatures which are below 650 deg C, hence the moderate temperature fluctuations of the walls have no effect on the volume stability of the refractory comprising the wall during normal operation of a battery.

Coke oven batteries will have an operating life of twenty to forty years, depending upon operating conditions and battery maintenance. There are several examples of coke oven batteries working for 40 – 50 years due to correct operation and timely repair. There are also cases where the failures of coke oven refractories has happened in less than 10 years of its operations.  Usually a battery requires specific repairs to the refractories, steelwork or machinery. These repairs, if properly performed, extend the life of the battery.


Further info on this discussion from the book entitled Algoma Steel and Sault Ste Marie A History by Don Barill and USWA Local 2724 ,
.
Page 148 1975  , “ on August 13 , No. 9 coke ovens battery begins producing after two years of unique construction. This battery was built inside an enclosed shed because it used silica brick which could not be exposed to the weather”


1977 “ No. 9 coke oven has been out of service since October 1976, after its initial start- up in November 1975.. It requires $21 million to replace the refractory. Algoma is negotiating with Willputte Canada for responsibility of costs on this repair since Willputte had rebuilt the factory with silica brick. Finally , Algoma sues Willputte to recover the $21 million.”

So not an everyday occurrence, playing with silica brick.  But as Blair says you could have a little side spur industry  on your model just past Bellevue trestle to seasonally load a hopper car or two if your time period corresponds to coke battery rebuilds or repairs and you have room on your layout. 

On Mar 20, 2022, at 4:42 PM, Dale Wilson <dale.wilson@...> wrote:

Thank you, gentlemen; this was all news to me! It is logical that Algoma would be interested in producing what I’ve heard called “fire brick” used for lining furnaces in steel plants and smelters, but the apparent small size of the deposit seems to indicate the promise didn’t work out.

Blair, was the positioning of the “loading frame” such that it could only be for loading railway [hopper] cars, or could it have been for loading trucks?

I ask because it was in this approximate time period when Falconbridge and INCO began the truck-hauling of ores (in various forms) for many of their mines and mills

The similar deposit at Willisville, called Lawson Quarry by INCO had been noted when the line was built, as the Algoma Eastern, but never developed until INCO needed the material as a furnace flux in its smelter. It has since been replaced by sand, but trainloads were once carried to Copper Cliff 


On Mar 20, 2022, at 3:55 PM, Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Doug

Pit is still visible in Google, as is the clearing for the short loading spur.  About a half mile north of the bridge, where the highway and tracks converge again.  When I first visited the ACR in the early 90's, the siding switch was still in place.  My picture of the loading frame is here:

http://www.trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/Bellevue/bellevue2.jpg

Not sure if the frame is still there, or if the WC or CN have ripped it out.  It's well off the main, so it's not a train hazard, per se.

It would make a neat small industry to include, sourcing a car or two a day.

Blair Smith


On 3/20/2022 3:03 PM, DOUG MURRAY wrote:
 Please find below some information from the Industrial Minerals Report of 1963 on Silica. Does anyone have any further information or pictures of this operation by Bellevue? I would assume the ACR moved the material to Algoma Steel in the Sault? 

If it was only used for bricks it would be a small operation versus Lawson Quarry over by Little Current. 


Silica brick has been manufactured by Algoma
Steel Corporation Limited from quartzite quarried
in Deroche township, District of Algoma, 20 miles
north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Quartzite of medium to fine grain-size, ranging
in composition from 96 to 98 percent silica, has
proven to be the best raw material for silica brick.
Much of the Lorrain Quartzite of the Sault Ste.
Marie-Sudbury area is suitable for the manufacture
of silica brick, comparing favourably with Penn
sylvania and Wisconsin quartzites.

Silica, which melts at 1,7280C., has the ability
to sustain loads even when temperatures approach
the melting point; therefore, it is an extremely
useful refractory material in the metallurgical
industry. Silica brick is widely used in steel
furnaces where operating temperatures may be in
the range of 1,6800C.

Silica bricks are manufactured by grinding the
quartzite to a suitable mesh-size (usually about
55 percent between 4- and 28-mesh, 20 percent
between 28- and 65-mesh, and 25 percent under
65-mesh); bonding with 1-2 percent lime; molding
into bricks; drying and firing in a kiln. On firing,
the quartz converts to tridymite and cristobalite
with resultant expansion. The extent of the
conversion has an important bearing on the
behaviour of the brick in service.

The most westerly of these is near
Bellevue in Deroche township on the Algoma
Central and Hudson Bay railway, 20 miles north
of Sault Ste. Marie; a quarry operated by Wright
and Company formerly supplied silica to Algoma
Steel Corporation for the manufacture of silica
brick.

Bellevue Quarry, Deroche Township (lA)
Wright and Company operated a small
quarry in the Lorrain Formation of the Bellevue
ridge at mileage 19.8 on the Algoma Central and
Hudson Bay Railway line. This quarry supplied
crude mine-run quartzite to Algoma Steel Cor
poration for the manufacture of silica brick.
At the quarry, the quartzite strikes northeast
and dips SO0 to the northwest. The rock is grey or
pink and contains scattered patches of specularite.
Ripple marks and crossbedding can be seen on the
ridge above the face of the opening. Quartzite
breccias and quartz conglomerates were also noted.
At the east side of the quarry, sericite soapstone is
developed along a sheared zone striking N.100W.,
and dipping SO0 west. This quarry has been taken
over by Algoma Steel Corporation.
-- 
Modeling the 1980 Algoma Central Railway in HO
Digitrax --- Arduino CMRI --- JMRI

Dale Wilson



Dale Wilson




Chris VanderHeide
 

" The road access to that goes on past the ‘quarry’ to some other facility — name/purpose unknown —so something else seems to going on there."

Looks like a communications/radio tower on the top of the hill.


Blair Smith
 

Yes, it can be seen from the train as you cross the trestle.

Blair


Looks like a communications/radio tower on the top of the hill.